A growing number of people completing or holding graduate degrees now seek non-faculty positions—also called alternative academic, or “alt-ac” positions—at different stages in their careers. While an increasing number of people with doctoral degrees are hunting for a diminishing pool of tenure-track faculty jobs, most degree-granting institutions do not adequately prepare their graduate students to enter the new reality of the alt-ac job market. Yet the administrative ranks in higher education institutions are growing, as colleges and universities are creating a diverse range of positions that support teaching and learning efforts.Focusing on the range of potential alternative career choices, this highly practical book offers tools and prompts for readers who are:·Considering whether to choose an alt-ac career path·Seeking specific alt-ac positions·Advising graduate students or mentoring recent professional graduates·Encountering alt-ac career challengesThe authors offer case stories—their own and those of colleagues across North America in alt-ac roles—with concrete examples designed to help readers pursue, obtain, and excel in a wide variety of alt-ac positions. The book can equally be used as a resource for graduate courses on professional development and job-market preparation.
Forward—Joshua Kim Preface Acknowledgments Part One. An Introduction to Going Alt-Ac 1. Why Go Alt-Ac? 2. Who Considers Alt-Ac Careers? Part Two. Exploring Alt-Ac Careers 3. Do You Want to Work in Higher Ed? 4. Alt-Ac Opportunities Outside Academia 5. Being Aware of Emotions When Making Career Decisions 6. Mapping an Alt-Ac Career Trajectory 7. Learning More About Alt-Ac Fields Part Three. Getting Started in Alt-Ac 8. Preparing for an Alt-Ac Career While Still in Grad School 9. Getting Your Partner or Family on Board With the Decision to go Alt-Ac 10. Communicating About Alt-Ac Careers With Graduate Advisors 11. Job Hunting 12. Preparing Alt-Ac Job Materials 13. Interviewing Part Four. Addressing Common Alt-Ac Challenges 14. Addressing the Two-Body Problem 15. Finding a Niche and an Appropriate Audience 16. Communicating How Disciplinary Knowledge and Skills Support Work in Specific Alt-Ac Roles 17. Making Good Use of a Dissertation After Graduation 18. Establishing Credibility When Getting Started 19. Having Effective Conversations Part Five. Growing in the Alt-Ac Space 20. Doing Consulting Work 21. Working Up Internally or Moving Up by Moving On 22. Writing and Publishing 23. Joining and Participating in Professional Organizations Part Six. Building Your Alt-Ac Presence 24. Getting Experience 25. Building a Portfolio Over Time and With Intentionality 26. Finding a Sponsor or Mentoring Group to Help 27. Creating and Growing a Personal Brand Part Seven. The Alt-Ac Career Life Cycle 28. From Alt-Ac to Faculty Roles 29. From Faculty to Alt-Ac Roles 30. Part-Time Alt-Ac Roles 31. Be an Alt-Ac Mentor Conclusion References About the Authors Index
"The authors have produced a book that anyone contemplating, or negotiating, a non-traditional academic career will want to read. Not only read, but workshop and teach and book-club and share. I think that we will keep Going-Alt Ac on our desks, as both a reference guide and a reminder that we are part of something bigger."
Joshua Kim, Director of Digital Learning Initiatives
Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning
"Practical and stamped by hard-won experience, Going Alt-Ac is an excellent guide to this emerging career path."
Bryan Alexander, Senior Scholar
"If you're doing or have a doctorate and want to be meaningfully employed in or around higher education, you must read this book--and do what it says. I was impressed with the depth of knowledge and wide-ranging, thoughtful advice presented, which is useful for both career explorers and seasoned professionals. This book provides smart strategies to move your career forward in just the right way for you."
Jennifer Polk, Cofounder
Beyond the Professoriate
"This book provides clear and articulate strategies toward attaining a fulfilling, non-traditional academic career. It's the book I'll recommend to every single one of my grad students and colleagues, and the one I wish I had read 30 years ago."
Alec Couros, Professor of Education
University of Regina
"As a seasoned alt-ac professional, I'll be sharing this book with the young professionals who seek me out, wondering how they can also jump the tenure track and carve out a nontraditional and rewarding career path."
Patricia Payette, Executive Director
Quality Enhancement Plan; and Senior Associate Director, Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Louisville
“Linder, Kelly and Tobin fill an important gap by providing a route map, rationale, and insightful, practical guidance for those of us who seek alternative and untapped career opportunities in higher education. Imagine a book that is like a seasoned mentor, ready with sage advice. This is that book.”
Mary Deane Sorcinelli, Co-PI, Undergraduate Education STEM Initiative
Association of American Universities (AAU), and Senior Fellow & Founding Director, Center for Teaching & Faculty Development, University of Massachusetts Amherst
“Going Alt-Ac is the perfect blend of counseling, coaching, and career planning—all things needed to conduct a thorough exploration of the professional possibilities available to those considering or pursuing an advanced degree. Anyone pursuing a doctoral degree should invest some time in applying its strategies.”
Veronica Diaz, PhD, Director, Professional Learning