Graduate Career and Professional Development


NIU Career Development Pathway

The NIU Career Development Pathway (CDP) follows your progress from early in your program through degree completion. The CDP, hosted on our Community Portal, offers centralized access to graduate career and professional development resources and services through the following stages.


Entails a self-assessment survey to assess your confidence in 30 different skills in five categories: communication, leadership and management, professionalism, responsible conduct of research and career development. Reflect on your professional development skills and identify those that need fine-tuning.

Explore Careers

Matches NIU graduate degree programs and certificates with Bureau of Labor Statistics data, career links and job analytics. You can also connect with alumni from your discipline via LinkedIn, set up informational interviews and more.

Build Skills

Target specific skills of interest, such as grant writing or authoring and publishing at our CDP workshops. To make the most out of your CDP, choose topics that correspond with the skills from your self-assessment.

Make it Happen

Through use of real-time job analytics from over 40,000 professional job-posting sites we can help you identify the top employers in your area of interest, master's versus doctoral and more. Contact us at to schedule one-on-one advising.

Individual Development Plan 

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) uses data from three parts of the CDP (Self Discovery, Explore Careers and Build Skills) to help you monitor your broad skills development through tracking of activities, career interests, job data and alumni contacts. Share your IDP with your  advisor or mentor to inform conversations about how to expand your skills, what certificates to pursue, professional organizations to join, connecting with people in your field and more.

Contact Us

Graduate Career and Professional Development Office
The Graduate School
Adams Hall, Room 210 and 211
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115 
F: 815-753-6366


Gary M. Baker, Ph.D.
P: 815-753-1946

Elizabeth A. Wilkins, Ph.D.
P: 815-753-9406