What is an “Altac” (aka Alt-Ac) Job?

Put simply, altac jobs are job alternatives to academia. They are non-academic jobs for PhDs and other advanced degree-holders.

Given the current state of the academic job market, most recently-minted PhDs likely will not find permanent, tenure-track roles. Altac jobs offer careers for advanced degrees without extensive re-training.

While it is possible to transition to any career from an academic one, there are certain career paths that draw on the skills and expertise of academics. Examples of altac careers for Humanities PhDs and Social Science PhDs include:

  • Policy Research/Analysis
  • Grant research and writing
  • Technical writing
  • Market research (including UX research)
  • Curriculum writing or design
  • Legal research and/or writing
  • Education administration or advisement
  • Publishing

The above list is far from exhaustive. But it will give you a sense of some of the most common options out there for Social Science and Humanities PhDs leaving academia for the wider job market.

Want even more examples? Head over to my jobs board page to begin your altac career search!

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