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Maps to the future

As Jennifer Williams sets out on her journey toward a master’s degree, she’s comforted knowing there’s now a map to help guide her way.

“The grad maps are such a useful and innovative resource,” says Ms. Williams, master’s candidate in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “As a new master’s student, I like how the map helps me keep track of academic and research timelines, while also presenting relevant extracurricular career opportunities, like conferences and professional development certificates. There are so many opportunities I never would have come across – ones that I am eager to try now.”

[Rebeeca Hugler and Miguel Hahn]
Rebecca Hügler, Coordinator, Communications and Post-Doctoral Training, and Miguel Hahn, Career Counsellor, display a selection of both grad maps and major maps. The School of Graduate Studies and Career Services recently launched 71 program-specific maps that offer graduate students advice on academics, research, and career opportunities. The grad maps build on the success of major maps that Career Services began offering to undergraduate students in 2015.  

Queen’s Career Services and the School of Graduate Studies collaborated to develop 71 program-specific grad maps. They offer master’s and PhD candidates advice on academics, research, and career opportunities, all in one document. 

“The question of ‘where can a graduate degree take me?’ is among the most frequently asked. Students can now turn to their program-specific grad map and visualize the interconnectedness of their academic program, professional development, and career preparedness to begin answering that question,” says Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean, Queen’s School of Graduate Studies. “Taking the time to plan for the future and explore multiple options, broaden the grad experience, and build networks can help students approach the transition after graduation with confidence – the grad maps are a wonderful tool to support that process.”

Each map provides information about the specific program and studying at Queen’s, as well as potential learning and professional development opportunities in five overlapping areas: academic goals, research impact, skill development, community engagement, and career preparation. Additionally, the maps serve to assist graduate students as they articulate to potential employers the skills they developed over the course of their academic program. 

Choose your own adventure
Looking to take your degree and career plans to the next level? Use the MyGradMap tool to make your own customized major map. Visit the Career Services website for more information and to download the map template.

The grad maps build on the success and popularity of the major maps for undergraduate students that Queen’s unveiled in 2015. Queen’s, which was the first Canadian university to develop major maps, received the Excellence in Innovation Award (Student Engagement) from the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE) in 2015 for the resource. The major maps have been generally well-received by students, garnering more than 110,000 online page views since they were launched.

“We have been at the forefront of developing the maps, and we are thrilled to be the first university in North America to create them for graduate students,” says Cathy Keates, Director, Queen’s Career Services. “We believe the grad maps do an excellent job of clarifying the different career pathways, both academic and non-academic, that students can pursue.”

The Queen’s grad maps have been posted on the Career Services website. While supplies last, print versions of the grad maps are available at academic department offices, Career Services (third floor of Gordon Hall), or Graduate Studies (fourth floor of Gordon Hall). Contact mycareer@queensu.ca to request the maps in alternative formats for accessibility.