The skills imperative has signaled the emergence of co-curricular professional development programming and the establishment of a new subsector in graduate education. In an effort to support the transition from academia to post-graduate work for students enrolled in research-intensive pathways, professional development offices have devised various educational methods, tools and guides to introduce students to a roster of professional learning opportunities and pathways. The aim of this research project was to understand how the skills imperative has been characterized in three distinctly different graduate student guides devised by selected GSPD offices. Through a comprehensive process of document analysis, eight socio-narrative themes were discovered as pedagogical, ideological and dialogical tensions. Proposed practices and socio-narrative criteria were developed as application for fostering professional development programmatic fidelity.
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