The emerging knowledge-based society is calling for countries" innovative development as one of the global challenges. From the psychological perspective, innovative activity is defined as a form of human activity realized by "going beyond", i.e. going beyond the existing attitudes and behavioural patterns (V.Ye. Klochko). In this connection, potentiality is becoming a key factor of human personal and professional development. One of the main goals of modernizing the current system of higher education in Russia is to promote university students" research and entrepreneurial activity which is innovative by its very essence. The paper presents the study which was firstly aimed at examining possible relationships between university master and doctoral students" career orientations and characteristics of their personal potential. The second research question was how the study participants" subjective evaluation of basic value realizability in the local settings (Tomsk is viewed as a region with high innovative potential) was related to their career orientations. The study subjects represented two universities of Tomsk (both have gained the status of the National Research University), one of which is considered to be a classical university (Tomsk State University) the other mainly provides engineering education in a great variety of fields (Tomsk Polytechnic University). The results obtained revealed statistically significant between-group differences in a number of career orientations including that towards entrepreneurship. The Polytechnic University master and doctoral students were more oriented towards entrepreneurial and innovative activity and this could be interpreted as their higher competitiveness and better employability perspectives in the current economic situation. Moreover, their orientation towards entrepreneurship was positively correlated with a number of self-organization of activity parameters (characteristics of personal potential). In turn, this means that the more representatives of this university are oriented towards entrepreneurial activity, the more purposeful, inclined to planning, focused on the present and persistent they are in their activity. Meanwhile, the State University master and doctoral students (only science students were included in the analysis) showed a significant positive correlation between their innovative index scores and a number of self-determination parameters (characteristics of personal potential). In other words, the more representatives of this university are oriented towards innovative activity, the more they feel that their life has value and meaning, it is in accordance with their desires and intentions and they follow their own way. As for subjective evaluation of basic value realizability, the two groups showed positive evaluation, but the State University master and doctoral students had higher scores. It can be suggested that representatives of this university are likely to be less realistic compared with their counterparts, who differ in their practicality and pragmatism. Moreover, both groups believed Tomsk to be first of all favourable for love and marriage and only then for their professional development and career perspectives. Therefore, it is necessary to develop special measures enabling university students to be more aware of the local potential for their personal and professional development.