Effectively communicating your research is an important component of both successful research and launching your career. Whether you are considering a career in academia or beyond, prospective employers will want to understand the importance or impact of the research you have conducted, and how that research relates to your new career path. Particularly for non-academic careers, it will be vital to communicate the skills and experience you developed while conducting your research, which might include everything from project management skills to database search skills. To learn more about communicating effectively, be sure to visit the Writing and Communication competency of this guide, which offers guidance on communicating your research in scholarly journals and conferences.

Steps You Can Take

Present Research to Academic, Professional, or Community Groups

Fostering interest in your research both within and beyond academia can generate career possibilities. Identify audiences for whom your research is relevant and seek opportunities to speak about it in public venues such as local libraries, museums, and relevant professional or community institutions. You may find that stepping outside the academic setting affords a fresh perspective on your research and provides invaluable experience for a variety of professional opportunities. Public presentations further demonstrate your capacity to articulate high-level concepts in an accessible fashion—a boon in many industries.


Protect, Promote, and Properly Attribute Your Research

Learning to protect your original research ensures that your contributions will be recognized in any future careers you undertake. Demonstrating a commitment to proper attribution of the work of others can also make you an appealing candidate for industries that depend upon collaborative work.

 The UC Berkeley Library’s Scholarly Communications Services staff is available to advise students about research, copyright issues, intellectual property, and licensing.

 In addition, Research IT provides Research Data Management services for the UC Berkeley campus. This program addresses current and emerging data management issues, compliance with policy requirements imposed by funders and by the University, and reduction of risk associated with the challenges of data stewardship. The Berkeley D-Lab also hosts a working group focused on the topic of Securing Research Data.


Think Strategically About How Your Research Fits Diverse Career Paths

More non-academic careers rely on or benefit from a background in research than you might think. To identify positions, industries, and careers that utilize the research skills you have already begun building, check in regularly with the following types of resources:

  • The Career Exploration and Preparation competency in this GradPro Professional Development Guide
  • The Berkeley Career Center’s site on “Careers Beyond the Academy,” designed to help you explore and pursue the vast range of career options available to advanced degree candidates.
  • Beyond Academia, a graduate-led Berkeley organization and annual conference that exposes fellow Berkeley Ph.D. students and postdocs to career options outside of academia.
  • Career Development Initiative for the Physical Sciences (CDIPS), a graduate-run organization at Berkeley that provides information to graduate students and postdocs in the physical and mathematical sciences about their options outside academia through a speaker series, the Data Science Workshop, and improved access to alumni.
  • Humanists at Work,” a UC-wide initiative geared towards UC Humanities and humanistic Social Science MAs and PhDs interested in careers outside or alongside the academy.
  • The Versatile PhD, a web-based resource that can assist you in exploring careers, reframing skills, and applying for positions beyond academia. All UC Berkeley graduate students have free access to Versatile PhD resources.
  • ImaginePhD, a career-planning tool that seeks to bridge the knowledge gap between Ph.D. training and the realm of career possibilities for humanities and social science Ph.D.’s.  Spearheaded primarily by UC Davis and UCLA, this online tool is available free of charge to Berkeley students.
  • The Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (PIEP) arranges site visits to companies so that postdocs and graduate students can learn about career options directly from professionals who hold these positions and gain useful connections in the process.
  • Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program: Expanding the Reach of Doctoral Education in the Humanities: The ACLS Public Fellows Program places recent humanities Ph.D’.s in two-year positions at diverse organizations in government and the nonprofit sector. This career-building initiative aims to demonstrate that the capacities developed in the advanced study of the humanities have wide applications, both within and beyond the academy.
  • Connected Academics: Preparing Doctoral Students of Language and Literature for a Variety of Careers: A project of the Modern Language Association (MLA), this initiative provides resources for language and literature students to prepare for diverse careers.
  • Career Diversity for Historians: The American Historical Association (AHA), in conjunction with the Mellon Foundation, offers a set of institutes and resources to assist faculty and graduate students in preparing for careers beyond the academy. These resources are also useful to faculty and graduate students beyond history.

You may also find it helpful to browse job ads for positions that interest you to determine what skills are typically required for work in that field. For advice on undertaking wide-ranging career exploration, see “Beginning with the Lack of an End in Mind: Growth and Experimentation in the Job Search,” Humanists at Work and “On Serendipity; or, How to Be a Lucky Job Hunter,” Connected Academics.