Job Possibilities Outside Academia
You only have one life; you may have several careers. Most people do, in fact. Finding the right job for your skills, interests, abilities, and life circumstances is a task you share with everyone currently in the graduate programme, and your search may well lead you outside the academy. Although your disciplinary training may seem highly specialized and field-specific, you have acquired a number of skills in graduate school that are also very useful outside the academy (i.e., research, writing, textual analysis, oral presentation/teaching skills, etc).
Where? and What? (a few examples):
“GBN” = Government, Business, Not-for-profits (main hiring sources)
-editing; acquisitions; proofreading and copy editing; managing
Advertising and Public Relations (radio, TV, print media)
Journalism, Media, Communications
-journalist; consultant; technical writer and editor
-policy analyst and advisor; programme assistant; public affairs
officer; public relations officer; resource coordinator
Insurance and Banking
-manager; customer service officer; technical writer; personnel officer
-manager; customer sales rep; marketing analyst; communications officer;
rare books (and other books) buyer
Foundations, Associations, and Charitable Organizations (Not-for-profits)
-manager; writer; consultant; fundraiser
-fundraiser; administrative coordinator; registrar; counsellor; non-academic
stream jobs in universities and colleges; teaching English abroad, online
-specialist consultant or rare books curator
Human Resources or Community Service
-organizer; writer; consultant
Advice and Assistance (a very selected bibliography):
Margaret Newhouse, Outside the Ivory Tower. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1993
Howard Figler, Ph.D. The Complete Job-Search Handbook. 1970. Rev. ed. New York: Henry Holt, 1988. [general practical guide, of particular use to academically trained job-hunters seeking another career]
Munschauer, John L. Jobs for English Majors and Other Smart People. 3rd ed. Princeton: Peterson’s Guides, 1991. [good on “trait-oriented work” in which you are hired because you have the right skills: communication ability, judgment, analytic skills, imagination]
Career Choices for the ’90s for the Student of English. New York: Walker and Co., 1990.
Collard, Betsy. The High Tech Career Guide. Palo Alto, Ca: Women’s Resource Group, 1985. [good on job opportunities in technological fields for those with English training]
Wyman, R.E. and N.A. Risser. Humanities PhDs and Non-Academic Careers. Evanston, Ill.: Committee on Institutional Cooperation, 1983. [generally useful]
Solmon, Lewis C., Underemployed PhDs. Lexington, Mass: Heath, 1981.
—, Nancy L. Ochsner, and M-L. Hurwicz. Alternative Careers for Humanities PhDs: Perspectives of Students and Graduates. New York: Holt, 1980.
May, Ernest R. and D.G. Blaney, Careers for Humanists. New York: Academic P, 1981.
Jacobs, Rita D. The Useful Humanists: Alternative Careers for PhDs in the Humanities. New York: Rockefeller Foundation, 1977.
Sojourns, a computerized database (at the International Students’ Centre) of jobs elsewhere in the world
The Un/Under-Employment of Humanities Graduates and the Development of New Professional Opportunities: A Selective Bibliography 1976-1988. Ottawa: Canadian Federation for the Humanities, 1988.