UC Davis Today

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Exploring grad student career paths

A new comprehensive professional development program is helping graduate students and postdoctoral scholars prepare for careers in and outside of academia.

GradPathways provides advising, workshops and other group activities to help guide students through graduate school and into the work force. GradPathways is an example of how UC Davis provides innovative programs for graduate students that answer the challenges of today’s job marketplace.

“We need intelligent, well trained individuals contributing in all areas of society,” said Jeffery Gibeling, dean of Graduate Studies. “People with advanced degrees are capable of pursuing a myriad of career paths,” he said. “But graduate students don’t always see themselves taking the skill set they’ve acquired at UC Davis and using it in a different way.”

A national commission’s report on graduate school and careers estimates that by 2020, 2.6 million new or replacement jobs will require graduate or professional degrees. Gibeling was a member of the commission, which challenged universities to help grad students explore career opportunities outside of academia and then prepare them for success in those fields.

UC Davis has more than 4,500 graduate students in 92 programs and about 760 postdoctoral scholars. Gibeling said about 40 percent of the doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars will pursue careers in academia and the rest will work in government, industry, the military and nongovernmental organizations around the world.

Haengku Yoon, a graduate student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, participates in the Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement Workshop at the Pathways Career Symposium, sharing ideas about teaching with a fellow graduate student as they formulate teaching philosophy statements that will be used when applying for faculty positions and constructing future classes. T.J. Ushing/UC Davis photo

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