Succeeding Outside of the Academy

Succeeding Outside the Academy: Career Paths beyond the Humanities, Social Sciences, and STEM, edited by Joseph Fruscione and Kelly J. Baker, University Press of Kansas, 2018.

Not every PhD becomes a professor. Some never want to, but others discover—too late and ill-prepared to look elsewhere—that there’s precious little room in today’s ivory tower, and what’s there might not be a good fit. For those leaving academia, or wanting out, or finding themselves adrift, this book offers hope, advice, and a bracing look at how others facing the same quandary have made careers outside of the academy work.

All of the authors in this volume, as well as the editors, have built successful careers beyond the groves of academia—as freelance editors and writers, consultants and lecturers, librarians, realtors, and entrepreneurs—and each has a compelling story to tell. Their accounts afford readers a firsthand view of what it takes to transition from professor to professional. They also give plenty of practical advice, along with hard-won insights into what making a move beyond the academy might entail—emotionally, intellectually, and, not least, financially. Imparting what they wish they’d known during their PhDs, these writers aim to spare those who follow in their uncertain footsteps. Together their essays point the way out of the “tenure track or bust” mindset and toward a world of different but no less rewarding possibilities.


So how do you take your graduate training outside of academia? To start with, you read this book. Succeeding Outside the Academy is a great resource filled with useful instructions and advice on how to jump-start the new job search—and how to get excited about it. This book is enormously useful, filled with good stories, and altogether fun to read.

—Leonard Cassuto, author of The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It

This collection is essential reading for all those pursuing a PhD, as well as doctoral supervisors, university careers advisers, and other professionals working in the modern knowledge economy.

—Jobs on Toast