Four Essential Skills

Patrick S. Osmer — March 26, 2015

 

I had the pleasure of having lunch this week with 10 graduate students. We had a terrific conversation, and I was impressed with their ability to describe their research in two or three sentences in ways that a non-expert but interested audience could understand.

I was reminded of Jim Grossman’s remarks here a couple of weeks ago. Jim, who is executive director of the American Historical Association, identified four key skills necessary for academic positions and for careers outside the academy : 1) communication, 2) collaboration, 3) quantitative, and 4) intellectual self-confidence.

Building these kinds of skills has long been a priority for me and the Graduate School, and it’s the reason we brought Jim here to speak. It’s also the reason we subscribe to the Versatile PhD. I encourage you to explore the Versatile PhD, resources available through the American Historical Association, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

In the meantime, take the opportunity to consciously develop those four key skills while you are here a graduate students. If you have trouble figuring out how to get started, talk with your advisor and consult the list of career resources available Ohio State that the Graduate School has compiled for you.  

 

 

 

Patrick S. Osmer is vice provost for graduate studies and dean of the Graduate School at Ohio State. He is a past chair of the board of directors for the Council of Graduate Schools. Osmer was chair of the Ohio State astronomy department from 1993-2006.

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