Now available for Orders in 2020!

We are excited to introduce our unique Free the PhD Career Teaching Tools. Bring these home for yourself, or integrate them into your institutional career development programming for immersive career exploration and job hunt preparation that engages, challenges, excites, and leads to positive action for PhDs.  Based on real world hiring expertise, tailored for academic use.

Feedback from PhDs and postdocs who have used the card decks:

“My favorite was the Job Title/Career Card Deck.  I didn’t know many of the titles and job descriptions. I know how to translate job descriptions now, and have a better sense of what to look for!”

“I feel more clarity about the duty of common job titles, and less afraid to ‘randomly’ reach out to folks to network.”

“I really liked the role-playing scenarios!”

“They helped me think about the job market in a more organized way.”

“It gave me a better understanding of what types of jobs I would be interested in. It really made job searching less intimidating.”

There is limited stock per print run, so we’d love to get you your decks today!

Career/Job Titles Card Deck

Introduces students and postdocs to the diversity of real job roles in a structured, actionable manner. 

  • Deck of 50 real job titles across government, business, pharma, non-profits, academia and industry. Suitable for both humanities and STEM students & postdocs.
  • 5 Interactive Career Exploration Workshop Exercises (30 – 60 min each,), with Followup Assignments & instructions.
  • Reflection & Action Item Worksheets.
  • Available for orders. Limited stock. (Shipping not included)

Micro-Consulting Cases

Introduces students and postdocs to a hands-on taste of the work experiences that hiring managers are looking for.

  • Deck of 10 real world work scenarios, each with 5 “consultant” role assignments, individual goals and team goals. Both humanities and STEM scenarios included.
  • Instructions & Followup Assignment worksheets.
  • Reflection & Action Item Worksheets.
  • Available for orders.  Limited stock. (Shipping not included)

Interview Prep Card Deck

  • Deck of 50 real world interview questions, including technical, behavioral, curve-ball questions and more.  These cards contain cues to help keep answers focused on what the hiring manager and interview panel really want to know!
  • Instructions & Followup Assignment worksheets.
  • Reflection & Action Item Worksheets.
  • Available for orders. Limited stock. (Shipping not included)

The Hiring Manager’s Kit

The full graduate career kit inspired by our experience with and as hiring managers.

  • Foundational Strengths Self-Evaluations
    • Suggested Roles Assessment
    • Transferable Skills Key
    • Partner Skills Discovery Exercise
  • Career Card Deck included!
  • Micro-Consulting Cases included!
  • Interview Prep Card Deck included!
  • Available for orders. Limited stock. (Shipping not included)

Free the PhD card deck teaching tools have been tested in workshop, classroom and group settings – students report feeling engaged, inspired and challenged by the various activities.  Perfect for individual use, student and postdoc retreats, conference symposia sessions, career workshops and integration into career programming.

Gamify your Career Development and Order Your Card Decks Here!

Live Trainings & Workshops for Students, PhDs and Postdocs

Free the PhD would love to visit your campus or institution! 

We work closely with individual students, Graduate Student Councils, Career Development Offices and Academic Departments to host engaging, motivational and actionable workshops and trainings for your talented technical students, PhDs, postdocs and other technical or research trained professionals.

Feedback from PhDs and postdocs about our in-person workshops:

“This was really helpful and comes from a person in professional practice who is more of a near-peer :)”

“I thought the topics were very useful and will help me think critically when looking for jobs.”

“Really got me thinking about all the nuances there are in looking for a job.”

“This workshop was more engaging and involved than others I’ve been to.  Kept very general for all research areas, yet very helpful on an individual level.”

“This was such a nice breath of fresh air and a positive change in perspective that was really motivating and encouraging in a particularly grueling atmosphere.”

If your trainees or constituents are struggling to find the jobs of their dreams, together we can give them the tools and support they want.

Free the PhD has hosted workshops, talks and appeared at career panels at:



Sample Free the PhD Graduate or Postdoc Career Transition Workshop Topics

  1. Freeing the Definition of a PhD – Address the common fears and misconceptions about what opportunities are available for PhD-trained researchers outside of academia, including “wasting” your degree, and not getting enough intellectual stimulation in a 9-5 job.
  2. Career Functional Dissection and Job Title Matching Activity –  Use interactive Free the PhD Job Title/Career Card Deck in small groups to explore common job titles, determine the underlying function of the role, and research open job listings of interest.
  3. Career Path Matching – Find Your Strengths – Partner exercise to determine personal strengths, interests and preferences.
  4. Gathering Job Intelligence – Small group “Career speed-dating” exercise with Micro-Consulting Cases (FTP Card Deck) prompts to identify roles of interest and missing skillsets.
  5. Leveraging LinkedIn – Connecting to Learn – Interactive exercise where participants will evaluate a partner’s LinkedIn profile, and reach out to 5 new connections to seed their network.
  6. Preparing For A Lifetime of Success – Close with stories of PhD career path results.  Demonstrate 2 take-home career-building exercises (Clear Communication Drills & How to Identify Opportunities).
  7. Interview Bootcamp – Use Free the PhD Interview Prep Card Deck to grasp key aspects of interview success, particularly tailoring answers appropriately for hiring managers and effectively addressing common biases against PhD job candidates.  Practice mock interviews with partners.
  8. Q&A and Networking 

The topics and focus can be tailored to your audience – get in touch and let us know what you need!