The job prospects for graduate students are based on their job market paper and by the jobs available in the market in a given year. Faculty advisors will support every student seeking a position, including advice, recommendation letters and even support for attending conferences. Some students will seek out research-based teaching positions, while other students will find placements in consulting, government or business. Other students will be well served by post-doctoral research positions or alternative placements that allow the student to further develop their expertise. This may include research-focused positions in state or federal government.
The job market process usually begins in the summer. Students on the market have to monitor job listings, and all students should watch postings to become familiar with programs. Typical academic departments to monitor include: Ohio State, Purdue, Minnesota, Florida, Georgia, Rhode Island, Missouri, Iowa State, Alabama, Utah, Cal State, South Dakota and other consumer science and/or human ecology programs.
Students should identify at least two recommenders from UW-Madison faculty, in addition to their primary advisor. Recommenders will develop a general recommendation letter, tailoring the letter as needed for certain position. Students should work closely with recommenders so they can write strong letters and meet all deadlines. Many job applications require recommendation letters to be submitted via 3rd party systems that require coordination with your letter writers.
Students should communicate job market plans at least a year in advance to advisors and faculty. Conferences, personal websites and professional networks are all critical to job placements.