As a student, you want to make sure you are exploring your career options so that you can align your education and experiences towards your career goals. I’ve found the top ten career podcasts for students and listed them below, along with some recommended episodes. These are in no particular order (this is not a ranking), so make sure you read right to number ten!
This podcast is a spin-off from Gretchen Rubin’s podcast Happier, which she makes with her sister, Liz Craft. Happier is a great podcast, but it’s not specifically career-related so didn’t quite make the list. Liz Craft created Happier in Hollywood with her writing partner, Sarah Fain, to talk about how to be happier while living in Hollywood and working as tv and film writers.
This is in my top ten because I like to learn about different industries, and this podcast gives some behind-the-scenes details on what it’s like to work in the tv industry. Even though I work in a completely different field (education and academia), I find a lot of their lessons and tips relevant. They talk about how they work together, work-life balance, how to pitch, and – my favourite – when to swear in a meeting (which is industry-specific – in many industries, the answer is never).
They share about their own career paths and often interview others in their industry, to talk about career paths and goals. Whether you’re interested in pursuing those positions (tv and film writer, casting director, etc) or not, seeing the career paths of others can help you envision your own.
Picking a new work mantra is helpful for anyone! Even as a student you could use a good mantra! A phrase to remind you of why you’re doing this and why it’s worth it.
Climb the Wall and Enjoy the View talks about hitting the wall, but then finding the energy to celebrate your accomplishments (so important for students!).
In Make Your Own Relationships at Work, they talk about why building relationships at work is important, and also why it’s important to take time off.
Although this podcast is aimed at women, so many of the topics are relevant to anyone who is starting, or even already has, a career. They cover topics from salary negotiations, leadership and work-life balance, to career planning and side gigs. It’s a good career podcast whether you’re a student or a mid-career professional, and you’ll find all sorts of great information here.
We Answer Questions from Early Career Listeners answers some excellent questions from early professionals, and I’m sure you’ve wondered about many of these. Questions are about career planning, dealing with weird work situations, and working well with your boss.
In Seeing Ourselves as Leaders, they talk about leadership – and not just for those in official leadership roles. As a student, you can start building many of the transferable skills required for good leadership, such as critical thinking, inspiring others and taking responsibility for decision-making.
Step into the Spotlight talks about how to be visible at work in a positive way – how to get noticed so you’ll get the promotion.
Unfortunately, this podcast recently ended. But I am keeping it on the list because the focus is on listener questions, and also because she includes some really hilarious questions and situations that will keep you entertained. This podcast generally focuses on useful questions, like how to deal with awkward work situations or how to figure out how to work best with your boss. But there are also episodes about lunch thieves, weird coworkers, and inappropriate bosses. Hopefully you’ll never encounter any of these, but if you listen to this podcast, you’d be prepared!
How to Say No to Your Boss is helpful for knowing how to set some boundaries with your boss. It can be hard to say no to your boss – and to know when you can and can’t do it, so having some guidance will be helpful for you.
You might like Help – I work for a Micromanager! because you might run into a micromanager at some point, and these can be difficult to deal with. This kind of manager probably got where they are by knowing everything that was going on and controlling it, but at some point that has a negative impact on their employees. What should you do in this situation?
How Do I Start a New Job on the Right Foot? will be helpful as you go into any internships, co-op positions or part-time jobs as a student, and then also when you are launching your career after graduation.
Chatzky’s advice is really helpful when you’re starting out – she talks about paying of debt (student loans), starting to invest for your retirement, and maximizing your company’s benefits. There are also episodes about negotiating salaries and overcoming financial obstacles. What I like about this is that she is a realist – she gives advice and provides options depending on your situation.
An Insiders Guide to Cars: Buying and Selling will be helpful for anyone who is looking to purchase a new car.
Reinvent Your Career will be helpful, even if you’re inventing your career. This episode is really about figuring out what your career path should be, and will apply whether you’re chaning careers or just starting out. I’m very excited to read the book mentioned here, too! I’m sure I’ll post a review once I’ve finished it.
How to Earn Seven Figures is for the go-getters who have strong financial ambitions. This episode is an interview with Rachel Rodgers, who also has a wonderful podcast (I will give it an honourable mention, but I did not include it here because I consider it more of a level-two career podcast). Rodgers’ stance is that rather than having a restrictive budget, we should all figure out how to make more money, and I love that idea.
More Money is a Canadian personal finance podcast hosted by Jessica Moorhouse, and she’ll give you all the advice that’s specific to Canadians – which is helpful because so many personal finance podcasts and websites are US-based and not everything applies for us up here in Canada. Rather than learning about IRAs (American Retirement Funds), she talks about RRSPs and TFSAs, which you’ll find more useful here.
