Introducing the Graduate Student Career Guide
Meet with the Graduate Career Advisor

Graduate Students

Welcome to UCSB's Career Services!

Career Services is a key resource and trusted ally to UCSB graduate students. As career development is our area of expertise, we work closely with PhD and masters students in successfully navigating and achieving their career aspirations.

We assist graduate students in five main areas that we’ve found to be pivotal to short and long-term success in the transition from school to career:


Self assessment

Define what you want by examining your needs, interests, and desires for your ideal job. By prioritizing soul searching (as tough as that may be!), you will be helping yourself down the line figuring out what you truly want from your career.

Explore Options

Finding a job that is the right fit for you takes a lot of research – but fortunately as a graduate student, you are already skilled in research! Spend time looking for opportunities that interest you and gather information about what it would take to get those positions.

Develop a Strategy

Make big-picture goals for where you want to gain opportunities, develop skills, and how you want to achieve your career goals. Set mini-goals for networking and building relationships, researching companies or schools, and finding time to work on application materials. Think of a new way you want to build your network each quarter/year (new conference? new meeting?) and stick to it.

Gain Experience

Often, graduate students have a difficult time with this element due to the high demands of graduate programs. We would agree, but we would also argue that in order to set yourself up for long-term success in the job market, you need to have experiences on your résumé that show skills gained in addition to the research and analytic skills mastered in graduate school. The truth is, the most competitive applicants are well-rounded. Gaining outside experience often helps students solidify their long-term career goals, which ultimately makes them better graduate students because they have clearer goals they are working towards.


Reassess your goals and make sure they still align with where you want to be heading. Identify areas in which you need to gain more advanced skills or experience. Talk with friends, colleagues, a career counselor, and/or an advisor about your plans, evaluating what you’ve learned and how that has impacted your plans for the future.

Click on the icons below to begin exploring the various resources available for you.