Steps You Can Take

Participate in Workshops and Consultations at the Career Center

The Berkeley Career Center has a Ph.D. Counselor who specializes in applying for careers beyond the academy. She can help you explore interests, identify positions, and reframe skills you have developed in graduate school in applying for these positions. Workshops on applying for careers outside of the academy are offered by the Career Center in the spring semester.

Take Part in Conferences and Workshops Offered by Beyond Academia, SLAM, CDIPS, and MCB 295

Beyond Academia is student-initiated program that hosts a two-day conference each spring and several excellent workshops during the fall and spring to help graduate students explore careers option and prepare to apply. Beyond Academia’s career resources page features a wealth of professional development resources.

SLAM (Science Leadership and Management) is a seminar series focused on understanding the many interpersonal interactions critical for success in a scientific lab, as well as some practical aspects of lab management.

CDIPS (Career Development Initiative for the Physical Sciences) is a graduate student-run organization that provides resources 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.

MCB295 is a career and professional development seminar series for life science Ph.D.’s organized by students in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. The weekly series features speakers from a variety of careers who share their post-Ph.D. paths. The program also hosts workshops on topics in career development, including networking, resume building, interview techniques, and negotiation skills.

Identify Non-Academic Jobs for Your Discipline and Use Online Career Exploration Tools

Berkeley graduates pursue multiple careers; find out what previous recipients of your degree in your discipline have done with their training. Some departments maintain an alumni database or LinkedIn alumni group as a resource for graduate students who are applying for positions.

The VersatilePhD 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: The ImaginePhD project 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 in large part by UC Davis and UCLA, the group is creating an online tool to assist graduate students in career exploration, goal-setting, and professional development. This online tool will be rolled out in fall 2017 and will be available free of charge to Berkeley students.

Take part in the Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (PIEP), a program that 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.

Explore Resources Offered by Professional Associations

Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program: Expanding the Reach of Doctoral Education in the Humanities: Now in its seventh year, the ACLS Public Fellows Program places up to 22 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 application, both within and beyond the academy. The fellowship carries a stipend of $67,500, with health insurance for the fellow and up to $3,000 for professional development activities.

Connected Academics: Preparing Doctoral Students of Language and Literature for a Variety of Careers: A project of the Modern Language Association (MLA), funded by the Mellon Foundation. Includes programming and online resources to help graduate students use their humanistic training in a broad range of occupations.

Career Diversity for Historians: The American Historical Association (AHA), in conjunction with the Mellon Foundation, has developed 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.

Beyond Academia: Professional Opportunities for Philosophers: Originally published in 1984, this publication provides guidance in the form of resources, information, and advice to philosophers who are interested in exploring a wide range of professions outside of academia. It includes links to resources for non-academic career opportunities; data on non-academic careers, including new academic placement data and analysis; and biographical essays of philosophers who have successfully found ways to use their philosophical training outside of academia.

Develop a Résumé

While CVs are the gold standard for academic positions, you will need to convert your CV to résumé to successfully apply for positions beyond academia. Many resources are available to guide you in this process.

Develop Cover Letters for Job Applications

The cover letter for a job application is a professional genre. Find out what it should look like, and develop different versions for the multiple careers you might consider.

Participate in an Internship

Internships can enable you to test the waters while obtaining valuable experience and mentoring. They can also position you to apply successfully for career positions which may require prior experience. Some internship opportunities are listed on the Career Center website. A number of units on campus offer graduate student positions that function as internships, including the GSI Teaching & Resource Center, the Townsend Center, and the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, among others.

Participate in Entrepreneurship Workshops or Classes

Berkeley graduates in a wide variety of fields have found ways to create new ventures based on the skills and knowledge gained through their masters or doctoral programs. Find out how others have succeeded as entrepreneurs and if this might be part of your career path.

Get involved with the and the  Berkeley Postdoctoral Entrepreneur Program (BPEP), a program that aims to foster entrepreneurship in the UC Berkeley postdoctoral and graduate community by providing tools, mentoring, and a platform for science-business communication to enable research innovations to move into the marketplace.