Funded by the PEW Charitable TrustSitemapContact UsSearch
Re-envisioning the Ph.D.
News and UpdatesAbout UsRe-envisioning Project ResourcesPromising PracticesPhD ResourcesNational/International Resources
Ph.D. Resources
Obtaining Employment Obtaining a Ph.D.

Obtaining Employment


The "Selected Bibliography on Doctoral Education" on our website provides information about re-envisioning doctoral education from the perspective of many stakeholders.  The following list, however, was compiled with the career interests of doctoral students, newly-minted Ph.D.'s, post-docs, and beginning academics specifically in mind.  A parallel list of Publications under Obtaining the Ph.D. covers preparing for professional life while still in graduate school.  This list is not exhaustive: it provides a cross-section of some of the more current publications aimed at graduate students.  We welcome additional suggestions at  


Debelius, Maggie and Basalla, Susan Elizabeth.  So What Are You Going to Do With That?: A Guide for M.A.'s and Ph.D.'s Seeking Careers Outside the Academy.  New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux (2001). Two English Ph.D.s cover the transition to the "post-academic" world.  They offer both specific advice about job-hunting and provide a general, often humorous perspective on the process of moving out of academia.  Find resources cited in their book at 

Feibelman, Peter J.  A Ph.D. Is Not Enough!  A Guide to Survival in Science.  Reading, Massachusetts: Perseus Books (1993).  Includes advice for preparing for and choosing among research jobs, government laboratories, and industry, and establishing a research path or program.

Fiske, Peter S.   To Boldly Go: A Practical Career Guide for Scientists.  Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union (1996).  Written specifically for scientists, post-docs, and graduate students in the sciences considering a range of non-academic career paths.

Goldsmith, John A.; Komlos, John; and Schine Gold, Penny.  The Chicago Guide to Your Academic Career: A Portable Mentor for Scholars from Graduate School through Tenure.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press (2001).  Three scholars combine their experiences to offer information about getting a job, obtaining tenure, and surviving academia as well as succeeding in graduate school.

Heiberger, Mary Morris and Vick, Julia Miller.  The Academic Job Search Handbook. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (1996).  For recent Ph.D.'s going through their first job search, this covers the specifics of conferences and interviews, offers sample curricula vitae, cover letters, and abstracts, and introduces the professorial professional life.  

Kreeger, Karen Young.  Guide to Nontraditional Careers in Science.  Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis (1999).  Overviews various fields in which scientists might find work, including law, business, writing and publishing, scientific journalism and education. Each section includes interviews with people within the field, tips for preparation, and contacts with trade organizations.

Lanks, Karl W. Academic Environment: A Handbook for Evaluating Employment Opportunities in Science. Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis (1996).  Based on a survey of around 1,500 faculty and staff at research and teaching institutions, this covers evaluating job offers, understanding contracts, and a system for judging the overall working conditions at an institution.

Newhouse, Margaret.  Cracking the Academic Nut: A Guide to Preparing For Your Academic Career.  Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press (1997).  Targets students preparing for graduate school as well as those who are negotiating for or beginning their first academic jobs.  

Newhouse, Margaret.  Outside the Ivory Tower: A Guide for Academics Considering Alternative Careers. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press (1993).  Deals with the step-by-step psycho-social and practical aspects of making the transition to alternative professional careers.

On the Market: Surviving the Academic Job Search. New York: Riverhead Books (1997).  This collection of essays by new Ph.D.'s offers specific advice and tips for the academic job search and discussions of the personal difficulties involved.

Robins-Roth, Cynthia.  Alternative Careers in Science: Leaving the Ivory Tower.  San Diego: Academic Press (1998).  Describes various careers available to scientists, the personality types suited to each profession, career expectations, and salary potential. Includes basic job descriptions, qualifications, and responsibilities for each career, and what further opportunities stem from each offer.

Schaffer, William.  High-Tech Careers for Low-Tech People.  Berkeley: Ten Speed Press (1999).  Explains how people with humanities backgrounds can transition into the technology field.  Useful information includes descriptions of many types of positions, how to gain experience in the field, and the basics of computer technology and jargon.

Tobias, Sheila Tobias, Chubin, Daryl E., and Aylesworth, Kevin.  Rethinking Science as a Career.  Tucson: Research Corp. (1995).  Based on the authors' research on employment prospects for new Ph.D.'s in the physical sciences, the authors propose that we consider new educational options for students interested in pursuing scientific careers.

Toth, Emily.  Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (1997).  The Ann Landers of the MLA and The Chronicle of Higher Education's Career section shares hard truths and dispenses advice with her trademark dry delivery.

Verba, Cynthia. Scholarly Pursuits: A Practical Guide to Academe.  Cambridge, Mass.: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Office of Student Affairs (1997).  This booklet, published by Harvard, is a practical guide with sections on grant writing and applying for teaching positions and postdoctoral fellowships.  For information about the booklet, see  For information about ordering, see

Funded by the PEW Charitable TrustSitemapContact UsSearch