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Career Development Framework

Job Architecture

Northwestern’s Career Development Framework (also known as “job architecture”) features clear paths/ladders so you can see how to progress in your field. The job architecture is formed by reviewing all job categories and the positions within each of these categories (aka “families”).

Job Families

Northwestern's Job Families are a grouping of similar jobs or a hierarchy of jobs within a functional area such as research, administration, information technology, or finance. The families establish the natural progression of jobs within the function by detailing the core standards for duties, accountabilities, knowledge, skills, and educational requirements for each level of job. 

Current Job Families

Below is our current Job Families list. Other job families are forthcoming.

For Managers: Instructions for Working with Job Family Roles

  1. Open the pdf file with the summarized matrix.
  2. Determine the level of job based on the duties, responsibilities, skills, education, experience, and business need. Note: The incumbent does not need to perform all the duties/responsibilities listed. If the incumbent performs approximately 70-80% of the listed duties/responsibilities, then the job is a “match.”
  3. Consider the salary ranges of the level chosen to ensure that it can be accommodated by the budget.
  4. Request a copy of the corresponding standard job description template from your local HR professional/administrator. Enter the demographic information at the top of the job description.
  5. Enter the “%” column. If the job will not involve any of the Principal Accountabilities within a section, type in 0% in % column.
  6. Do not change any of the standard wording on these job description templates.
  7. There is an opportunity in the posting process to work with your TA Partner on a job posting that highlights departmental role specifics and a marketing statement related to the school or central unit.
  8. Minimum Qualifications may not be altered. Additional desired qualifications may be added under the “Preferred Qualifications” section of the description.
  9. Once completed, the job description will be sent to Compensation via your local HR professional/administrator.

Job Descriptions

Northwestern’s job descriptions provide clear and concise summaries of a job’s essential functions, scope of responsibilities, and the required, as well as desired, skills and experiences to carry out the duties successfully.

Please contact your local HR representative for details regarding your own job description.