Beyond Tenure Track

Career possibilities beyond the tenure track include work in community colleges, academic administration, non-profit administration, government, publishing, consulting, library and information services, humanities centers, museums, archives, foundations, and more. 

The following are resources for humanities PhDs seeking to expand their job search:

Resources at Berkeley:

GradPro (Graduate Professional Development) collaborates with graduate programs and departments to offer activities and resources that help graduate students set professional development goals, recognize potential career paths, and build skills vital to a variety of careers, both within and beyond the academy.

Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in academia or exploring the broad range of other professional options, the Career Center has workshops, events and online resources that can help you find job announcements, prepare your credentials, and bring you face-to-face with potential employers. Take a look at the Grad Student & PhD Services we offer.

Beyond Academia is a non-profit organization run by UC Berkeley graduate students with the goal of empowering graduate students and postdocs to expand their career options beyond the traditional academic track. It accomplishes this career education through a series of events, including an annual conference, workshops, tutorials and lectures that connect connect academics with those who have made a transition to industry.

Arts & Humanities Centers and Networks at Berkeley:

Other resources and opportunities:

  • ACLS/Mellon Public Humanities fellowships  (yearly Postdocs)
  • Columbia’s History in Action Project 
  • ImaginePhD – online career exploration; see article on making the best use of ImaginePhD
  • Humanists@Work 
  • PhD Matters  (career consulting for PhDs)
  • The Versatile PhD
  • PhDs in the Humanities (LinkedIn Group administered by Humanists@Work staff)
  • National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (mostly aimed at faculty careers and dissertation success/time management/etc., but covers community college/other teaching careers, and occasionally they have webinars on other topics including “beyond academia” searches) 
  • Chronicle of Higher Education job search (includes non-academic categories)
  • Modern Language Association: Connected Academics The MLA’s Connected Academics program has a number of resources for people seeking careers in modern languages both within and outside of academia. In addition to their annual Career Development Boot Camp Fellowship program, they have an extensive blog, and excellent resources and advice for faculty and departments on professional development. 
  • American Historical Association The AHA has its own career center website for both academic and non-academic jobs in history and the humanities, an advice column, statistics on where historians work, information on workshops and podcasts on career diversity, and more. 
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS links to numerous tools for STEMs careers, including job postings, volunteer opportunities, and classroom education tools. They also have a networking platform where AAAS members can seek career advice and mentoring from peers or senior members. 
  • Linguistic Society The Linguistics Society career development resources include research and statistics on graduate school, as well as tools to navigate the academic and non-academic job markets.
  • American Public Health Association APHA’s Public Health CareerMart has numerous resources to connect job seekers with employers. Their resources include a Career Learning Center, Career Coaching, Resume Writing, and Reference Checking. Many of their resources are available for free in online videos. 
  • Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program: Expanding the Reach of Doctoral Education in the Humanities The Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program is a 2-year fellowship in which recent PhDs from the humanities or humanistic social sciences are paired with nonprofits or government organizations to work and receive professional mentoring. The partnering organizations change annually. See “Profiles of Berkeley students awarded Mellon Public Fellowships” here

Mellon-AHA Career Diversity Pilot Programs: ChicagoUCLAColumbiaUNM

  • American Philosophers Association: Beyond Academia The APA’s Beyond Academia is a publication with statistics, job categories, interviews, biographical essays, and advice on applying for jobs outside of academia. Their booklet is helpful for anyone in a humanistic field. 
  • American Psychological Association: Individual Development Planning Tool: The APA’s Individual Development Planning Tool can help all academics think ahead in terms of career planning. Users can take self-assessments, research job opportunities, set goals, and create an individual plan to help them achieve those goals. 
  • American Astronomical Association The American Astronomical Association’s career website has career advice and career profiles for academics and non-academics in astronomy, resources for communication outreach, numerous links to job sites, and employment statistics. Many of their resources are applicable to other STEMs fields. 
  • Council of Graduate Schools: PhD Career Pathways The PhD Career Pathways project is a large scale project that collects data on PhD trajectories during and after graduate school in both STEMs and Humanities/Social Science fields. They also have some professional development resources for students, particularly in STEMs fields. 
  • Presidential Management Fellows program (federal program placing recent PhDs in federal agencies)

Articles of possible interest on specific career paths/career exploration:

  • Hum@Work post: “Some thoughts on what we value and how we talk about it in academic vs. non-academic settings” (link)
  • The Carpe Careers series in Inside Higher Ed: articles written by members of the Graduate Career Consortium (link)
  • Working in tech
  • Finding a job in tech with a humanities PhD (link)
  • History PhDs take a “field trip” to Box (link)
  • Careers in instructional design: Humanities pedagogy beyond classroom teaching (link)