“Alt-Ac is the future of the academy.” ~ William Pannapacker

The search for the Non-Academic Career (NAC) has split into two tracks:  “Alt-Ac” and “Post-Ac.”  Alt-Ac refers to career opportunities within the academy other than being a professor.  Post-Ac refers to career opportunities completely outside the academy.  Apart from the different career designations, the two generally differ in the values and attitudes their proponents espouse:  while AltAcs generally continue to believe in and desire to pursue the values, goals, and ideals of academia, Post-Acs tend to have undergone a crisis of faith in the academy, and a conversion through which they come to see other lines of work to be just as desirable, worthwhile, and intellectually satisfying as academia.  The former hope to find a different role to play on the ship, while the latter are convinced that the ship is off course and uncorrectable, and/or swiftly sinking, or should be sunk.

The web is brimming with resources–websites, databases, articles, books, blogs, and forums–for information, opportunities, and debates about alternative, or n0n-academic careers.  Below, you will find a nearly exhaustive summary of these resources.  If you happen to find something that is not included in this list, please contact me!

General Resources


VersatilePhD  This is the gold standard for alt-ac on the web.

Beyond the PhD

Beyond Academe

APA page on Non-Academic Careers in Philosophy

Blogs by Post-Academics

Jobs on Toast

Unemployed PhD for hire

Homeless Adjunct

David Drysdale

Unemployed Philosophers Blog

From Grad School to Happiness

Worst Professor Ever

Literary Emergency

Post Academic

After Academe

Professor Is In

Sellout:  A Resource for PhDs Considering Careers Beyond the University  

Sell Out Your Soul

Non-Academic Job Search Consultants

Conscious Career Course

CORP 101 — The How-To Guide for Recovering Academics

Escape the Ivory Tower blog


Univesity Career Resources Pages

Columbia Career Services


Notre Dame



Susan Basalla, So What Are You Going to Do With That?: A Guide for MAs and PhDs     Seeking Careers Outside the Academy 

Margaret Newhouse, Outside the Ivory Tower:  A Guide for Academics Considering Alternative Careers

Richard N. Bolles, What Color is Your Parachute?

Keith Ferazzi, Never Eat Alone

Herminia Ibarra, Working Identity:  Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career

Jerald Jellison, Life After Grad School:  Getting From A to B


“Want Innovative Thinking?  Hire From the Humanities”

“Five Questions and Three Answers About Alt-Ac”

“Playing for Both Teams, Winning on One”

“Fear of Being Useful”

“A Ph.D. and a Failure”

“Project Management for Humanists”

#alt-ac: Alternate Academic Careers for Humanities Scholars”

“Pannapacker at MLA: Alt-Ac is the Future of the Humanities”

“Toward a Third Way: Rethinking Academic Employment”

“#Altac and the Tenure Track”

“4 Things to do in Grad School to Prepare for a Non-Academic Career”

“Every PhD Needs a Plan B” 

A ‘Nonacademic’ Career in Academe

“Getting Into and Out of Academe” 

“And If You Just Don’t Go?”

“The Truth About the Nonacademic Jobs Search”

“Outside, Over There”

Out of Academia

“Know Thyself”

“Our Failure of Imagination” 

“Models for Post-University Life” 

(Photo by Mitya Ilyinov via Flickr)