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Your Professional Development

Please read this page then also take a look at the webpages | Your professional development opportunities | Your professional development services |There is also an introductory video | You can contact us by emailing: |


Traditionally personal and professional development contains a needs analysis stage. A general list of skills is presented for an area of employment and the individual would go through the list assessing what they don't have in terms of the list. A 'need' is then identified and, commonly, some training is also identified to fulfil the 'need'. Depending on preferences some people will still find this a useful exercise and that is absolutely fine! However, there is so much more that can be achieved by using modern dynamic employment platforms such as LinkedIn and LinkedIn Learning in combination with new Dynamic approaches to Development (as described on this website).

For example:

  1. The skills element is just one aspect of employment, employability and careers. There is so much more that matters as well!
  2. Rather than a 'static', general skills list put together some years a go, how about a skills list tailored to your specific interests that you can update at any time?
  3. How about getting 'trending' information on what skills people in your area are currently looking at?
  4. Rather than the deficit approach of what you have missing, what you 'need', how about building on the platform of the skills, abilities, knowledge and experience you already have?
  5. Rather than thinking of one career, how about learning tools and techniques that will support you as you and your circumstances change and evolve throughout what might be several careers in the dynamic world and future of today?
  6. How about analysing the careers of others with similar interests, skills and qualifications to you? (LinkedIn has over 700 million users across 200 countries).
  7. How about taking real ownership of your professional development, analysing situations and how you personally fit in to those situations to create your own approach to professional development that works best for you?

Things you can do: Building your personalised list

Click this link for details of the personal and professional development opportunities for postgraduate researchers.

Getting set up: LinkedIn and LinkedIn Learning:

  1. LinkedIn: If you haven't done so already create your LinkedIn profile and add your skills, qualifications and interests.
  2. LinkedIn Learning: Log in to LinkedIn Learning using your usual University of Leeds IT login details.
  3. Link your LinkedIn profile to your LinkedIn Learning account. It will prompt you to do this and you can always unlink them at any time.
  4. LinkedIn Learning will now provide you with trending data on skills tailored by your LinkedIn profile


  1. Click on the 'Jobs' icon at the top of your profile home page. You will see lists of jobs currently being advertised, tailored in line with your LinkedIn profile
  2. Take a look at these jobs and start to build your own personalised list of skills, knowledge, qualifications etc  that you can look to gain over the comings years ahead of when you want to apply for this type of job
  3. You can also search jobs more broadly. Consider other employment areas and what they require.
  4. If there is a job advert you are interested in it will also tell you if there are alumni of the University of Leeds working in the company. You'll be able to see their career pathway, education and skills. Finally, you can also send them a connection request.

Your supervisor

  1. Speak with your supervisor about your research project and what you will need to have the best chance of being successful in your research. What are the research methods you'll need? Is there research related software you'll need to understand? And much more. (Note LinkedIn Learning has courses on many research software packages. Log in and take a look!)

When you have found what you are interested in, build you own list. The list doesn't have to be just skills, add in everything you think is important for your own development.

To support you in your development the University of Leeds offers wide ranging professional development opportunities.

  1. Self-directed courses are available in the Leeds Doctoral College Organisation in  LinkedIn Learning (Includes Leeds specific resources plus over 5000 LinkedIn courses).
  2. There are also programmes of tutor led provision provided by professional services.
  3. Click this link for more information on self-directed and tutored led professional development provision.

There is so much more that matters as well!

The skills aspect is only one part of the full picture of employment and employability. The Dynamic Development Model encourages you to look at a much fuller picture including, Situational Analysis, Dispositional Analysis and building your 'capital'. The Dynamic Development model is one you can learn and use throughout your career.

Click on the 'Dynamic Development' menu above on this website, or click this link to login to LinkedIn Learning using your usual University of Leeds login details, search for 'Dynamic Development', then click on the 'Dynamic Development Collection' in the search results.