Humanities and Social Sciences PhD Pathways


Exploring Pathways: Finding Your Match(es)

As graduate students and postdocs in the Humanities or Social Sciences, you have a wealth of resources to help you explore careers that could be a great fit for you. At Yale, you are developing subject matter expertise as well as a broad set of skills in high demand in many job functions and industries.  These skills include critical and innovative thinking, written and oral communications, project management, and qualitative and/or quantitative analysis.  Start by taking stock of your transferable skills, interests and values. This self-reflection will help you structure your career exploration process and develop a professional development strategy to maximize your time at Yale. 

Once you have performed an initial self-assessment, use the resources on this page to explore the diverse array of career paths that are open to Ph.Ds. Thinking broadly about job functions beyond a particular sector or industry can expand your set of opportunities; doing so will be particularly important if you face other constraints, such as geographical limitations, in your search. For example, companies in the tech sector need content writers, project managers, and educators. 

As you go through this process, be sure to dedicate significant time to making connections with alums and others in your careers of interest.  There is no substitute from hearing first-hand from practitioners in the field about their work, the skills required, their path to their current position, and their advice about how to prepare for this career. Read our advice on networking and informational interviewing, and be sure to take advantage of the many opportunities on campus to connect with alums and employers. Even if you are not yet approaching the job market, attending career fairs can be an efficient way to learn from employers about opportunities for Ph.Ds.

As part of your process, consider professional development opportunities that can help you do a deeper dive into career paths of interest and develop relevant skills to fill in gaps on your current resume. There are many ways you can invest in your professional development without disrupting your academic priorities, so review our resources and think carefully abut your objectives. OCS advisers can also help you develop a plan that works for you. 

It is never too early to begin this career exploration process!  Meet with an OCS adviser to help hone a professional and career development strategy to maximize your time at Yale.Make an appointment with us via the Yale Career Link.  For other career exploration resources, see:

Humanities and Social Sciences Career Development Activity Packets

These six modules offer activities to jump start your career development. Find easy-to-follow tips and resources to get started on networking, crafting a resume, interviewing, and more. You may follow the curriculum independently, or form your own small group of peers to share findings, discuss challenges, and productively reflect on the completed activities.


Featured News

Career Exploration Resources

Employment Data and Trends

Part-time Experiences and Jobs Boards

Learn from Other PhDs

  • President, Executive Director Criminal Justice Institute, Association of State Correctional Administrators

Vault Career Guides

This is just a sampling of the many career and industry guides available through Vault/Firsthand, a resource free to Yale students and postdocs.


Explore Job Market InsightsIn partnership withLightcast logo

Search continually updated U.S. market trends to learn about job types (job functions), growth trends, and desired skills. The results will include general information about each job (functional area), employment trends from the past two years and projections for the next 10 years, employers that have that role, desired education level, skills for the position, and more!


  1. Find Career Data by Selecting Keywords: Enter keywords of various job titles and choose a state or search nationwide to learn more about that job.
  2. Filter by Industry and Occupation: Search by industry and choose among popular occupations/job titles within that industry.

First, choose an industry of interest, then filter for occupation. (If you'd like to see data for a specific location only, filter by state.)

Type in a keyword to select a relevant occupation. (If you'd like to see data for a specific location only, filter by state.)


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