Tips and Tricks

Pathways through Graduate School Report Released

June 05, 2012

The US Council of Graduate Schools and ETS has just released a report on Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers (pdf). See their website for even more background information and videos.

While some of their findings are US-centric, the report does contain many suggestions for graduate programs and graduate students.

Of note — one of their major recommendations: (on page 32)

Broaden the focus of graduate education to include development of professional skills. Graduate education leaders should work across campus to broaden the development of professional skills to include communications, teamwork, creativity, presentation skills, oral communication, writing skills, analysis and synthesis of data,and planning and organization for graduate students, particularly doctoral students.

Our interviews with employers stressed the importance of oral presentation skills, as well as the ability to discuss technical content with nontechnical individuals. While recognizing that deep expertise in one’s field is the hallmark of graduate education, the development of additional competencies will help prepare graduates for the broader array of careers and occupations in both domestic and international environments.

Employers are increasingly citing these types of skills as invaluable in building relationships with clients, communicating with customers, and ensuring a company or organization is successful in the global economy. It is a multidisciplinary approach that uses the advanced knowledge and expertise provided by graduate education in combination with professional skills that make graduate degree recipients so valuable to employers.

We're working on a number of projects which will help you develop these professional skills, including the Three Minute Thesis competition and the President's Dream Colloquium.

Watch this blog for further announcements. We'd also love to get your feedback on any other skills that you think would help you shape your careers. Email Jamie Hoskins at

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