Why Getting Good with Money Doesn’t Have to be Complicated gives some great tips for having a healthy money mindset and simplifying your financial dilemmas.
How to Secure Your Dream Job During a Pandemic has lots of career-finding advice that will still be relevant outside of a pandy. I highly recommend this one when you’re beginning your career search.
How to Master the Art of Self-Promotion will help you brag about your accomplishments and show off your skills and achievements, without sounding braggy. This is such an important skill for networking and job interviews, and something all students should be working on.
This is a podcast created by a Toronto-based networking group, Monday Girl, and they only have a few episodes so far but they are great. They interview women about career transitions and success tips, and about their career paths. It is so incredibly valuable for students to start exploring the career paths of others to see more possibilities for themselves and maybe even stumble on their dream career.
Stressed & Unemployed is an interview with a top recruiter, who shares her tips on how to stand out and get hired in a competitive environment.
Ryerson Grad to Raptors Reporter follows the career path of a sports reporter, and also talks about the discrimination she faced on her path. This is a good listen for POC and people who want to be better allies in the workplace.
This podcast is exactly what the title sounds like! The host interviews women who have cool jobs, to find out more about their jobs and how they got there. This will help you see the millions of career options that exist out there and might open your eyes to your dream career! I have listed some recommended episodes, but honestly just look at the cool jobs in the titles and find ones you like!
Paleontologist Puts Dinosaur Fossil Puzzle Pieces Together interviews a paleontologist, which is fascinating becuase this is a job we all learn about in elementary school or on tv, but don’t actually know much about. The interviewee talks about her career path and what her work actually looks like.
VP of Casting at CBS Studios Finds Top-Tier Actors and Talent for TV Shows was fascinating because, as I mentioned above, I am fascinated by the film industry and always find takeaways in industries that are so different from my own. The interviewee talks about her own career journey and how she went from being an entry-level employee to a VP at a massive company.
Informational Interviews and How They Can Help You Find A Cool Job is exactly what the title says: a no-nonsense guide to why you should be exploring your career through informational interviews and how you should do it.
I’ve put this podcast on the list becuase it will help you not just begin your career, but navigate it the whole way through. There are episodes for managers, aspiring managers, new employees – you name it, you can find advice here.
How Much Are You Worth And How to Ask for a Raise gives great advice on asking for a raise. This can be one of the more difficult topics for early-career professionals because we don’t tend to talk about salaries and wages in an open way in our culture.
The Dos and Don’ts of Making a Mistake at Work goes over how to handle making a workplace error. This is something none of us want to do, but handling a workplace error can mean the difference between getting fired or earning your boss’s respect.
5 Red Flags to Avoid in a Company tells us what to look for in our job-search to make sure we end up at the right company. The job-search process is not just about you finding a job – it’s also about screening the workplace and making sure you end up in an environment that you like, and that will support your career growth. This episode will help you find just that.
You might be wondering why I’m including a news podcast in this list. Some career advice that I received years ago was to keep on top of what’s happening in the world and in my industry. It’s helpful for making small talk, showing that you connect your job to the bigger picture (the whole company and the industry), and also for networking. Knowing what’s going on in the world can give you an advantage when you get the opportunity to spend some time with higher-ups.
I’m not going to recommend episodes, because you should just listen to some of the most recent ones. Frontburner takes a deep dive into a headline of the week and provides additional background information, so you can take 20-30 minutes to learn more about a story without spending a ton of time reading or watching the news.
When I worked in a business setting, I was always finding ways to talk about these episodes at work, so I just kept listening to it. It’s kind of a random podcast, but if you sift through you’ll find ones that are either of personal interest to you, or relevant to your industry. These have helped me provide examples in business discussions, or start conversations, or just add some random facts in a networking situation. I’ve recommended my two favourites, but just take a look through them and find ones that are interesting to you!
I have gotten a lot of mileage out of the Trader Joe’s episode. You’d be amazed how many times I’ve used the contrast of Trader Joe’s business model in conversations. They also talk about decision-making and how much trouble humans have making decisions when there are lots of options, which can help you in working with colleagues and communicating options (keep it limited).
This episode on American Individualism actually talked a lot about cultural difference and used Hofstede’s model of national culture to analyse American culture. This model can actually help you to understand cultural aspects of communication and working that you may encounter, which is why I recommend this one. While the American individualism factor is interesting, you will also learn about other categories of cultural difference in this model.
Where to find these podcasts?
I listen to all of these podcasts on the Spotify app on my iPhone or iPad, where I can download them and listen to them on or offline. I believe most of them are available on a variety of services, or you can listen online through the links I’ve provided.
Want more career-focused content?
You can also sign up for the upcoming Beginning Career Exploration webinar on Eventbrite.
Share your thoughts!
What do you think are the best career podcasts for students? Did I miss some important ones? Share them in the comments or send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.