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How to find a job with a PhD in Arts?

by on August 27, 2013

‘How to find a job with a PhD in Arts?’ is my question.

Recently, I have submitted my thesis, and I am starting to look for jobs.

One of the reasons I did a PhD was to become more employable at the end of it. I am not sure I was so right!

While doing a PhD, the only thing that matters is to finish your thesis. Yet, once you have submitted the only  thing that matters is to find a job.

So what about a job in academia?

Everyday I receive job alerts for academic job offers in UK. There are a lot of offers for  lecturer positions in my field but almost none for full time contracts as post docs or short term research assistant positions. Yet such contracts are useful to gain more teaching experience and increase the number of my publications needed to subsequently enter a proper academic position.

In the context of economic crisis, if you want to pursue an academic, the new trend is to create your own portfolio. This means combining for couple of years three or four part time jobs at the same time in various institutions. Unfortunately, it also seems to involve precarious contracts, and consequently no proper financial insecurity. Such perspective can appear quiet depressing, especially after so many years of studies.

What about a job outside academia?

Unfortunately, my initial feeling is that the job market does not really recognise a PhD as a professional experience. At least, employers do not systematically understand what the attributes of a PhD are. Studying for 10 years or more does not provide you with the professional experience needed to enter the job market.

It says a lot about the disconnect between the education system and labour market.

Who is to blamed? I am not quite sure.

However one thing is for sure: we as a PhDs must raise our voice to play a greater part into the debate with other stakeholders (eg. Policy makers, industries, academia…) to find efficient solutions to support fresh doctors in Arts to start their careers.

That seems to me the only way to make our future less uncertain!

This blog is definitely a place where we can start raising our voice! So don’t hesitate to join the debate!



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