Interested in learning more about non-academic careers? Here are a collection of resources, including self-help guides, outside certification programs, and other on-campus organizations that organize similar activities. *Starred resources are Berkeley-specific.

A Practical Networking Workshop

Here's a self-guided worksheet and presentation on soul-searching, crafting an elevator pitch, and tips on networking, taken from our Networking Workshop held on March 7th.

What should I do with my life?

QB3-Berkeley Graduate and Postdoc Career Development Office - This office is newly formed by QB3 Berkeley and works to assist grad students and postdocs to develop career skills and help guide them along their paths to whatever career they're interested in. Additionally, their website has a comprehensive list of all student and postdoc run organizations focused on all aspects of career development

*UC Berkeley Career Center- Located at 2440 Bancroft Way, the Career Center provides online and in-person services specific to PhDs. Their online tools include including job search and application aids, and you can also sign up career-specific listservs. They also host many in-person workshops, and you can schedule a one-on-one meeting with a PhD career counselor.

My IDP - The Individual Development Plan, created by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), is a career quiz for PhD scientists that allows you to explore options best suited to your personality. It assesses your ideal workspace, day-to-day interactions and how you think to suggest careers that you might find interesting. It's a good way to learn about new careers while evaluating and understanding your own strengths and weaknesses. This tool is intended to be discussed with your PI or thesis advisor and could be used as a segue into discussing what you want to do after graduate school.

Career Exploration for PhDs - This handy guide put together by the Columbia University Center for Career Exploration outlines and describes the many types of opportunities available for PhDs and links to resources for the job search. 

What are "professional skills" and how do I develop them?

Doug's Guides - This all-encompassing website provides a range of tools from networking tips and getting your first job to dealing with conflict in the workplace. In addition to written posts, the site also includes videos and workshop presentations for everything from self-assessment to developing business skills.

*Graduate Student Professional Development Guide - This UC Berkeley resource lists professional skills and specific suggestions for attaining those skills. In addition, it provides a central calendar of all professional development and career-oriented workshops and activities on campus.

Where can I network or meet other like-minded people in real life?

*Beyond Academia - a two-day conference held at UC Berkeley every March that exposes PhDs and post-docs to careers outside of academia. The conference consists of panels and discussion groups that gives attendees the opportunity to network and to learn the skills needed to successfully get a job.

*Science Leadership and Management (SLAM) - a seminar series organized by QB3 that addresses management in various aspects of science, from leading your own research group to interpersonal issues and conflict management. They typically meet every Monday evening in the fall semester.

*Post-Doc Industry Exploration Program (PIEP) - provides opportunities for both post-docs and graduate students to learn about different industry careers. They organize site visits, workshops, and host speakers from various companies.

*Berkeley Postdoctoral Entrepreneur Program (BPEP)- help scientists learn the skills they need to start their own company by hosting entrepreneurs from local companies for workshops and seminars. BPEP also fosters collaborations throughout the UC Berkeley community through occasional happy hours and other social events.

Where can I gain additional technical skills needed for my dream job?

Insight Data Science - a competitive and fully-funded 7-week fellowship program designed to prepare PhDs for getting data science jobs in the tech world. Fellows learn how to take their data analysis expertise and learn how to apply it to the needs of industry companies. The program is continually expanding with programs in various cities around the country, including one in the Bay Area.

*The UC Berkeley Extension - offers continuing education classes not provided at the university's main campus. The extension offers many certification programs that may supplement your PhD once you find a career you’re interested in.

Biotech Connection Bay Area (BCBA) - local non-profit consulting group consisting of Bay Area graduate students and Post-docs. BCBA runs consulting projects with local biotechs to help students gain insight into a career in consulting.