Advice for PhDs Seeking Non-Faculty Jobs

This article by Jennifer Polk is based on responses from panelists at the 5th annual Beyond the Professoriate conference. Her piece suggests patience, exploring options, the confident application of knowledge and skills, and considering how professional identity can derive from or be a reconceptualization of one’s academic identity.

PhD Connections: A Career Conference

April 13, 2018 Register Here for the University of Michigan’s First PhD Connections Conference PhD Connections is a new, one-day career conference designed to support doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in their exploration of career paths beyond academe. Co-sponsored by the University Career Center and Rackham Graduate School, PhD students and postdoctoral scholars will learn about non-faculty career opportunities through selecting from a series of eight panels with over 30 PhD’s working in diverse fields, and workshops focused on career exploration and job search preparation. Participants will have the opportunity […]

Five Perspectives I Gained from Interviewing Rackham Alumni

Originally written by Bonnie Applebeet for the Public Humanities section of the Discover Rackham blog in November 2015 I had no idea what to expect when I got a call saying that Rackham’s office of Development and Alumni Relations wanted me to join their team for the summer. At that point, I had little notion of what “development” meant, nor how vital maintaining good relationships with alumni is to the way institutions like the University of Michigan are able to thrive. All I knew was that among other things, I would have the […]

Filibustering History

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.


By Peggy Lee, Doctoral Candidate in American Culture RESIST My last day at the NEH in August 2017 was the same day the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) collectively walked out of their jobs. I myself was counting down the hours until I could leave the NEH, feeling only accountable at that point to the project directors, many of whom had invested a lot of time travelling to D.C. for a one-day convening, my last day. Project directors are the point people in NEH-funded projects; they are […]

Walking the Career-Diversity Walk

This Chronicle of Higher Education article asks faculty to consider the unconscious biases and assumptions that often shape their attitudes about what constitutes a legitimate or respectable career path for a person with a PhD. As long as this perception endures, the author argues, attempts to reform doctoral programs to support diverse career outcomes will face unnecessary obstacles.

Answering a Calling in a High School History Classroom

By Shana Melnysyn Dr. Gene Cassidy is a high school history teacher at Miss Porter’s School. He received his PhD in History from U of M in 2015. Every morning when he wakes up, Dr. Gene Cassidy feels like he “won the lottery.” He absolutely loves his job as a high school history teacher at the independent Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut. He describes it as his “calling,” and says it “fulfills [him] in ways that no other job ever could.” If he were rich, he says, this is […]

Doctoral Student Career Planning Guide for Faculty

The Modern Language Association’s Connected Academics program has developed an excellent guide to help faculty members broaden the reach of their mentoring for doctoral students. While the guide was created for faculty in English and other modern languages, it offers useful advice for all humanities faculty who seek to improve the quality of their mentoring in support of diverse career outcomes for their graduate student advisees. Doctoral Student Career Planning: A Guide for PhD Programs and Faculty Members in English and Other Modern Languages    

Career Exploration Activity Packet

The Modern Language Association’s Connected Academics site offers this useful resource to help you actively assess your skills, interests, and values as you think about your career path after the PhD. The career exploration activity packet includes hands-on exercises using real job listings for both tenure track and non-faculty jobs to help you think about how to work towards a career that suits you. MLA Career Exploration Activity Packet: Skills Self-Assessment, Job Ad Analysis, and Next Steps  

Blog Series: Why Wait? Early Explorations of Career Paths for Humanities PhDs

The University of California Humanities Research Institute’s Humanists @ Work initiative recently featured a series of blog posts called Why Wait? Early Explorations of Career Paths for Humanities PhDs. The posts imagine the process of career exploration as an integral part of doctoral training that graduate students most often have to initiate themselves. The author provides specific examples of how to translate the skills you use daily in graduate school into a list of skills and interests that can and should shape your career exploration, helping you to feel more confident […]