Filibustering History is a collection of podcasts created by Southern New Hampshire University featuring interviews with historians pursuing a variety of careers. A series of 20-30 minute interviews with a range of professionals including an archivist, a preservation compliance officer, a military staff historian, a grade school teacher, and a consultant – among others – provides a perspective on careers outside of traditional academia. Interviewees also get to talk about their research interests and current projects.
The American Historical Association, National Council for Public History, and the Public History Program at the University of South Carolina have put together a Careers for Students of History guide that discusses numerous career possibilities and includes interviews with prominent historians in all fields of history, ranging from academic and publishing, to public and consulting.
Humanists are using their doctoral training behind the scenes in a variety of U.S. government positions. Their ability to process new information quickly and efficiently and to convey key issues to policymakers in clear and concise language makes them valuable contributors to politics. Humanists in government emphasize that it often takes time and perseverance to convince employers that you have the skills they seek, but they say the rewards are worth the effort. Through the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program, Literature PhD Laurel Seely Voloder began a position in the Office of International Religious […]
By Shana Melnysyn By the time Jill McDonough was about halfway through her PhD in English at the University of Michigan, she realized that she didn’t want to be an academic. She decided to persevere and complete the degree, and then began networking extensively by conducting informational interviews with people in a range of professions that interested her. Through these interviews, she decided to pursue a career in public relations for nonprofits because she could apply her communication and “people” skills to organizations that were mission-driven. Her first job was […]
Many people who earn PhDs in the humanities go on to work in curatorial and research positions at museums. Others serve as museum educators, grant writers, exhibit designers, digital content developers, among other roles. In addition to their expertise on content, museum professionals use the critical thinking, research, and teaching skills they develop during doctoral training every day in their work. Curators typically carry diverse responsibilities, from overseeing content, collections, and archives, to giving tours, writing grants, and designing exhibits. They are caretakers of ancient and modern art collections, visiting […]
Stanford University created The Bibliotech Program to promote the relevance of Humanities PhDs to industries outside of academia. The program specifically seeks to connect professionals in Silicon Valley with Stanford PhDs in the humanities, making a case for the unique contributions that such scholars can make in the tech industry. The resources developed by Bibliotech, which convened three conferences between 2011and 2013, stress that humanities PhDs have unique project management, critical thinking, and communication skills, making a case for their ability to contribute to innovative private-sector industries. At the 2011 conference, VP […]
Two Foreign Service officers with PhDs offer their perspectives on how doctoral training in the humanities has helped them succeed in their careers. Both outline specific skills and abilities they acquired as academics that have proven useful in the work they do overseas. Aaron P. Forsberg has a PhD in History from UT Austin, and has worked in the Foreign Service since 2001. He discusses what it’s like to move from the highly specialized world of an academic historian to work as “the ultimate generalist, a diplomat.” Although a career […]
Ken Himmelman is Chief Program Officer and Interim Chief Development Officer for Partners in Health (PIH), a groundbreaking global health organization whose mission is to provide quality healthcare to the world’s poorest people. Dr. Himmelman has a PhD in Comparative Literature, and he spoke with Beyond Academia about how he applies the skills he learned in graduate school to his work every day. Graduate school taught him “how to make sense out of complex circumstances, how to think deeply and to understand issues, and of course how to write very, very clearly.” […]