PhDs in non-faculty careers

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Maren Wood suggests that institutions should be more intentional about preparing PhD students for the possibility of non-faculty or non-teaching careers. Maren’s first suggestion is especially salient and recommends, in part,

While there are graduate students who decide that an academic career is not for them, most say their first objective is a faculty career. There is no way to know who will or won’t be successful on the academic job market, so all students should be encouraged or required to take professional courses.

How quickly a newly minted PhD might find a post and what kind it will be is also a definite question mark. But, new graduates who are able to identify and come to terms with the market opened to them by their field-specific and other transferable skills and passions will certainly find themselves in a better position to find a place for themselves within that market.

For the rest of Maren’s reflections, see the Chronicle’s website.

2 Replies to “PhDs in non-faculty careers”

  1. Hello David. Hope all is well your way. Keith Campbell here. Long time no see. I might throw out there, in addition to the Chronicle’s suggestion, especially for emerging evangelical scholars, to consider practicing their disciplines beyond the North American borders (visit http://www.global-scholars.org). Then, though the sacrifices may be great, the job market will not be all too thin!

    1. Absolutely, Keith! I agree this continues to be an excellent example of finding a way to serve where there’s an opening. Patience and persistence can be important, but the not-opening of one door doesn’t necessarily mean continuing to knock only at that one indefinitely (cf. Acts 16:6).

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