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05/17/2019

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Al

I think the solutions offered here are very good and I do agree that a very important part of the issues here concern the expectations that are set. I’d like to add a really simple resource that isn’t going to solve the problems but shouldn’t be forgotten: most universities have career offices. I’ve had director indirect experiences with a number of these, that is, at different institutions. They aren’t perfect but they have all had some good resources and I can think of one case where a PhD friend of mine really got a lot out of using one when leaving academia.

Job marketeer

The faculty at my PhD program did a good job reminding grad students that the market is tough. I think this is one reason there wasn't much stigma associated with quitting the program. On the other hand, they didn't seem to acknowledge the possibility that those who intend to complete the program may also want to consider alt-ac employment. The biggest reason this seems like an oversight is that 1) (given the 35% stat) most philosophy PhDs will not land a permanent job in academia within a reasonable time-frame and 2) there are no obvious alt-ac career choices for philosophers.

Marcus Schultz-Bergin

An additional step graduate departments could (should) take is to cultivate various avenues for graduate students to engage with other disciplines at the University. For instance, working with (or taking classes with) engineers, biologists, a nursing/medical school, etc.

These sorts of experiences could immediately lead to generating new philosophical interests and publishing opportunities. And these new interests and publications can form the basis of finding alt-ac opportunities - working in the tech sector, etc.

The other benefit to this sort of activity is that it can be beneficial even for people who aim at academic jobs as it can open up additional avenues for those jobs that may not be open to a more traditionally trained philosopher. So it doesn't have to come off as "you should do this as a backup in case you don't get an academic job".

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