As a doctoral student, you have tremendous strengths and transferable skills to offer employers. With advanced training in the humanities and social sciences, you will ﬁnd a wealth of rewarding job options in many ﬁelds, including qualitative research, writing and communications, public service, consulting, advising, teaching, publishing, and more. Don’t underestimate the depth of your strengths and transferable skills, which are highly valued in many industries.
Key resources and career advice
- ImaginePhD: Self-assessment and career planning tool targeted at humanities and social science PhDs, but widely applicable to any field
- “So What Are You Going to Do with That?”: Finding Careers Outside Academia, by Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius (University of Chicago Press, 2014): Originally published in 2001, this slim volume is still one of the best resources for thinking about the practical, emotional, and existential aspects of setting out on a career path other than academia
- InterSECT Job Simulations: Online platform with job simulation exercises for career exploration
- Inside Higher Ed Carpe Careers: A weekly career advice column in one of the top news outlets in higher education with pieces by members of the Graduate Career Consortium
- Beyond the Professoriate: A small business started by a history PhD, Beyond the Professoriate has a helpful blog and free monthly webinars
- The Professor Is In: Former tenured professor Karen Kelsky has a wealth of free resources for PhDs interested in pursuing almost any career
- MLA Connected Academics: Resources designed for doctoral students in language and literature departments, but widely applicable to any humanities or social science student interested in a range of career paths
- How to convert your CV to a résumé: Most industries other than academia require a one- to two-page résumé rather than a curriculum vitae (CV); use this guide to help you create your résumé (and click here for more on CVs)
General job boards
The three sites below are the three largest job aggregating websites, which means they use web crawlers to pull open positions from other sites across the internet. Use key words in the industry descriptions below to help you find positions in your field of interest. Also, you can set job alerts on these platforms and get notifications of open jobs sent directly to your inbox.
Please find below a selection of some of the most common career paths for humanities and social science PhDs. While this page is a good place to start your exploration, it only scratches the surface of the resources available to you. We encourage you to schedule an appointment to speak with a GSAS Compass career advisor regardless of where you are in your career decision-making process.