Beyond Academia is committed to connecting PhDs and Postdocs with the best and most innovative career education resources. The Bay Area, in particular, hosts a wonderful collection of programs and events that strive to place students in the careers they deserve. Here is a list of great resources available to you! Do you have a resource you would like to submit for listing? Visit our “Submit a Resource” page for the guidelines and submission process.
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Berkeley Postdoctoral Entrepreneur Program (BPEP) – BPEP aims to foster entrepreneurship in the UC Berkeley postdoctoral and graduate community. They provide tools for fostering entrepreneurship and host frequent seminars on a variety of topics related to moving research innovations into the marketplace.
Career Development Initiative for the Physical Sciences (CDIPS) – CDIPS is a community of scientists that shares advice and provides mentorship for all careers of interest to Berkeley physical scientists. They are seeking to connect young Berkeley PhDs with the large, dynamic community of Physical Scientists who work outside of the university system.
Careers for Life Science PhDs (MCB 295) – Each Spring semester there is a weekly 2 hour evening seminar on a variety of careers for PhDs in the Life Sciences organized by graduate students in the MCB department.
The Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (PIEP) – PIEP arranges visits to companies to showcase their organization, atmosphere and employees. PIEP also hold workshops and seminars to provide more information on career opportunities across different industries.
QB3 – California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences – QB3 is a program, created by the University of California system, and dedicated allowing scientists to take on an array of challenges in a laboratory setting. The program has spawned several spin-offs and companies, and has proved successful at helping PhDs and postdocs transition from academia to industry.
Science Leadership and Management (SLAM) – SLAM is a seminar series focused on understanding the many interpersonal interactions critical for success in a scientific lab, as well as some practical aspects of lab management. While not specifically focused on non-academic careers, the skills that are discussed in SLAM seminars will be applicable to a variety of career paths.
UC Berkeley Visiting Scholars and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) – The UC Berkeley Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) was created to bring PhDs and Postdocs to the UC Berkeley campus to pursue their research and professional interests.
The Biotechnology and Life Science Advising Group (BALSA) – The Biotechnology and Life Science Advising Group (BALSA) is “doing its part to bridge the gap between academia and industry.” BALSA was founded by a group of Washington University graduate students and postdocs to provide “short-term” consulting services to area companies. Their mission, however, is to bring early stage science PhDs into active non-academic employment through a transitional apprenticeship in which they gain valuable experience in industry research and expand their contacts network at the same time. Students from a wide range of backgrounds are invited to apply and participate in BALSA projects for approximately 10 hours per week over the length of their participation, and in turn are given their first introduction into non-academic work.
Dougsguides – Dougsguides are a set of online guides, ebooks and workshops to help you start out in the real world. Topics include “Finding your first job,” “Working with other people,” and “Managing your boss and your career.”
Graduate Student Internships for Career Exploration (GSICE) – GSICE at UCSF allows students to pursue internships outside of academic research, giving them valuable on-the-job experience, professional contacts and a foot in the door. An experience such as the GSICE is an important step in the life of a graduate student as it allows them to consider their career options before graduation.
Insight Data Science Fellows – The Insight Data Science Fellows Program aims to give PhDs the hands-on training and experience they need to become data science professionals. Their 6 week, tuition-free program introduces selected applicants to the profession of data science by teaching them the basics, putting them into close contact with data science professionals from major Bay Area tech companies and mentoring data science projects that act as the fellow’s professional portfolio. Boasting a professional placement rate of 100%, the Insight Data Science Fellows program should be considered the gold standard of PhD to industry training and placement programs.
MySciCareer There have been many conversations in recent years about how science career paths don’t all follow the trajectory of: degree –> PhD –> postdoc(s) —> lab head. Instead, scientists may find themselves moving into science communication, publishing, technical or other roles where they still consider themselves to be using their scientific training, while not necessarily doing research. Unfortunately, information about the wealth of different options now available isn’t always on hand at careers crossroads – such as when deciding whether to start a PhD or what to do after completing one.
MySciCareer is a regularly updated resource of first-person stories about science careers that intends to flag up some of the diverse opportunities now available.
Oakridge National Labratories is the Department of Energy’s largest science and energy laboratory. Career opportunities at ORNL include internships, postgrads, postmasters, postdoc appointments, distinguished fellowships, business and technical professionals, fulltime research staff, and joint faculty appointments. Information on Fellowships and Postdocs!
PhDs at Work – PhDs at Work is an online resource for networking and learning about careers beyond academia, and also hosts in-person networking events in major cities.
Science Alliance – Science Alliance brings students, postdocs, and faculty in regular contact with representatives from industries that rely upon scientists for innovation and growth by sponsoring classes, seminars, and workshops in a number of areas.
Science Careers and MyIDP – Science Careers is an AAAS site and online publication that ” is dedicated to being the world leader in matching qualified scientists with jobs in industry, academia, and government.” Their site includes regular articles and publications, online resources, jobs listings and matches and professional development tool kits for job seekers and employers alike. One such tool, MyIDP (Individual Development Plan), is a useful tool for young scientists to evaluate and prioritize their interests and strengths, both personal and professional, and translate them into actionable items for their career planning.
Versatile PhD – Versatile PhD is an organization based in Southern California that offers resources for transitioning PhDs. UC Berkeley students have free access to all Versatile PhD resources through the VSPA. The most useful aspect of their operation is the “forum” which connects PhDs through discussion threads that treat the various aspects of the transition process, all the way from conception to career. The website also boasts a career resources section that, among other things, helps students thinking about transition narrow down their career options based upon their academic subject, skill set and desired industries. Versatile PhD also sponsors in-person meetups across the country as well as topical panel discussions on their website. Versatile PhD also provides resources for university career centers like the University of Texas.
Vitae – Vitae is a Chronicle of Higher Education spinoff, goes one step further and provides working solutions for PhDs to build their resumes, network, and even browse non-academic jobs on their job-search engine. Most importantly, the Chronicle is available as a free resource to students across the world.
University Career Centers
The University of California, Berkeley Career Center – UC Berkeley’s Career Center, and their web resources, aim to help assist “students and alumni with career exploration, internship and job searching, and the professional school application process.” Their categorized resources and online career tools aim to help affiliates of the UC Berkeley succeed in a wide range of careers.
Harvard University Office of Career Services “Non-Academic Career Resources” – This Harvard University site takes the visitor through a number of steps in the transition process, from getting started and defining a career field to networking, applying, interviewing and more. At each step, the site links the visitor to content generated by the Harvard OCS or connects the visitor to third party sites offering tools and resources.