Professionalization Information

Professional skills are those deemed “necessary to the practice of a profession” (OED).  What those skills are and how they are “necessary” for humanities Ph.D.s has varied across time, making the whole professionalization thing sometimes seem quite mystifying.

There was a time when a few hard skills was enough for doctoral students navigating academia:  publication (note the singular), a completed dissertation, and bam!  Today, that singular has become plural.  Networking, participating in (not just attending) conferences and talks, managing an effective social media profile, relationship management, building intellectual and professional communities seem to have become vital soft skills, necessary to launching the many career paths that await humanities PHDs.

The highly curated list provides resources about professionalization useful for doctoral candidates in the humanities:

Grad School:

  • Sarah L. Wasserman: “A Feminist Guide to Graduate Studies (and Beyond)” pdf
  • Kyla Wazana Tompkins: “Dear First-Generation Graduate Students” [useful tips for all graduate students] pdf
  • Priya Joshi: “Thriving in Graduate School” pdf


  • “What to Think About when Thinking About Publishing:  Temple workshop” pdf
  • Wendy Belcher et al.: “Reviews of Peer-reviewed Journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences” pdf   link
  • Kristina DeVoe:  “Research Impact Toolkit” link [full access behind Temple paywall]: link
  • Times Higher Education:  “Ten Point Guide to Dodging Publishing Pitfalls” pdf 
  • Lucy Kellaway, “If You’re Not getting Rejected, You’re Not Trying Hard Enough” pdf


  • Stacy Hartman: “The Transferable Skills of the PH.D. and How to Talk about Them” link
  • MLA Handbook on Preparing Doctoral Candidates for Careers link
  • Jennifer Guiliano (curator): “Professionalization” (w/hacks, exercises, videos) link
  • The Versatile PhD (Temple career-search resources for humanities PhDs) link

Professional Development:

Devin Griffiths (USC): “Digital Networking for Academics” link
Simon Kuper (FT): “Knowing how to Behave at Work” pdf
Victoria Turk (NYT): “Online Etiquette” pdf
Priya Joshi, “Professional Correspondence with Someone who isn’t Alexa or Siri”  pdf

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