Beyond the Professoriate started as an online conference for PhDs in career transition and is rapidly transforming into an online community of graduate students and PhDs interested in non-faculty careers. Now in its 4th year, the Beyond the Professoriate conference runs the first two Saturdays in May and features presentations from and discussion with PhDs, all working beyond the professoriate in a variety of jobs and careers.

But we’re expanding! In 2017, we’ll launch the Beyond the Professoriate Webinar series and Community, to bringing you up-to-date information on the non-faculty job search process, and to provide professional development courses to help PhDs bridge the gap between academia and careers beyond the professoriate.

Beyond the Professoriate is brought to you by Jennifer Polk and Maren Wood. Maren and Jen first met as Master’s students in the history department at Carleton University in Ottawa. After earning their degrees, they went their separate ways, Jen to do her PhD at the University of Toronto, and Maren to Chapel Hill to complete her doctorate at the University or North Carolina. In 2013 Jen and Maren re-connected through the online “alternative-” or “post-academic” community. They realized that their budding businesses offered complimentary services to graduate students and PhDs. In early 2014 they came together to organize the first Beyond the Professoriate conference.

Join our mailing list to stay informed of future events and other news from Beyond the Professoriate!Jen circle

Jennifer Polk, PhD, works as an academic, career, and life coach. Her clients — graduate students and PhDs — are a diverse group of individuals based all around the world, from Canada, the US, the UK, Europe, Australia, and elsewhere. Jen speaks on campuses and at conferences throughout North America on issues related to graduate education and career outcomes for PhDs, and her writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, University Affairs, Vitae, and Academic Matters. Find Jen online at FromPhDtoLife.com, which features resources for PhD career changers, and at her award-winning University Affairs blog. Join her twice a month for #withaPhD chat on Twitter and at the monthly Versatile PhD meetup in Toronto. Follow Jen on Twitter @FromPhDtoLife. Jen earned her PhD in history from the University of Toronto.


Maren Wood, PhD, provides career coaching to individual PhD Job Seekers as well as research support and consulting to graduate programs and universities. In addition, Maren speaks on university campuses across North America where she talks about the state of the academic job market (providing hard numbers) and tips and strategies to PhDs interested in careers beyond the professoriate. She has been the lead researcher on several important studies on the academic and non-academic job market, including The Many Careers of History PhDs for the American Historical Association, and JobTracker for Chronicle of Higher Education/Vitae. Her current project is a history of the Academic Job Market Crisis from 1968- Present. Maren earned a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and knows first-hand the challenges of being an adjunct, having worked as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of History at UNC Chapel Hill teaching courses in American History and the History of Sexuality. A proud Canadian, she currently resides in Denver. Follow Maren on Twitter at @drmarenw.