Survey shows diverse career preferences among UW–Madison PhD students

The Graduate School has released its first data brief from the Understanding PhD Career Pathways for Program Improvement project, sharing a glimpse into the career preferences of PhD students at UW–Madison.

The report explores:

  • What are PhD students’ career preferences?
  • How do those preferences differ across gender and area of study?
  • How focused are PhD students’ career aspirations?
  • How do their career preferences align with alumni employment outcomes?

Read the data brief here: Understanding UW–Madison PhD Career Pathways: Career Preferences, Outcomes, and Alignment

Results are based on combined survey data collected from current students and PhD alumni between fall 2017 and spring 2019.

By participating in the Career Pathways project, the Graduate School seeks to better inform administrators, faculty, students, and the campus community about the job environment that UW–Madison PhD graduates face. Data from the project will help improve career support, professional development, mentoring, and other programming for PhD students on campus.

UW–Madison is one of 70 doctoral institutions participating in the national initiative led by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS). Data collected at UW–Madison is also shared with CGS, which prepares research reports analyzing data across participating institutions.

To request an accessible version of the data brief, email