Graduate Division


It's easy to become absorbed by the demands of graduate school. From coursework to research, time flies. Soon it is time to graduate and move on. So it’s important to get an early jumpstart on career development.  We recognize that the traditional academic career path is evolving and that students must:

  • Make career planning an ongoing part of their graduate student career
  • Ensure that graduate students are developing skills and competencies for a wider array of career options
  • Be entrepreneurial in how they approach their careers

Fortunately, you have access to tried-and-true services and resources to help you through the hurdles of preparing for life after graduation. To get started with your career development, we encourage you to check out these resources:

Graduate & Postdoctoral Scholar Resource Center

The GPSRC provides a range of programming tailored to the needs of graduate students. Our professional development workshops will help you prepare for your next steps so graduate students are ready when the time is right.  To date, professional development workshops have included:

  • Finding Jobs Overseas: New Opportunities for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars
  • How to Construct a CV
  • Networking: Do I Really Have To?
  • Elevator Talks
  • Writing the Teaching Statement

NASEM Report on Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century

An important report on graduate education has just been issued by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. It builds on a significant body of work by NSF, NIH, CGS and other agencies which have examined changes needed in graduate STEM education for the 21st century. The following significant changes are recommended for how we educate graduate students:

  • Graduate education should be student-centered, transparent and dynamic
  • Graduate students “learn by doing”
  • Goals of graduate education:
    • Teach deep and broad technical literacies
    • Instill core academic and professional competencies
    • Enhance ethical behavior and inclusive and equitable diversity
  • Core competencies include:
    • Scholarly and non-academic communications
    • Leadership, ethics and time management
    • Collaboration and interdisciplinary teamwork
  • Use Independent Development Plans and explore a broad array of 21st century careers
  • Change faculty attitudes, training and incentives
  • Change role of industry, government and professional societies and allocation of funding

While this report focused on STEM (including Social Sciences and Education), many of the proposed changes would also apply to the Humanities and the Arts. For more information, please access the full report here, or the executive summary here. You may also access the PowerPoint presentation here.

Graduate Division is working across campus to assist programs in increasing the quality and transferability of graduate training, especially in expanding training in professional skills needed for success in a broad array of 21st century careers. We look forward to working with all of you to make our graduate programs even more successful, while maintaining our commitment to developing graduates with deep disciplinary expertise!

Useful Links

Career Center

The UC Irvine Career Center focuses on providing career advice and professional education to UCI students and alumni. A team of career counselors – including a graduate career consultant who works exclusively with graduate students – are trained to help students identify and create their career goals. For a comprehensive list of resources, visit the Career Center and select, “I am a graduate student.”

Graduate Career Consultant

The Graduate Career Consultant provides career and professional development advice to graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at all stages of their academic pursuits including:

  • Review of a students' CV, cover letter, teaching statement or research philosophy
  • Providing insight into career planning for a variety of paths including future faculty positions as well as career opportunities in commercial and government sectors

This is a drop-in service. Appointments are not necessary.

Versatile PHD

First-hand advice about non-academic careers for PhD’s including career panel discussions with PhDs successfully employed outside the academy, find out more.

Considering Research As A PostDoc?

If you are considering pursuing a postdoctoral position at UCI or another institution, click here for additional information.