Going Alt-Ac

A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers

January 2020
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • ISBN 9781620368312
  • Language English
  • Pages 204 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 11 illus
January 2020
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • ISBN 9781620368305
  • Language English
  • Pages 204 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 11 illus
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as well as through the following wholesalers: The Yankee Book Peddler subsidiary of Baker & Taylor, Inc.

January 2020
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • ISBN 9781620368329
  • Language English
  • Pages 204 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 11 illus
January 2020
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • ISBN 9781620368336
  • Language English
  • Pages 204 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 11 illus

A growing number of people completing or holding graduate degrees now seek non-faculty positions—also called alternative academic, or “alt-ac” positions—at different stages in their careers. While an increasing number of people with doctoral degrees are hunting for a diminishing pool of tenure-track faculty jobs, most degree-granting institutions do not adequately prepare their graduate students to enter the new reality of the alt-ac job market. Yet the administrative ranks in higher education institutions are growing, as colleges and universities are creating a diverse range of positions that support teaching and learning efforts.

Focusing on the range of potential alternative career choices, this highly practical book offers tools and prompts for readers who are:

  • Considering whether to choose an alt-ac career path

  • Seeking specific alt-ac positions

  • Advising graduate students or mentoring recent professional graduates

  • Encountering alt-ac career challenges

The authors offer case stories—their own and those of colleagues across North America in alt-ac roles—with concrete examples designed to help readers pursue, obtain, and excel in a wide variety of alt-ac positions. The book can equally be used as a resource for graduate courses on professional development and job-market preparation.

"The authors have produced a book that anyone contemplating, or negotiating, a non-traditional academic career will want to read. Not only read, but workshop and teach and book-club and share. I think that we will keep Going-Alt Ac on our desks, as both a reference guide and a reminder that we are part of something bigger."

Joshua Kim, Director of Digital Learning Initiatives - Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning


Part One: An Introduction to Alt-Ac
1) Why Go Alt-Ac?
2) Who Considers Alt-Ac Careers?

Part Two: Exploring Alt-Ac Careers
3) Do You Want to Work in Higher Ed?
4) Alt-Ac Opportunities Outside Academia
5) Being Aware of Emotions When Making Career Decisions
6) Mapping an Alt-Ac Career Trajectory
7) Learning More About Alt-Ac Fields

Part Three: Getting Started in Alt-Ac
8) Preparing for an Alt-Ac Career While Still in Grad School
9) Getting Your Partner or Family on Board
10) Communicating About Alt-Ac Careers With Graduate Advisors
11) Job Hunting
12) Preparing Alt-Ac Job Materials
13) Interviewing

Part Four: Addressing Common Alt-Ac Challenges
14) Addressing the Two-Body Problem
15) Finding a Niche and an Appropriate Audience
16) Disciplinary Knowledge & Skills in Specific Alt-Ac Roles
17) Making Good Use of a Dissertation After Graduation
18) Establishing Credibility When Getting Started
19) Having Effective Conversations

Part Five: Growing in the Alt-Ac Space
20) Doing Consulting Work
21) Working Up Internally or Moving Up by Moving On
22) Writing and Publishing
23) Professional Organizations

Part Six: Building Your Alt-Ac Presence
24) Getting Experience
25) Building a Portfolio Over Time and With Intentionality
26) Finding a Sponsor or Mentoring Group to Help
27) Creating and Growing a Personal Brand

Part Seven: The Alt-Ac Career Life Cycle
28) From Alt-Ac to Faculty Roles
29) From Faculty to Alt-Ac Roles
30) Part-Time Alt-Ac Roles
31) Be an Alt-Ac Mentor

About the Authors

Kathryn E. Linder

Kathryn E. Linder is an avid writer and researcher with a passion for process and peeking behind the scenes at what it takes to be a successful academic. Currently, she is the creator of the Radical Self-Trust Podcast Channel and a weekly interview-based podcast (Research in Action).

Katie is also the director of the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit and an associate editor for the International Journal for Academic Development. For the past several years, Katie’s work has focused on blended course design best practices, institutional supports for accessible online learning, and research literacy for scholarship of teaching and learning practitioners and distance education stakeholders. She speaks on topics related to writing and publication; creativity and productivity; self-promotion and personal branding, and teaching and learning with technology.

Currently, Katie is under contract for her fourth book Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers (co-authored with Kevin Kelly and Tom Tobin). She is also the editor of the Thrive Online series.

Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly teaches online courses as a Lecturer in the Department of Equity, Leadership Studies, and Instructional Technologies at San Francisco State University, where he has also served as Online Teaching and Learning Manager. He works with colleges and universities as a consultant to address distance education, educational technology, and organizational challenges.

Thomas J. Tobin

Thomas J. Tobin is a Faculty Associate and the Conference Programming Chair for the Learning Design, Development, & Innovation (LDDI) team in the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an internationally-recognized speaker and author on topics related to quality in technology-enhanced education, especially copyright, evaluation of teaching practice, academic integrity, and accessibility/universal design for learning.