Other Interviews with Philosophers Working Outside the Academy:
- Philosopher Helen de Cruz’s interviews with philosophy PhDs working outside of academia were a major source of inspiration for the interviews here at Free Range Philosophers.
Part I: “How and Why Do They End Up There?”
Part II: “What’s It Like to Have a Nonacademic Job?”
Part III: “Transferable Skills and Concrete Advice”
Coverage at The Philosophers’ Magazine
Coverage at The Atlantic
Coverage and Translation into Chinese at The Paper
- Helen de Cruz also has an ongoing series of profiles with philosophers in nonacademic careers called Doing Things With Philosophy.
- Eleni Manis hosts a series of interviews with and resources for philosophy PhDs pursuing non-academic careers at Phil Skills.
Philosophy-Specific Information Regarding Alternative Careers:
- Philosopher Torsten Menge’s guest post on “Duties to Graduate Students Pursuing Non-Academic Careers” contains a range of information on career prospects for philosophy PhDs working beyond the faculty ranks.
- There is a LinkedIn Group for Professional Philosophers in Industry.
- Philosophy blog DailyNous hosts a so-far underutilized list of Non-Academic Hires in philosophy meant to compliment the listing of academic hires on the PhilJobs Appointments page.
- Philosopher Zachary Ernst’s blog Goodbye Academia provides advice based on his experience transitioning into a nonacademic career.
- The Philosopher’s Cocoon has a number of relevant resources, including an occasional Alt-Ac Workshop. Philosophers contemplating alternative careers might also benefit from the Cocoon’s other series on academic jobs and the academic job search such as Real Jobs in Philosophy and Long Journeys. Finally, the Cocoon’s Passions of Philosophers series offers a good reminder that, even for philosophers, our jobs aren’t the only things that matter in our lives.
- The American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Non-Academic Careers has recently published the 2016 edition of Beyond Academia: Professional Opportunities for Philosophers. The updated guide provides data on non-academic careers, suggestions and advice for specific industries, and personal narratives from philosophers in other industries. It also includes an extensive collection of links to additional resources from other sources.
General Information Regarding Alternative Careers for PhDs:
- The Versatile PhD brands itself as “the largest online community dedicated to non-academic and non-faculty careers for PhDs in humanities, social science and STEM.” Free registration is required, and additional resources are available to graduates of “subscribing” schools. The site contains job listings, community forums, personal accounts of career transitions, and a Career Finder tool organized by occupation/industry.
- Dr. Karen Kelsky of The Professor is In offers a number of resources for academics who are transitioning to nonacademic careers. In addition to offering paid consulting for the nonacademic job search, she and her team of consultants offer a wealth of free information and advice on her blog, “Pearls of Wisdom.”
- Connected Academics is the Modern Language Association’s latest program for preparing PhDs in language and literature fields for nonacademic employment. No doubt many of the career strategies and challenges featured there will also prove applicable to many philosophers looking at the prospects for alternative careers.
- Career Diversity for Historians is a similar project developed by the American Historical Association.
- The Academic Career Guide on the website Job Hero contains a number of links to articles comparing jobs in academia to jobs in industry and information about jobs in academic administration mixed in with advice about applying to academic jobs.
- The article, What Can I Do With A Master’s Degree In Philosophy?, offers some general information that might be relevant for MAs and PhDs who are at the early stage of thinking of alternative careers.
Information About Teaching and Practicing Philosophy Outside the Academy:
- There is now an international movement to expand philosophy into primary and secondary school classrooms. For just a few examples see The P4C Co-operative, the University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children, and the website Teaching Children Philosophy. For general background on the movement to teach philosophy to children, see the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s entry on Philosophy for Children.
- Prisons are another non-traditional academic space for teaching philosophy. Daily Nous interviewed a handful of U.S.-based philosophers on their motivations for and experience with teaching philosophy in prisons. The Guardian has an entire series on philosophy in prisons. And, more recently, Columbia University’s Christina Mercer discussed her experience teaching philosophy in prison with the Washington Post.
- Faculty and students from Sanford University provide philosophy education to the residents of a women’s drug and alcohol recovery center through the Hope House Scholars program.
- A number of philosophers teach free college-level classes through a program called the Clemente Course in the Humanities whose mission is to make the benefits of humanities education available “to people who have been deprived of these riches through economic, social, or political forces.”
- Brooklyn Public Philosophers presents a philosophy speaker series for the general public and hosts an Ask a Philosopher booth at a local farmer’s market.
Other Online Philosophy Resources:
- Those eager to read more long-form interviews with philosophers can find more at 3AM Magazine, What Is It Like to Be a Philosopher?, Aesthetics for Birds, and Discrimination and Disadvantage.
- If you’d rather rest your eyes and listen instead, there are a number of great podcasts, including Philosophy Bites, The Unmute Podcast, The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, and The Partially Examined Life. For more, see this list/discussion of “The Best Philosophy Podcasts.”
- For more information about particular philosophers or philosophical subjects, including detailed bibliographies for further research, the Stanford Encyclopedia is a great, freely available scholarly resource. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is another good online resource.
- An even more accessible – and more eclectic – web resource for philosophical thought is Ask Philosophers, which aims to make the expertise of trained philosophers available to the public at large. You can browse their large body of answered questions by topic, enter your own custom search terms, or ask your own questions.
If you have suggestions for other resources that should be included on any of these lists, please visit the contact page.