Building a Career Outside Academia A Guide for Doctoral Students in the Behavioral and Social Sciences

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Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2018-08-28
Publisher(s): American Psychological Association
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After years of hard work and many long hours, you’ve finally finished your dissertation and earned your doctorate. You have persevered through many challenges, but there is still one dilemma that lays before you: What will you do with your degree?
While many graduates go on to pursue academic careers, academia isn’t for everyone. This career guide examines the rewarding opportunities that await social and behavioral science doctorates in nonacademic sectors, including government, consulting, think tanks, for‑profit corporations, and nonprofit associations. The chapter authors are experienced professionals who provide an insider’s look into their respective fields. They explain why they chose their paths, the challenges they overcame, and how they applied their PhDs to make a difference in the real world. Chapters offers tips for leveraging support from mentors, conducting job searches, marketing your degree and skillset, networking, and preparing for interviews. This expert guidance will help you decide what career is the best fit for you.

Author Biography

Jennifer Brown Urban, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Family Science and Human Development at Montclair State University, where she also codirects the Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation. Dr. Urban is trained as a developmental scientist with specific expertise in youth character development and program evaluation. Her scholarship is encapsulated under the umbrella of systems science, including both theoretical approaches and methodologies, and consists of three strands: (a) systems evaluation, the development, testing, and implementation of a systems science approach to program evaluation and planning to enhance internal evaluation capacity, particularly for youth program practitioners and evaluators; (b) innovative approaches to advancing developmental science by developing and promoting a social justice perspective, the use of innovative methods, and professional development resources; and (c) building the evidence base in developmental science, specifically to determine the key features of character development programs that promote positive youth development and advance the application of character science in multiple contexts to enhance human flourishing across the lifespan. Dr. Urban is currently principal investigator (PI) on several grant-funded projects, and her most recent research focuses on character development and innovative approaches to program evaluation and planning. She uses mixed-methods approaches in her own research and has mentored many undergraduate and graduate students in designing and executing applied research projects. She developed and has taught a doctoral professional development course for several years and is passionate about mentoring students.

Miriam R. Linver, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Family Science and Human Development at Montclair State University and codirects the Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation (RYTE Institute). Previously, Dr. Linver was a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at the National Center for Children and Families, Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research reflects Bronfenbrenner’s ecological paradigm, focusing on the contexts of child and adolescent development. She has expertise in the importance of the home environment for infants, children, and adolescents; the ways school and out-of-school experiences matter for children and youth; and flourishing and character development as key outcomes. She has served as guest editor of several journal special issues, including Parenting: Science and Practice (“Parenting at HOME”), Infant Mental Health Journal (“New Directions in Young Children’s Socio-emotional Measures”), and Research in Human Development (“‘My Life Purpose Is . . .’: Assessment of Youth Purpose in Context”). Dr. Linver is co-principal investigator on several funded projects in the RYTE Institute focused on program evaluation and character development outcomes in youth. She enjoys the challenges and rewards of mentoring and collaborating with undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and colleagues.

Table of Contents

Jennifer Brown Urban and Miriam R. Linver
I. How to Decide on Your Optimal Career Path
Chapter 1. Academia or Not? What Moderates a Doctoral Student’s Career Decisions
Jennifer Brown Urban and Miriam R. Linver
Chapter 2. Leaving and Returning to Academia: Can You Ever Go Home Again?
Lisa Lieberman
II. Career Paths for Behavioral and Social Science Doctorates
Chapter 3. Postdoc: The Next Logical Step?
J. Zoe Klemfuss
Chapter 4. Government: Using Your Skills for the Public Good
Layla E. Esposito and Valerie Maholmes
Chapter 5. Private Foundations: The Other Side of the Research Coin
Sarah Clement
Chapter 6. Consulting: Applying Your Skills in New Arenas
Scott R. Rosas
Chapter 7. Think Tanks: Applying Your Academic Skill Set to Policy Research
Lisa A. Gennetian
Chapter 8. For-Profit Corporations: Finding Your Way in the World of Business
Debra Mazloff
Chapter 9. Nonprofits: Bridging the Research–Practice Divide
Jonathan F. Zaff
Chapter 10. Non-Tenure-Track Academic Jobs: The Side of Academia You Didn’t Know Existed
Jane L. Powers and Lisa A. McCabe
III. Preparing Yourself for the Nonacademic Job Market
Chapter 11. How to Get the Most From Your Mentoring Experience
Patricia L. Mabry
Chapter 12. Preparing for and Conducting Job Searches Outside Academia
Kerin McQuaid Borland, Terri LaMarco, and Amy Hoag Longhi
Chapter 13. Networking: How to Market Yourself and Your PhD
Alan Pickman and Lisa Chauveron
Chapter 14. Interviewing: What to Expect and How to Prepare
Dana M. Foney and Olivia Silber Ashley
About the Editors

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