What kinds of careers do Berkeley graduate degree recipients hold?

Professional development has many dimensions: personal growth, community connections, work/life balance. But topmost on the minds of graduate students when they turn to professional development resources are questions of career prospects.

Master’s students, who comprise about 40 percent of Berkeley’s graduate student population, typically find employment in the professions directly related to their degrees.  Doctoral students, who comprise a majority of our graduate students, pursue varied careers after completion of their degrees — and this has been true for decades.

Results of a 40-year retrospective survey of doctoral alumni, conducted by the Graduate Division, identified three broad career paths among respondents:

  1. Tenure-track careers were held by 44% of all doctoral graduates.
  1. Non-tenure-track teaching and administrative positions in higher education were reported by another 15% of graduates.
  1. Non-academic employment was held by 41% of Berkeley doctoral recipients — and these students did not differ in any characteristics from their peers who took the tenure-track route.

Proportions of these three career paths have generally held steady over time.

Overall, 90% of doctoral alumni respondents said their degrees prepared them for their careers. Satisfaction with preparation for careers was highest among those in tenure-track employment (95%), very high among those in other academic employment (89%), and high among those outside academia (85%).

Most telling, 95% of respondents said they would pursue a doctoral degree again — and would choose graduate study at Berkeley again.

Doctoral Alumni Placements by Program   Doctoral Alumni Survey Findings