The articles and sidebars in this special issue of Oceanography highlight the opportunities and challenges facing today’s ocean sciences graduate student community in securing the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to be successful professionals in a wide variety of careers, most of which will not be in an academic setting. To date, dissemination of data and ideas related to graduate education in the ocean sciences has been largely via Web-based reports and talks and posters at professional society meetings. This special issue provides a more formalized framework that captures a selection of community ideas and viewpoints. We hope the compendium will serve as a foundation and catalyst for collaborative action by ocean sciences faculty, administrators, and policymakers—and in many cases graduate students themselves. We urge everyone involved to work together to update curricula, develop innovative programs, and provide additional mentoring pathways and opportunities that will more effectively prepare students for satisfying careers that address today’s pressing issues such as climate change, ocean stressors (e.g., fisheries, pollution), and natural hazards, to name a few.