Arts & Humanities – Beyond The PhD

It’s great to be able to highlight a new careers resource, specifically for Arts and Humanities PhDs, called Beyond The PhD. Many arts and humanities researchers feel a bit left out compared to scientists and engineers, in terms of materials which take into account their experiences. I first heard this resource was being developed last September, so I’ve been waiting with bated breath for it to appear, and it doesn’t disappoint.

It’s not only useful for current and new PhDs, this resource could be equally helpful for

  • post-docs – many of the PhDs profiled have held post-doctoral research, temporary or part-time lecturing or teaching roles

or for

  • those considering an arts or humanities research degree, to see how it opens up your career options before you take the plunge



The website looks like a really rich careers resource, with profiles of arts and humanities PhDs and the career paths they have taken, both inside and outside academia. The profiles include audio interviews (with transcripts if you prefer those) and a timeline of their careers. The team who developed the resource decided to take a narrative approach to providing careers information, letting PhDs speak for themselves, including all the difficulties they faced, their emotions along the way and the unexpected events which led to unforeseen outcomes. These are real life careers, which don’t fall easily into a pre-ordained structured career plan, which is a common theme with most arts and humanities researchers I meet.

In addition to the profiles and audio files, there are videos of careers advisers and skills trainers talking about issues such as “How can the value of the PhD be translated for non-academic employers?” and “How feasible is it to build a career as a freelancer?”. There are reflective articles on topics such as the pursuit of meaning in work and how you can give fate a bit of a nudge to move your career forward. There’s also a great set of further weblinks (including a few I hadn’t come across before) so there’s more to explore.

I’m sure the developers (and I) would love to get your feedback on the site, so any comments you have on whether you find this sort of resource useful would be very welcome.