10 Tips on How to Build a Successful Academic Career

How to Build a Successful Academic Career

For those wishing to pursue an academic career, having a Ph.D. is the main entrance to a world where reputation is, if not everything, a huge part of it. Finding a group, you belong to in academia can help students build a promising academic career.

In this article, we have put together 10 amazing tips for beginning researchers who want to pursue a career in academia to get started.

Tip 1: Choose a field and stay in it

Academia is a place where specialization is essential. Choosing the specialty will guide the rest of your career. These days, having a superficial understanding of many subjects reduces the likelihood of establishing a strong reputation for something you can delve into. Of course, initially it’s good to be aware of a little bit of everything, but it’s important not to procrastinate too long. Choose an area of scientific research and stick with your choice! This helps in the long run to establish the authority and credibility of the researcher in that field of specialization.

Tip 2: Choose a group of researchers and seek support at the right time

Your big decision is to choose the group of researchers you will join. This decision will make you identify some scholars as part of your tribe, and thus receive criticism and improve your knowledge. Remember, a group is like an alliance for life, after all, we are talking about an academic career, aren’t we? The specific area you choose will have support structures that can grow over time. That is, there will be a membership organization, annual conferences, and some magazines that might be helpful.

However, the ideal is to wait and analyze over time, several times, to find out who the main researchers in this area are, to participate in a new conference and in a group of researchers.

Tip 3: Build your brand during your academic career

Faced with fierce competition for space in building an academic career, to be heard and remembered, you will need to have something that sets you apart from others. Most of the popular researchers today have a distinguishing factor about them. Try to find a different look! Perhaps a new theory applies to an old problem, perhaps some other different feature, idea, or methodological approach. When you find what will be your differential, promote this idea that is part of your own brand.

The sign of a brilliant academic reputation is that authors recognize you as the person of reference on a particular subject. But keep in mind that if you want to have a serious, academic face, and a more carefree or irreverent identity online, it can be helpful to keep them separate.

Tip 4: Volunteer early (and often)

As a doctoral student, it is important to know your place in the world. As far as undergraduates are concerned, you are at the top. But unfortunately, in academia, you’re a little closer to the bottom of the food chain. You will probably need to volunteer to do the tasks that those above you used to do.

How about acting as a reviewer? You take the opportunity to train how to provide thoughtful, informative, and developmental feedback. For this it is important to know how to read and understand scientific articles. Offer to chair conference sessions, run workshops, organize an event, and so on. The tip is to make yourself indispensable. By doing so, you begin to get noticed in academic circles and this gives you leverage to rise quicker than usual.

Tip 5: Build your portfolio

Every aspiring academic career imagines a state in the future where they can claim that there is extensive secondary literature based on their works. Remember that the big ones were once small. So, from the start, think about your portfolio of public domain work. Your articles, book chapters, conference presentations, and so on need to be brought together.

Participating in open projects can be a great option for those starting an academic career! In addition, you can practice writing articles to improve your methodology. Aim to publish in the right places. Manage your profile on ResearchGate, LinkedIn, Google Scholar, Twitter, and various other places where other researchers will look for your work. In addition, it is advisable to participate in academic events that publish Annals, so your research can be part of this publication and you can register in your portfolio.

Tip 6: Networking

In the early stages of your academic career, many things depend on your ability to build relationships. Be respectful, understand the value of the conversations you are having, but also frequent scientific places! Events can be a great option! Above all, be good company. Nobody likes a non-speaker or someone who talks too much. As a budding researcher, when you participate in academic events, you should endeavour to connect with other budding researchers you meet at the event to give you another research clique outside your primary group.

Tip 7: Get inspired by other researchers with a renowned academic career

A tip is to follow leading researchers in your area of ​​research on social networks. LinkedIn and Twitter are great for social networking relationships among researchers. Can you exchange information, tips and maybe become friends? Social media has bridged the gap between the different levels in the academic community as it affords everyone the avenue to link up with people of like minds.

Tip 8: Improve your qualifications

This step is very important. You can’t just focus on your academic career and take the course to teach a particular subject. After all, to become a reference researcher you need to differentiate yourself from others. A tip is also to take foreign language courses, public speaking courses or any other course that will help improve your skills and qualifications. These courses you take indeed might not contribute a lot to your development in the academic community, however, it shows that you are an individual who is always using every opportunity to learn and acquire knowledge and skills.

Tip 9: Always be up to date

Use research tools! At different stages of the search flow, there are tools that can make your work more productive. This way, you optimize your time and still be able to access information more easily. You need to be updated about the developments in your area of specialization, be it new knowledge others are raving about, or a controversial issue generating debate. Being up to date avails you the opportunity to contribute at the right time to developing issues in your field.

Tip 10: Be patient

The above tips will help you on your way and build a successful career. But it’s important to remember that reputations take time to build, as do relationships, connectivity, and credibility. Having a lot of patience and the ability to persevere is as important as developing oneself. There are times things won’t go your way, your paper might be rejected for publication or presentation, don’t give up, remain patient and keep working. Aim high, or you’ll never get there!


Like any other profession, building an academic career requires a meticulous dedication and commitment. With these tips we have provided, you can get started.