Skip to main content
In This Section

Skills for Professional Development

Key Skills for Professional Development Success

GSAS graduate programs are designed to be academically challenging and to prepare students to be full participants in their chosen field of study. In addition to academic success, it is also important to be ready to leverage that knowledge once you complete your degree. 

GSAS Futures is dedicated to helping you get the skills you need to transform your academic success into professional success, within and/or outside of academia. Here are some key skills important for graduate students:

GSAS Futures event - Writing for Money


  • Communicating your knowledge and research skills beyond academia
  • Establishing a web presence that can attract employers or new research opportunities
  • Developing presentation skills for discipline-specific  and non-disciplinary audiences


  • Taking advantage of leadership opportunities on and off campus
  • Planning and executing your research goals
  • Managing your mentor and committee


  • Building connections with alumni
  • Networking at conferences
  • Preparing for the transition for life after graduate school

Career Development:

  • Getting the training in new technologies that set you apart from the competition
  • Preparing for collaborative careers
  • Finding the right career fit for you

Need more? A Guide to Professional Skills for Ph.D. Students