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Ph.D. Career Resources: Publications

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.  This list is not exhaustive: it provides a cross-section of some of the more current publications aimed at graduate students and Ph.D.'s.  Suggestions for additional listings can be sent to


The Art and Politics of College Teaching: A Practical Guide for the Beginning Professor.  New York: Peter Lang (1992, 2001).  Covers academic life from the first job to preparation for retirement, including teaching, publishing (and not perishing), serving on committees and associations, promotion and tenure, dealing with students and colleagues, etc.

Caplan, Paula J. Lifting a Ton of Feathers: A Woman's Guide for Surviving in the Academic World.  Toronto; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press (1993).  Offers straight-up information about the prejudice women may encounter and practical advice on how to survive and even thrive in the academic workplace.

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).  Offers advice for succeeding in academia, 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 finding a mentor, finishing the dissertation, getting a job, obtaining tenure, and more.

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.  

Isaac, Alicia.  The African American Student's Guide to Surviving Graduate School.  Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications (1998).  Deals with practical, psychological and social aspects of completing graduate school.  The book is part of the series, "Graduate Survival Skills."  

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 psychological and social as well as the 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.

Peters, Robert L.  Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or a Ph.D. (1997).  Covers the academic and personal logistics of surviving graduate school, from applying to school and for financial aid through to writing a thesis and landing a job.

Reis, Richard.  Tomorrow's Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering. New York: IEEE Press (1997).  Prepares students for finding and succeeding in academic careers; focuses on teaching as well as research and the possibility of considering other options.  Read excerpts at

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 each offers.

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.

Sternberg, David Joel.  How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation.  New York: St. Martin's Press (1981).  Provides advice on rearranging one's personal life to accommodate the dissertation writing activity and explains away many of the myths about writing a dissertation. 

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 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 finishing the dissertation, grant writing, publishing, and applying for teaching positions and postdoctoral fellowships.  For information about the booklet, see  For information about ordering, see

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