Diverse Career Paths for Grad Students and Postdocs

Introduction to Diverse Career Paths

A graduate degree can prepare you for a variety of careers in the public and private sectors. UC Davis students and scholars work in non-profits, corporations, government agencies, start-ups, and as consultants.

UC Davis graduate students and postdoctoral scholars have found successful and rewarding careers outside academia in publishing, public policy, online curriculum design, biotechnology and biopharma, environmental design and planning, science writing, sustainable development, media and communications, event planning, performing arts, product management, health care services, patent law, medical writing, tech, and more.

Career Exploration Tools

Career assessments are tools designed to increase individuals' self awareness in order to help clarify and evaluate one's preferences against a variety of career options and work environments.

There are a number free online assessment tools, including some designed for PhD students. These can be a great first step in identifying one’s career-related values, interests, or skills, and exploring common career paths for advanced degree holders.

California Career Zone is a free career exploration and planning tool to help all individuals explore, plan, and prepare for careers they'll love.

Imagine PhD is a free career exploration and planning tool for the humanities and social sciences.

myIDP Science Careers is a free career exploration and planning tool for the sciences.

ChemIDP is a free career exploration and planning tool for the chemical sciences

Versatile PhD is an online community of graduate students and postdocs interested in exploring career opportunities beyond academia, and many features are free.

Job Search Steps

Basic steps for preparing for and securing a position beyond the academy include:


Career Champions UC Davis Canvas Module

The Career Champions program is a train-the-trainer model to put tools and resources in the hands of student leaders best positioned to influence the career development of their peers. Any UC Davis graduate or undergraduate student who serves in a leadership capacity for their peers and who is interested in supporting their fellow students' career development are encouraged to attend. If you are interested in learning more about about to support your peers in their career development, consider enrolling in the asynchronous online modules through Canvas, which has a module dedicated to graduate student and postdoctoral scholar career development.