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In spring 2014, the Humanities Institute launched a new theme in its programming with a kick-off event titled “PhD Unlimited: Ex- panding the Horizons of Non-Academic Careers” aimed at encour- aging graduate students to think beyond the academy when they think about their future careers. Contrary to what many believe, a Ph.D. in the humanities doesn’t limit one to a position in academia. The skills polished as a graduate student are valuable assets in a variety of organizations and industries, a fact that broadens the horizon of post-doctorate career options. For soon-to-be Ph.D.s, however, information on those careers may seem elusive.

To address this, the Humanities Institute, in partnership with the Internship and Career Center and the Office of Graduate Studies, hosted a half-day workshop and expert forum to explore opportu- nities for non-academic careers for Ph.D.s in the humanities and social sciences. More than 90 graduate students registered for the event that provided graduate students with new ways to think about their Ph.D.s and offered them tools to help them take control of their careers. A panel of experts provided the keynote to the event and offered their own perspectives on the issue of career diversity. The panel included Dave Shepard (Ph.D., English literature), a lead academic developer at UCLA’s Center for Digital Humanities; Jodi Samuels (Ph.D, French literature), assistant director of development for the California Primary Care Association and Versatile Ph.D. member; and Julia Brookins (Ph.D., U.S. history), special projects coordinator for the American Historical Association.

Professor of English John Marx said the event encouraged students to think of non- tenure track employment as more than just a “second option.” Marx wants UC Davis to “do more in deliberately preparing graduate students to enter a humanities workforce active in a host of economic sectors, from the academy to government to various sorts of industry.”

To continue the conversation beyond the event, the organizers created a website where doctoral candidates can share resources and access professional development tools:

More Ph.D. Unlimited news and events to come in 2014-2015.

To continue the conversation, go to



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