The market for PhD career services is evolving rapidly. The resources below are updated periodically to help you find support in a medium and at a cost that’s right for you. I am not compensated for promoting any of the entities below (though I am biased towards my own writing, have friendly relationships with many people in the career advisory space, and in one case was gifted a book by its editors).
The titles below are recent publications or standard resources that I’m most familiar with. Inger Mewburn from The Thesis Whisperer constantly updates her resource list — and doesn’t endorse anything she wouldn’t use herself. Jennifer Polk of From PhD to Life also keeps a book list that includes summaries of approach and target audience.
- Susan Basalla & Maggie Debelius. So What Are You Going To Do With That? (Third edition, Chicago 2014). $16.00.
- Chris Caterine (me!). Leaving Academia: A Practical Guide (Princeton 2020). $19.95.
- Joe Fruscione & Kelly Baker. Succeeding Outside the Academy: Career Paths Beyond the Humanities, Social Sciences, and STEM (Kansas 2018). $18.95.
- Karen Kelsky, The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your PhD into a Job (Crown 2015). $18.00.
- Katina Rogers. Putting the Humanities PhD to Work: Thriving in and beyond the Classroom (Duke 2020). $24.95.
- Leonard Cassuto. The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It (Harvard 2015). $29.95.
- Leonard Cassuto & Robert Weisbuch. The New PhD: How to Build a Better Graduate Education (Johns Hopkins 2021). $32.95.
- Leanne M. Horinko, Jordan M. Reed, & James van Wyck (edd.). The Reimagined PhD: Navigating 21st Century Humanities Education (Rutgers 2021). $29.95.
Coaches and communities
- Academic Entrepreneur, Susan Nancarrow
- Anne Krook
- Beyond the Professoriate, Maren Wood
- Bioscience Careers, Sarah Blackford
- CM Coaching Services, Catherine Maybrey
- COACHD, Nicola Porter
- Carreras Científicas Alternativas, Manolo Castellano
- Cheeky Scientist, Isaiah Hankel
- Free the PhD, Vay Cao
- From PhD to Life, Jennifer Polk
- The Grad Grid, Parag Mahanti
- Imagine PhD, the Graduate Career Consortium
- IncipitCareer, Kristi Lodge
- Jobs on Toast, Chris Humphrey
- Personal Finance for PhDs, Emily Roberts
- PhD Matters, John Paulas
- PhD Power, Chiat Cheong
- The Professor Is In, Karen Kelsky
- Roostervane, Chris Cornthwaite
- Smart Tribe, Kris Jack
- The Thesis Whisperer, Inger Mewburn
- Transitioning Your Life, Hillary Hutchinson
- Versatile PhD, Todd Maurer
Professional societies and foundations
- 80,000 Hours, non-profit career think-tank
- American Historical Association, Career Diversity for Historians
- Graduate Career Consortium, an international association of graduate career advisors
- Mellon Foundation, What Can You Do with a PhD?
- Mitacs, Canadian education-industry connector
- Modern Language Association, Career Resources
- PhDOOC, Doctorat et Poursuite de Carrière
It would be impossible to track every article about alternative careers for academics. The following pieces are especially helpful or provide a useful perspective.
- Indeed.com. Informational Interview Guide (2020).
- Katrina Kibben. “Stand out in Your Job Search: 10 Tips that Stood the Test of Time” (Author’s Blog, 2020).
- Simon Sinek, “Start with Why” (TED Talk, based on his book of the same name, 2014).
- Brandon Busteed. “Hey, Higher Education: You’re on Mute” (Forbes 2021).
- George Justice. “How to Save the Humanities PhD? Kill the Doctoral Seminar” (CHE 2021).
- Chris Caterine. “A Virtual Guide to Leaving Academia” (Princeton Ideas Blog, 2020).
- Manisit Das. “Medical Communications: Taking a Leap of Faith after PhD” (LinkedIn Pulse 2020).
- Lindy Ledohowski. “From Tenure Track to EssayJack” (IHE 2016).
- Kristi Lodge. “A Starter Kit for Exiting Academia: Three Articles” (The Muse).
- Liz Segran, “What Can You Do with a Humanities PhD, Anyway?” (The Atlantic 2014).
- Mike Zimm. “From Homer to High Tech” (CHE 2017).
- Duke, Professional Development and Versatile Humanities Program, Maria LaMonaca Wisdom
- Johns Hopkins, Phutures, Roshni Rao
- Harvard School of Public Health, Career Development Resources, Bénédicte Gnangnon
- MIT, Careers for PhDs
- Princeton, GradFutures, Eva Kubu
- Stanford, Graduate Professional Development; Humanists at Large, Chris Golde
- Syracuse, Professional and Career Development, Daniel Olson-Bang
- University of California at Berkeley, Graduate Student Professional Development Guide
- University College Cork, The Odyssey Programme, Mary O’Regan
- University of Illinois, Graduate Career Development, Derek Attig
- University of Southern California, Graduate and Doctoral Student Resources
- University of Virginia, PhD Plus, Sonali Majumdar
Blogs and podcasts
- Academic Life on the New Books Network by Christina Gessler
- The Bold BioMed by Gertrude Nonterah
- ChangeHireEd by Eric James Stephens
- The EdUp Experience
- Once a Scientist by Nick Edwards
- Own Your Career, Jon Tam, PhD
- PapaPhD by David Mendes da Silva
- PhD Career Stories
- PhD Coffee Time by Vera Chan
- Post-Gradual: The PhD Careers Blog, by Holly Prescott
- Self-Compassionate Professor by Danielle De La Mare
- Twisted Teachers by Kim Eversole and Jennifer Roberts
People to follow
In addition to the coaches and program directors highlighted above, the following individuals provide invaluable perspectives on changing careers:
- Latesha Byrd, Career coach and talent development specialist.
- Dr. Monica Cox, Engineering professor, authenticity coach, and DEI activist.
- Scott Frothingham, Wordwrangler, carrotdangler, storyteller.
- Adam Karpiak, Recruiter with a penchant for sarcasm and wit.
- Katrina Kibben, Speaker, writer, and recruiting consultant.
- Kwame Osei-Sarfo, PhD, Director of Columbia Engineering’s Bridge to the PhD in STEM program.
- Liz Segran, PhD, Journalist, author, and former academic.
- Varsha Venkatasubramanian, PhD candidate in US History at UC Berkeley, chronicling her career search and enthusiasm for whiskey.