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Career Building Strategies and Skill Development

Ohio State University has many resources across the various colleges and departments for graduate students to access, to work toward becoming career ready, beyond the skills and knowledge they gain in their graduate degree programs. Graduate students should talk with their faculty advisor/mentor throughout their graduate education about their career plans and get guidance about what career resources to access, when to become career ready and be employable at the time of graduation.

The Graduate School is providing opportunities for graduate students, at both the master’s and doctoral levels across all programs, to be career ready and employable through new initiatives and program offerings, as well as partnerships on and off campus. Ohio State University graduate students have opportunities to seek employment at the local, state, national and global levels in a changing world with new opportunities and challenges.

Graduate School Programs

Career Fair Support

Career fairs are an important part of building skills to develop networking abilities and create valuable connections for employment. Participating in these opportunities requires preparation to succeed. Visit the in-person or virtual tips sections below for information to support graduate student success at career fairs.

Accelerate to Industry

Accelerate to Industry Logo

The Accelerate to Industry program (A2i) was originally developed at North Carolina State University. Through an NSF grant, the program was extended, to involve other universities in the program. Ohio State University was the first of the big ten alliance to be part of this innovative way to help graduate students become industry workforce ready.

Preparing Future Faculty Program

Preparing Future Faculty Logo for OSU Graduate School

To transform graduate education, we have designed an innovative, new approach to advancing knowledge through research, educating students in a new world of higher learning through in-person, hybrid and remote instruction with innovative learning approaches and increased use of technology.

Preparing Future Professionals (PFP)

The Ohio State University has more than 11,000 graduate students, which includes, master’s, doctoral and professional students. In preparation for pursuing their careers in higher education, industry, government, non-profits, etc. these students go beyond their academic preparation by developing non-academic skills known as soft skills and/or transferrable skills, which are important for all graduate students, as future employers are looking for these skills in their future workforce.

Today, the Graduate School has developed three awards to recognize graduate students’ development of soft skills (also called professional skills). The Graduate Associate Leadership Award (GALA) was developed to recognize master’s and doctoral students’ leadership on and off campus. The Graduate Associate Performance Award (GAPA) was developed to recognize graduate students continuous academic progress during the pandemic, while concurrently being a parent. The Graduate Associate Teaching Award (GATA) is Ohio State’s highest recognition of the exceptional teaching provided by graduate students. Ten winners are selected each year.

The Graduate School, in collaboration with other offices on campus, is creating the Preparing Future Professionals: Resources and Opportunities for Graduate Study. This resource guide is designed to help graduate students and graduate faculty plan which transferrable skills the graduate student might want to focus on to be more career ready. A convenient list of regularly offered workshops on campus by various offices, will serve as a convenient resource guide (in progress, soon to be added to this page)

ImaginePhD is a free online career exploration and career planning tool for graduate students (master’s and doctoral) in the humanities and social sciences. It is hosted by the Graduate Career Consortium (GCC).

myIDP is a web-based free self-assessment and career planning tool for graduate students in the sciences. It is hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

Logo for Three Minute Thesis and link to OSU 3MT Website

The Graduate School each year hosts the university-wide 3MT, after colleges have had their college wide competitions. The Graduate School finalist can compete regionally and nationally.

Mini Grant

In 2019, the Graduate School developed the Preparing Ohio State University Doctoral Students for the21st Century Through Dual Purpose Education: To Learn and to Become Career Ready. This mini-grant was designed to have programs develop doctoral student specific career readiness skills that are incorporated into existing curriculum and will be self-sustainable after the mini-grant funding ended. Career readiness and employability (CRE) is especially important in a time of economic uncertainty, as students are preparing for a career in various settings from industry, government, non-profits, etc.


University Wide Career Services

Ohio State University has many career services open for graduate students to access to gain information, training, etc. Graduate students are encouraged to talk with their graduate faculty advisor/mentor to determine which offices/resources and training might be the best fit for their professional development.​

Multiple colleges at Ohio State University have their own career services office. Services open to all graduate students, are the Buckeye Careers. It is part of the Office of Student Life and provides graduate students with multiple services, from selecting majors to career. They can help graduate students prepare their vita or resume, cover letter, and teaching statement. The program is comprised of three components: Buckeye Internships, Buckeye OnPace and Handshake.

Additional resources, especially for graduate students looking for internships and employment are the Bill and Susan Lhota Office of Alumni Career Management

This online resource helps connect all (graduate and undergraduate) Ohio State students with employers for jobs, internships, co-ops, and other career opportunities and support. The Versatile PhD is another resource for graduate students, interested in securing an on-line community for those interested in exploring non-academic careers. It is open to all Ohio State faculty, graduate students, staff, and alumni. (IMPORTANT: Authenticating with your Ohio State identity gives you access to all Versatile PhD content.) The Alumni Fire is an online professional networking and mentoring tool for Ohio State alumni, students, and staff to exchange industry expertise and career advice. It is free for Ohio State University graduate and undergraduate students and alumni.

Handshake is a downloadable app to help graduate students find internships, co-ops and jobs. The site also lists career events hosted at the Ohio State campus and lets you register for them.

Students, Faculty, Staff, and Companies interested in startups and entrepreneurship at The Ohio State University should connect with the Tim and Kathleen Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship. "The Keenan Center has connections nationwide and is driven by its mission to continue advancing the university and the state as an economic powerhouse and a pioneering resource for emerging concepts and companies." Keenan Center Information Presentation


Other University Professional Development Resources

The Hayes Graduate Research Forum is co-sponsored by the Graduate School, Office of Research, and the Council of Graduate Students, the Hayes Forum is a campus-wide showcase of graduate student research. Cash prizes are given to the top presentations.

The CIC Traveling Scholar Program is a program of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation enables doctoral students to take advantage of educational opportunities at any CIC member institution, which are the Big Ten universities and the University of Chicago. The Graduate School oversees the application process.

The Ohio State University offers over 40 Degree Options to graduate students interested in developing secondary expertise outside their home graduate programs for as few as 10 hours of graduate-level course work. Options include graduate minors, interdisciplinary specializations, dual and combined degrees, specializations, and certificates.


Still have questions?
Karin Jordan,