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.
Earlier today, the program director, Robert Woods, announced that the Christian Institute for the Study of Liberal Arts would begin offering a SACS-accredited, fully distance-based PhD program:
This PhD is literally one-of-a-kind in that it is fully accredited (SACS), offered fully distance with the dissertation being defended via conference call with a designated Research Fellow, and the student’s full committee having guided the research. This PhD is uniquely interdisciplinary in structure and practice. A number of the highly qualified faculty are generalists and encourage the kind of readings, research, and writing that reflects an interdisciplinary drive.
Last, but most important, this Great Books based PhD is completely informed by the Christian faith. All courses are led by people who have proven that Christianity assists in scholarship and is not a stumbling block to matters of the mind. Building on our very successful MLitt degree, we use the Great Books and select, highly interactive online tools to provide the best distance education available. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please feel free to contact us through our website.
I’ve been working with the Institute in different capacities from shortly before the initial MLitt degree kicked off. The involvement there has proven immensely enriching. One of our MLitt graduates has already had his thesis published, and we are eagerly looking forward to extending the conversation in the new doctoral program. For more information about the new PhD program, please see here, and send further inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: Since this post’s original publication, the PhD program continues strong and thriving and is now housed under the Department of Humanities.