Beyond the Professoriate

In addition to training students for college and university positions, we celebrate the many career pathways available to doctoral students in Classics, including those not within the tenure-track professoriate. We are in full agreement with the Society for Classical Studies’  statement on career paths:

 “Classical Studies itself is a broad discipline, spacious enough for many ambitions and accomplishments. Those with doctoral degrees are employed across all levels of education and in all sectors of the economy; they choose careers beyond the professoriate for many reasons. Working in any field, classicists demonstrate the value of the study of the ancient Mediterranean world. Professionally trained classicists bring to the workplace skills, knowledge, and perspectives that transcend time, technology, and job-related issues. With their deep understanding of language, culture, and history, they are equipped to transform society with ideas that enrich and empower human life on earth.” 

The Department of Classical Studies is also honored to be 1 of 6 departments (and the only one in the Humanities) at Boston University that participates in the AAU PhD Education Initiative. BU itself is 1 of just 8 universities from across the country selected to take part in this program. The stated goals of the Initiative are “to change the culture surrounding doctoral education at AAU member institutions so that graduate education is more student-centered, placing greater emphasis and focus on students as individuals with diverse educational and professional interests, needs, and challenges.” Ultimately, the initiative aims to make career pathways “visible, valued, and viable for all students”.

Finding Your Path

As with the SCS, we celebrate the many meaningful ways to engage with the world as a Classicist, and support students in selecting from a broad array of pathways upon graduation. Dating back to the Renaissance, Classics has maintained a close relation between teachers at all levels of classical education. We greatly value our students who select to teach at the middle or high school level, whether in public or private settings. Our graduates have taken other career paths, as well, including Literary Translation, University Administration, and Marketing. You can hear from those alumni who chose to share their journeys on our (ever expanding) Alumni Stories page.

In conjunction with our Alumni Stories, we have compiled a few resources for graduate students to aid in building a solid foundation of professional skills, and to learn more about how those skills can be applied to positions beyond the professoriate: 

PhD Progression: This program is designed to help PhD students build skills in a self-paced way that aligns with their personal career goals, and allows them to earn micro-credentials that they can market to employers. To explore the badges available, and our scaffolded pathway, students can click each link to learn more. Each badge is roughly the equivalent of one of our in-person (60-90 minute) workshops.

Skillsmatch: This tool helps PhD students inventory their current skills, learn about how those skills are relevant to current posted positions, and suggests PhD Progression badges based on their unique skills gaps. Students can upload a copy of their resume or CV and/or select their current skills. Skillsmatch will then use machine learning to match the student’s profile to existing job postings and suggest further opportunities for skills development.