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What Should I Do with My PhD?

posted by CAA — Jul 03, 2018

In her new book, Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America, author Alissa Quart states what many of us know:  People are being squeezed from the middle class at a far greater pace.

Specifically, Quart writes:

“The many other middle-class families running furiously and breathlessly just to find themselves staying in place are a large and varied coterie. It includes highly educated workers like lawyers, professors, teachers and pharmacists, professionals who never expected to be in this situation – often feeling cast aside by a system that seems stacked against them. Their prospects for the future, given the rise of robots and automation within their professions, are likely to dim even further.”

This is a situation that has vexed many CAA members, whether they are recent graduates or those who have seen their livelihoods derailed through the elimination of tenured teaching positions or departmental reorganization.

Faced with a reduction in the number of faculty positions over the last decade, we’ve heard many job suggestions for artists or those with a PhD. Some have suggested teaching abroad, non-profit, foundation or governmental work. There are also opportunities in publishing, museums, literary agencies, libraries, special collections or archives.

We want to hear from you. Have you seen others in the field find fulfilling work in areas outside of academia? What job-hunting suggestions do you have for those with advanced education outside of the typical areas?

Post your comments on the Google document below.

Related: Where Historians Work: An Interactive Database of History PhD Career Outcomes

Filed under: Advocacy, Surveys