Engineering doctoral graduates often are criticized for being narrowly trained in their disciplines, for being ill-prepared for the professional workplace, for lacking leadership abilities, and for not being flexible in a changing global environment. Considering the challenges facing engineering Ph.D.s, it is necessary to recommend ways for engineering doctoral students to "hit the ground running" in their academic or industrial positions. This research presents information about the potential measures that can be undertaken in graduate education to facilitate the academic preparation of current engineering doctoral students. One-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with forty engineering professionals from academic and industrial sectors. The primary research question within this paper asks, "What can be done at the graduate level to ensure that engineering Ph.D. students are acquiring the desired characteristics to be successful in academic and industrial careers?" Our findings suggest that engineering Ph.D.s working in a variety of sectors identify different skills that students can acquire during their graduate school experiences. Both industry and academic professionals confirm a need for more frequent interactions between industrial professionals and doctoral engineering students.