Workshop 3

You Don’t Have to Be a Professor: A Workshop Exploring Alternate Career Paths
Kimberly Anderson (Iowa State University), Christopher Colwell (University of Technology, Sydney), Andrew Lau (University of Maryland/UCLA Extension), and Tonia Sutherland (University of Alabama)
Tuesday, July 14, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
HBK 0211

Required Documents:

  • A copy of your CV

Required Equipment:

  • Mobile phone or laptop (for a workshop exercise involving live polling, which can be completed via SMS or through the poll website)

Recommended Readings:

This workshop is designed to provide an introduction to alternative career options for PhDs. Whether you’ve never intended to become full-time faculty, found that professorship wasn’t for you, prefer applied work, want a better work/life balance, or just became disenchanted with academia, this workshop will present some of the alternate paths available to recent graduates or current faculty looking for other career options.

We’ll explore career options in: administration, allied fields, archival/RIM practice, post-doctoral research, research collaboratives, industry, and independent scholarship (i.e. authorship). We’ll identify the challenges and opportunities of these choices, the losses and gains, and how you can prepare now to pursue an alternative or para-academic career.

Workshop leaders consist of: 1) someone who left academia and returned to practice; 2) someone currently engaged in post-doctoral work; 3) someone who entered administration in an allied field; and 4) a current student who is pursuing a PhD as a complement to a fully-fledged career outside of professorship. Workshop leaders will discuss their own career pathways and observations about career development, career options outside of the full-time faculty track, and ways to leverage PhD experiences, skills, and knowledge in other organizational or institutional environments.

The format will include facilitated discussions, small group activities, CV analysis, writing, and personal reflection. Participants are expected to engage in the discussion within the safe-space of the workshop. The workshop will employ the Chatham House Rule to maintain safety in openness in discussion, and participants are expected to adhere to the Rule, which reads: When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will have: 1) gained awareness of career options outside of tenure-track/full-time faculty; 2) developed skills in translating or distilling existing academic/faculty-oriented experience to administrative, research, or practice settings; and 3) reflected on what kind of career will truly serve personal, career, and life goals as a first step toward greater fulfillment and where the PhD might fit in that trajectory.