Professional Skills

At UCSC, we have identified nine categories of Professional Skills to help you gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities to equip you for success in graduate school and beyond. These Professional Skills are interrelated and transferable, no matter your degree, discipline, or career goals.

Career Exploration & PreparationCAREER EXPLORATION & PREPARATION

Career Exploration and Preparation

Graduate training provides pathways to diverse careers. Learn about possible professional directions and develop skills, experiences, and materials to support you on your professional journey.



From starting an independent research or writing project to launching a nonprofit or commercial venture, it is important to know how to define the scope and timeline of a project, set realistic budgets, promote your goals, and cultivate supporters.

Leadership and ManagementLEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT

Leadership and Management

Taking initiative, leading others, organizing and managing projects, and setting goals, are important skills that transfer across many professional, civic, and personal areas.


Networking Students

Academic, professional, and community engagement includes establishing relationships with colleagues and mentors, creating collaborative partnerships, and presenting yourself in ways that highlight your skills and experiences to prospective employers and colleagues.

Personal Development & Well-BeingPERSONAL DEVELOPMENT & WELL-BEING

Personal Development Well-Being

Professional development grows out of personal development and well-being. Skills to improve personal growth and well-being include establishing a healthy work-life balance, dealing with imposter phenomenon, recognizing and speaking up to bias, resolving conflict with empathy, and taking care of self mentally and physically.


Professional Ethics

Professional success encompasses not just specialized knowledge and technical skills, but also personal qualities such as ethics, integrity, accountability, and respect.

Research and Data AnalysisRESEARCH & DATA ANALYSIS

Research and Data Analysis

Mastery of methods and data analysis and the ability to work across multiple fields are fundamental components of research, critical inquiry, and scholarly communication.

Teaching and MentorshipTEACHING & MENTORSHIP

Teaching and Mentorship

Teaching and mentoring are important parts of your graduate training and provide opportunities to develop skills that are applicable to many career paths, such as synthesizing and presenting information clearly and persuasively, providing feedback, advising, and managing groups.

Writing and CommunicationWRITING & COMMUNICATION

Writing and Communication

Presenting information effectively and persuasively in written, oral, digital, and other formats is an important skill for every stage of your career.