Where Historians Work

Created by the American Historical Association, this database of 8,515 historians who graduated from US universities between 2004 and 2013 “provides the fullest picture  of PhD careers available for any discipline.” The tab displaying information for careers beyond the professoriate is particularly interesting. It details the occupations – ranging from a single “pest control officer” to 363 “post-secondary education administrators” – of the 53% of historians who do not work in tenure track roles at 4-year institutions. Part of the AHA’s broader commitment to career diversity, the database “allows current and potential […]

AAAS Humanities Indicators

Developed by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Humanities Indicators collects “comprehensive, up-to-date statistical information to … provide a nonpartisan, objective picture of how the humanities are faring in the United States today.” The site features a broad range of information about K-12 education, higher education, the humanities workforce, funding and research, and the role of humanities in public life. For doctoral students, their analysis of the occupations of humanities PhDs notes the wide range of professional and management roles pursued by graduates.

Where the Grass is Greener

This article from Inside Higher Ed considers a study of over 5,000 humanities and social science PhD recipients. It focuses on relatively career happiness in academia and non-traditional roles, the impact of parenthood on a career trajectory, and the “relatively large numbers of Ph.D.s who started out in nonacademic jobs and then segued into tenure-track positions within eight years of getting a doctorate.”

Phil Skills: Stories of Philosophers Who’ve Forged Non-Academic Careers

Phil Skills is a new website put together by two Philosophy PhDs from U of M, which features interviews with philosophers working in fields as broad as academic publishing, immigration law, management consulting, and national defense. They offer advice based on their own experiences navigating the job search and discuss how they use their academic training in their jobs.

PhDs Discuss Transitioning to Careers Outside the Tenure Track

  From PhD to Life is a website full of resources for PhDs looking to transition to careers outside tenure track academia. It includes this comprehensive collection of Q & A’s with people who have transitioned into various careers, from libraries and nonprofits to banks and tech startups.

Interview With Leonard Cassuto

Leonard Cassuto is the author of The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It, a thorough diagnosis of the problems affecting graduate school programs, which tend to not adequately prepare students for the jobs they actually end up getting. In this interview, Leonard talks about the history of graduate programs, the job crisis in higher ed, the need for changes in advising and professionalization, and how graduate school in general should cultivate a more integrative affect and ethic that recognizes the real role of graduate programs […]

MLA Report on Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2012-13

The Modern Language Association’s most recent report on doctoral employment, the Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2012-13, analyzes the employment data specifically for English, foreign languages, and related fields. It contains many useful graphics that compare outcomes for doctoral students across fields and over time.

Inside and Outside the Academy: Valuing and Preparing PhDs for Careers

This extensive report from the Conference Board of Canada assesses the state of professional development for PhDs who wish to transition to non-academic careers. Chapter 4 (pp. 54-66) is particularly useful for understanding how many graduate students perceive the professional development opportunities available to them, and how professors and mentors might begin to think with them about solutions.

AHA Report: Careers for Students of History

This resource, compiled in 2013, surveys the professional outcomes of history PhDs in various workplaces. It shows the remarkable number–more than 25%– of professional historians working outside of academia, and gives a sense of the range of employment opportunities they successfully pursue.