Banner Professional Skills

The need for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to transfer and articulate their academic skills to professional contexts is vital. “Upon completion of training, Ph.D. graduate students are required to demonstrate certain skills in their professional lives. These skills whilst being required in their chosen career path are not often emphasized in contemporary graduate programs.” CAGS Task Force on Excellence in Graduate Programs, 2021, p. 3

The following resources are intended to support graduate faculty in equipping graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with professional skills to leverage their degrees within and beyond academia.

The modules and resources are:

  • Built for use by the instructor, so that they are adaptable across programs. 
  • Intended to support students and postdocs to leverage their degrees within and beyond academia.
  • Structured with choices for how the student might learn and demonstrate professional skills.
  • Structured so students and postdocs can self-assess their competence based on peer and instructor feedback.

Click on any of the icons below to access resources such as self-assessments, lesson plans, ePortfolio resources, and campus support.

Professional Communication

People who are competent in professional communication can communicate one’s skills and knowledge gained in academia to academic and non-academic audiences so one’s scholarly experiences can have a broad reach.

Interpersonal Relations

Interpersonal skills are critical for facilitating collegial processes in the academy and industry such as collaboration on research projects, peer review processes, team teaching, building and “maintaining partnerships and relationships with multiple stakeholders” (CAGS. p. 8).

Intercultural Engagement

People who are competent in intercultural engagement can handle diversity in perspective, position, and approach adeptly. They communicate and collaborate effectively within diverse groups and an increasingly global society.

Project Management

People who are competent at project management can create and effectively keep a project on task, even in the face of competing interests and complex group dynamics.


People who are competent at leadership can not only think critically and problem-solve but can also articulate “a shared vision while motivating support for the vision and empowering others to achieve excellence”(CAGS, p. 7).

Ideation and Entrepreneurial Thinking

People who effectively employ ideation and entrepreneurial thinking can initiate, communicate, and implement creative strategies to solve complex problems that advance business and personal goals.