It’s a wonderful time to be a history graduate student thinking about careers outside of the academy! Our discipline’s major professional organization, the American Historical Association, has launched a Career Diversity Project, aimed at gathering concrete data about where people with History PhDs work and what the employers who hire them are looking for. The AHA’s advocacy is sparking a larger discussion within the profession about moving graduate education beyond simply vocational training for the professoriate. In addition, an exciting number of entrepreneurial historians have started businesses, blogs, and websites providing a wealth of information for job-seekers with PhDs.
This conversation is not new, of course. Since at least the 1970s, a sizable percentage of graduates from history PhD programs have worked in a variety of careers. And many people (such as myself) entered graduate school never planning to pursue an academic career. What’s changed is that career diversity is gaining wider acceptance within the field as a whole. Job seekers can now much more easily find information about a broad range of careers for historians, and academic graduate programs are increasingly supportive of students who choose a less-traveled career path.
On Friday, April 3, I will be at Indiana University, leading a workshop for graduate students on “Job Seeking Beyond the Professoriate.” This event is sponsored by the Indiana University Department of History and all Indiana University graduate students in the humanities are welcome to attend.
I’ll be tailoring much of the workshop to the specific needs and questions of the attendees. In addition, we’ll cover the following general topics:
- the range of jobs humanities PhDs are qualified for
- the types of skills non-academic employers are looking for
- tips for repackaging academic skills for a wider job market
- the basics of résumé writing (as opposed to C.V. building)
The workshop is the first of a series of efforts related to career preparation beyond the professoriate that I’ll be undertaking in collaboration with Indiana University. Check my website often to learn more.
“Job Seeking Beyond the Professoriate” will take place Friday, April 3, 2015, 1:00pm to 2:30 pm, in Ballantine Hall 209, Indiana University, Bloomington Campus.