Beyond Academia

Beyond Academia Conference to Be Held Feb. 20, 21 at UC Berkeley

Conference exposes Ph.D.s and postdocs to nonacademic career options


Berkeley, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/11/2014 --Beyond Academia, a pioneering career education conference that exposes PhD students and postdocs to career options outside academia – and has become a model for higher education institutions – will be held at the University of California, Berkeley. More than 400 graduate students will attend the event, to be held at the campus’s International House this Feb. 20 and 21. At least 50 industry professionals will speak on panels and participate in informal workshops and networking sessions.

Keynote speakers will be Peter Fiske, cofounder of RAPT Industries and columnist at, and Ellen Levy, managing director of Silicon Valley Connect and former LinkedIn vice president. The full list of speakers and panelists is available at Credentialed news media are invited to attend and must R.S.V.P. to conference organizers.

UC Berkeley PhD students launched the first Beyond Academia conference last year in response to a decline in faculty positions on college campuses and a growing interest among doctoral students in using their expertise in the marketplace. While 36,000 Ph.D.s in science and engineering were obtained in the U.S. in 2011, only 3,000 faculty positions were created, and this trend is expected to continue.

Conference organizers point out that industrybound PhDs are underserved by a patchwork of incomplete solutions that do not prepare them effectively for a successful job search. This leaves tens of thousands of PhDs in need of career assistance. The Beyond Academia conference addresses this problem, and has been recognized by The New York Times and Chronicle of Higher Education as a national leader in preparing PhDs for career transitions.

Panel discussion topics will include “Science and Social Policy,” “NonAcademic Research” and “Scientific Consulting.” Other panels will focus on major Bay Area industries including the technology industry, data analytics, startups, and management consulting.

Among other things, conference attendees will learn how to translate their “soft skills” into actionable assets on the job market, receive guidance on informational interviewing, resume building, and professional networking.

“No other conference so perfectly addresses the unmet needs of PhDs that have been hiding quietly in plain sight” says Bryan Alvarez, cofounder and adviser to Beyond Academia. The full schedule and speaker lineup can be found at Follow us at

Beyond Academia in the News
Ph.D. students rethink the tenure track, scope out non-academic jobs
Finding life after Academia (New York Times)
Oh the Places You’ll Go: Non-academic careers move toward the mainstream
Graduate students to hold Beyond Academia conference

About Beyond Academia
Beyond Academia ( is a professional development conference created by UC Berkeley PhD students and postdocs to expose our ranks to career options outside of academia. Our main objective is to educate students on the translatable skills they’ve acquired during their graduate work. We believe it is never too early for PhD students and postdocs to educate themselves about their career options.