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Robert Vega, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900

Introduction to Non-Academic Job Search Resources

As someone pursuing an advanced degree at UT, you have more career options than you may have realized.
You may have discovered during your time in graduate school that an academic career is simply not a good fit for you. There could be any number of reasons for this, none of which mean that you aren’t smart or hard-working enough to succeed as a professor.

Or, you could be taking a pragmatic view of the academic job prospects in your field. Perhaps the job list has just come out and you see that there are no job postings in your specialty. You’d like to obtain an academic position just as you and your advisors have planned, but you understand that having a Plan B makes sense in this job climate.

What This Guide Is and Isn’t

This guide is for liberal arts graduate students or recently graduated PhDs who find themselves somewhere on the continuum of interest in non-academic jobs, from mildly curious to 100% certain that a non-academic career is the right choice for you. It is meant to supplement, not compete with, the work academic departments are doing in getting their graduates ready for the job market, both academic and non-academic.
Currently there is not a lot of information available about the types of careers that liberal arts PhDs would be especially well suited for and how they might go about finding them. This guide aims to overview common career paths for those with advanced degrees. 
In order to mentally prepare yourself for a non-academic job search, you’ll need “pull back the curtain” on different career paths—that is, let yourself be open to a wider range of professions than the small sliver you’ve probably been focusing on for the past few years. The alt-ac job search does not follow a predictable, linear path. Your job search will take you to unexpected places and may seem chaotic while you’re in the process of looking for a new job. But the flip-side of this chaos is that you have many options for where to take your career from this point. Being open to serendipity will serve you well when an opportunity presents itself.

How to Use This Guide

Listed below are a series of pages to help you prepare for the job search by researching careers, preparing materials, and interacting with potential employers.
The Career Guide Section links to content-rich guides about careers like editing, consulting, freelance writing, K-12 teaching, etc.

Resources to Help You Make the Transition

Introduction • Researching CareersCVs and Cover LettersNetworking and Interviewing

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