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Who is eligible for the services provided by Berkeley Career Engagement?

Graduate Students

Currently registered graduate students have access to all Berkeley Career Engagement services including 1:1 Counseling, Workshops & Career Fairs, Online Resources such as Big Interview, On-Campus Recruiting, and more.

For more information about these resources, upcoming programs, and to make an appointment, login to Handshake.

Graduate Students on Filing Fee

If you’re on filing fee, you’re still eligible for all the services above, but to enable access you must complete the online Degree Verification registration.

Postdocs & Visiting Student Researchers

Postdocs and Visiting Student Researchers registered with the campus VSPA Program are eligible for all Berkeley Career Engagement services. If you have a question about your eligibility for services, please contact the VSPA Program office.

To gain access to services via Handshake, you must first have a email that has been uploaded to your Gateway record.

PhD Alumni

Have ongoing access to all services for the twelve months following graduation and access to all, except counseling, for up to five years following the award of their terminal Berkeley degree.

When should I start thinking about my post-Berkeley career?

The sooner the better. It can take a long time to prepare for your future after graduate school. Understanding, early on, what will you help when you’re on the job market helps you take advantage of the opportunities available during your stay here at Berkeley. Start by reading As a Second Year Grad Student, and The Career-Savvy Graduate Student. In addition, check out our services offered for Grad Students and Postdocs, and the schedule of upcoming events designed specifically to address the needs of advanced degree holders. PhD counselors Andrew Green and Debra Behrens offer frequent programs up on-campus and most of our resources and information are on this website.

There are few faculty jobs in my field, should I continue in my graduate program? Have I wasted my years at Berkeley?

This is an extremely personal issue, and there is no simple answer. The job market continues to be abysmal in many fields, and one can no longer assume that it “has to get better.” However, it only takes one, good job offer, and you will be coming from a graduate program and university that is among the leaders in most academic disciplines.

In addition, your PhD is proof of not only your intelligence but your perseverance in completing a long and difficult program. The skills and experience you will develop as you progress towards a PhD are increasingly valued in a broad range of occupations and job settings.

If you would like to talk about the trade-offs involved, you can make an appointment to talk with one of our PhD counselors.

I am considering looking for work outside of academia, but I am afraid my advisor will “disown” me

Your advisor should understand that academic jobs in many fields are difficult to get or can come at great cost. Many, but not all, do. However, it’s your life and your career, and you shouldn’t allow the anticipated reaction of your chair/advisor determine your actions or lack thereof (often easier said than done). You have a wealth of skills and talents, and it can be a mistake to be focused only on a faculty career to the point that you would take anything, anywhere and under any conditions and/or wait years for a chance to teach.

It’s a great, big world out there. Think about taking some time to explore what is best for you (and it may well be academia). There are other sources of help and information if you would rather not approach your advisor about this issue. You might want to start with one of the workshops on exploring professional options beyond academia offered periodically throughout the year. Or utilize one of the free and confidential, online assessment tools designed for PhDs: ImaginePhD (humanities and social sciences) or MyIDP (STEM).

If you don’t feel comfortable discussing this issue with your advisor (a common predicament), you are more than welcome to make an appointment to talk to a PhD counselor on a confidential basis.