All graduate students entering a graduate program as of Fall 2016, are required by FGSR to complete the Professional Development Requirement, including an Individual Development Plan.
We have a very strong professional development component in our department—both EASIA 598 and 575 are essentially professional development courses, and six of your eight required hours will be deemed to come during these two courses. However, in addition, you are required to do two hours of professional development training from an external source. Currently, we recommend that you read and watch the materials available on mygradskills.ca for two hours; if you are not able to find suitable materials on there, please consult with the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.
Whether or not your future career will be in academia, you should definitely work with your supervisor to ensure that both your coursework and your thesis research are geared toward the specific field you wish to enter: doing so will make it clear (either to employers, or to Ph.D. admissions committees) that you are well-prepared for the professional direction you wish to pursue. This may mean choosing elective courses from a particular department, directing your thesis research toward a topic relevant to your future career, presenting papers at certain professional conferences, etc. Your supervisor will best understand how to help you prepare for a PhD program and an academic career; or directly into another profession instead,
In addition to structuring your regular academic work to prepare yourself for a career, you should take advantage of the many training opportunities available on campus, either through CaPS, FGSR, or other university units. (You will receive emails on professional development from FGSR, listing many of these opportunities.) One of the most important opportunities is the university’s Graduate Teaching and Learning (GTL) program, which offers three different levels of certification. Anyone who is considering a career in education (whether at the university level or otherwise), or who has been promised funding for teaching assistantship work, should register for the GTL program, since it provides essential basic training on how to conduct a class, design curricula and assignments, test and grade, handle problem students, and so on.