Compiled by Anne Mitchell Whisnant, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This page includes a mix of sites that discuss larger issues involved in converting graduate training in the humanities or social sciences to a nonacademic career, and sites that include job listings. Because individuals’ career trajectories can be so varied, a big part of successfully transitioning from graduate school to satisfying employment involves plugging into the broader conversation about the wide range of careers actually pursued by those with this training. While many of these resources are specifically geared to some of the problems faced by those with Ph.D.s, much of their advance is relevant and valuable to those with master’s degrees who either seek employment, or who are considering continuing to the Ph.D.
- The most interesting compilation of essays and perspectives about “alternative” career paths for humanities and social sciences Ph.D.s is the online book #Alt-Academy: Alternative Academic Careers for Humanities Scholars, MediaCommons, 2011ff: http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/alt-ac/
- Versatile Ph.D.: This was for many years the premier online resource for Ph.D.s and ABDs (humanities, social sciences, and STEM) seeking to expand their professional horizons. Since 2014, it has been joined by other platforms offering a variety of related services.
- Beyond the Professoriate: ” The only online professional development training platform for graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and PhDs that helps them successfully transition into academic or nonacademic careers. This research-driven platform is informed by nearly a decade of experience supporting PhDs to launch new careers with their skills and training.”
- From PhD to Life “help[s] PhDs get clear on their career path so they can confidently market themselves for jobs they actually want.”
- Cheeky Scientist: Focused on careers outside academia for STEM Ph.D.s.
- AAUP’s annual faculty compensation surveys, published in March/April issue of Academe (http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/) each year. Includes specific salary data, by institution and rank, for hundreds of institutions. Great reality check for what professors earn.
- “100 Reasons Not to Go to Grad School” blog. http://100rsns.blogspot.com/ “This blog is an attempt to offer those considering graduate school some good reasons to do something else. Its focus is on the humanities and social sciences.”
- Alternative Phd’s “Thinking of Quitting” resources: http://alternativephd.wordpress.com/thinking-of-quitting/. Good list of blogs and resources about leaving academia.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education contains many articles about nonacademic careers. Search their advice columns here.
- Covart, Liz, “Resources for Transitions out of Academia,” January 2014.
- Debelius, Maggie and Susan Basalla, So What Are You Going to Do with That?” Finding Careers Outside Academia (University of Chicago Press, 2007). First and probably only book with advice on this topic.
- Gulati, Daniel, “Diversity Your Dreams,” Harvard Business Review, 28 February 2012, http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/02/diversify_your_dreams.html
- Inside HigherEd also contains occasional columns about nonacademic careers: http://www.insidehighered.com/
- “Another Academic Bites the Dust”: https://anotheracademicbitesthedust.wordpress.com/. Has some good links to other similar sites.
- Lord, Alexandra, “BeyondAcademe”: http://www.beyondacademe.com. Web site tailored to historians moving out of academia, but has good general advice on resumes, CVs, informational interviewing, etc.
- Lord, Alexandra, “Every Ph.D. Needs a Plan B,” Chronicle of Higher Education, 16 March 2009, online at: http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2009/03/2009031601c.htm
- “Leaving Academia” blog (Sabine Hikel) http://www.leavingacademia.com/. Hikel has recently announced her intention to stop maintaining this blog, but it still contains quite a bit of good information and links.
- National Coalition of Independent Scholars: http://www.ncis.org/
- Social Science Research Council’s “Academia and the Public Sphere Initiative,” which “maps studies of the historical transformation of the relationship between academia and the public sphere, including both the elite public policy discourse and the public sphere at large.”
- University Affairs/Affaires universitaires (Canada) “Canada’s most authoritative source of information about and for Canada’s university community. . . . provides breaking news, provocative commentary, and in-depth articles about university trends, as well as practical advice and tools to help your career, whether you’re a university administrator, faculty member or grad student.” Kind of like the Chronicle of Higher Education for Canada.
- USA Jobs (Federal Government jobs) has many webinars and trainings about applying for government jobs (scroll to bottom of page).
New Media/Social Networks
- University Affairs Canada has a large presence on YouTube, with a series of recorded panel conversations like the one we are having today. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/user/universityaffairsca. Search the channel for “non-academic.”
- On Twitter, you can follow the #altac hashtag (alternate academic careers) for lots of information on non-faculty careers in academe and the cultural/nonprofit sector. #postac and #WithaPhD also sometimes have posts.
Some Sample Field-Specific Resources and/or Job Resources (Certainly not comprehensive!)
- Career Alternatives for Art Historians http://www.nd.edu/%7Ecrosenbe/jobs.html
- Chronicle of Higher Education jobs: http://chronicle.com/section/Jobs/61/
- Columbia University Center for Career Education’s great list of “Non-Academic Career Options for PhDs in the Humanities and Social Sciences,” which has links to many other places to look for job listings in various fields: http://www.careereducation.columbia.edu/resources/tipsheets/non-academic-career-options-phds-and-mas
- Higher Ed Jobs
- Idealist.org: Listing of jobs in the nonprofit sector. http://www.idealist.org/
- Inside Higher Ed: http://www.insidehighered.com/
- National Council on Public History. Includes job listings and information about the public history field. http://ncph.org/
- Public History Resources page I set up for my Intro to Public History class at UNC-Chapel Hill
- Society of American Archivists Jobs Page http://www.archivists.org/employment/
- USA Jobs (all federal government jobs listed here) http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/
Career Paths beyond the Faculty for Humanities & Social Sciences
Workshop I gave at the University of Central Florida, March 2012