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Career & Professional Development

Graduate school and postdoctoral training are more than just research and coursework. There is no "right" way to begin your professional development and career exploration journey, and the steps you take will be shaped by your unique interests, skills, values, and objectives.

No matter your professional goals, your Northwestern experience can help you gain the skills you need to succeed in a wide range of careers. The Graduate School (TGS) and Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA) strive to make professional development and career education accessible, so that graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are empowered to pursue careers that inspire them.

Core capacities

The Graduate School Core Capacities define six areas of professional skill, knowledge, and experience required for academic and professional success:

  • Communication
  • Leadership and Collaboration
  • Teaching and Mentoring
  • Research Skills and Literates
  • Personal Development and Well-being
  • Career Preparation and Exploration

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows can develop these capacities through their research, teaching, leadership, and community engagement activities. TGS and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) also collaborate with University partners to provide programs and resources to further your professional development in these key areas.

Explore opportunities

Visit the Programming Opportunities webpage on the PhD and Postdoc Success website to search for career and professional development programs supported by TGS, NCA, and the OPA.

Please email TGS if you have any questions about professional development programming or support. We are here to help!