Showing students another career path in academia

portraits of Lisa McCabe and Jane Powers

Lisa McCabe and Jane Powers

Two BCTR researchers authored a book chapter that is part of a career guide for people who earn a doctorate degree in behavioral or social sciences but do not want to pursue a career as a professor.

Jane Powers, the director of the project Assets Coming Together (ACT) for Youth Center for Community Action, and Lisa McCabe, director of the Cornell Early Childhood Program, wrote the chapter, titled Non–Tenure-Track Academic Jobs: The Side of Academia You Didn’t Know Existed. It is part of the book Building a Career Outside Academia: A Guide for Doctoral Students in the Behavioral and Social Sciences, edited by Jennifer Brown Urban and Miriam R. Linver and published this year by the American Psychological Association.

“There are more people graduating with Ph.D.s today than there are tenure-track positions available in academia,” Powers said. “This book is a resource guide to help them to discover other potential career opportunities.”

“The book offers advice about how doctoral students can prepare for a variety of other types of jobs, and the pros and cons of different positions,” she said. “For my part, I have had an extremely positive experience. Although I have had somewhat less autonomy and security than if I had taken a tenure-track position, I have also had much more flexibility and control over my schedule.  I have been able to align my research interests with the wide variety of projects on which I have worked.”

book cover of "Building a Career Outside Academia"Powers and McCabe were asked to write the chapter by Jennifer Brown Urban, a professor of family science and human development at Montclair State University who received her doctorate degree from Cornell.

“It can be difficult for graduate students to learn about career opportunities outside tenure-track positions,” McCabe said. “My hope is that this book will help graduate students understand the many possibilities open to them so they can make choices that fit their individual needs. Working in a non-tenure track position has been a great fit for me. I’ve been able to engage in diverse research experiences while also preserving an ideal work-family balance.”

You can learn more about the book and order a copy on the American Psychological Association website.