Professorship has traditionally been the single most valued career path for graduates of PhD programs. Policies now encourage graduate students to directly or indirectly engage with non-academic organizations to encourage the next generation of researchers to explore alternative careers, including opportunities in industry and government. In this article, we use data from a survey of Quebec science and engineering graduate students to examine the impact of their participation in university-industry-government research partnerships on their professional preferences. We assess the degree to which exposure to non-academic realities through different training arrangements relates to career preferences, and how these preferences evolve over time. We show that the proportion of students who did not change their preferred career path over time is high, indicating that by the time students engage in a research-training program they already, for the most part, know what career they want to pursue. However, and although students with close ties to non-academic partners may initially be more interested in non-academic career paths, over time all categories of students become more attracted to academic careers. We conclude that faculty positions continue to dominate the professional dreams of fledgling researchers, a power of attraction that increases as students advance in their program, even when it involves industrial contacts. (HRK / Abstract übernommen).