Validate Diverse Career Outcomes

Departments should guarantee that graduate students understand the full range of potential career outcomes. They should build cooperation with career development offices while also pursuing internal departmental strategies, such as inviting guest speakers, perhaps alumni, whose humanities doctorates have led them to careers beyond the classroom. All graduate students should gain exposure to different types of teaching institutions, and departments should underscore the value of career paths that lead to different institutional types or to positions outside the education sector. Humanists active throughout society demonstrate the value of advanced humanistic study and the humanistic scholarly enterprise.

An important element of validating a wide range of careers includes candor about employment possibilities. Prospective graduate applicants and incoming graduate students should have access to information about the job market. Departments should tell them about the availability of tenure-track positions as well as about the casualization of the academic job market. In addition, they should provide information, preferably on their Web site, regarding their placement record in different types of positions as well as median time to degree. Staff support will be required to maintain this information and to track individuals as they move out of their initial positions, which implies the need for a systematic maintenance of alumni connections. We recognize that in the posting of these data, privacy concerns must be respected.

[Next recommendation: Rethink Admissions Practices]