We asked Annual Meeting workshop organizers to give our blog readers a sneak peek at the events they have planned for AmAnth2018. This post was submitted by Rachel Carmen Ceasar, the organizer of “Addressing Academic Precarity: How to Transition from Academia to Industry.”
1. What makes your workshop a “must attend” event for the 2018 Meeting?
Even though 80 percent of anthropology graduate students will not get tenure-track jobs, PhD programs in the US are still exclusively training students to become academic professors. My workshop addresses this gap by providing students as well as professionals with the tools and resources they need to make the leap from academia to industry.
I recently made this leap myself–from an R-1 grad program to a postdoc to an agency to managing my own independent consulting firm. Even as a grad student, I knew that I wanted to teach and do rigorous research–I just wasn’t sure if academia was for me, or industry for that matter. But through hundreds of job rejections, informational interviews, and too many coffee networking events to remember, I slowly translated what I loved about anthropology into a fulfilling and challenging career.
I think students and academics are also curious about a life beyond academia. But they’re in a difficult situation where their professors and mentors may be unfamiliar with what it’s like to work in industry, and industry folks may be intimidated or unsure of how anthropology skills translate into a job. I have experience working both sides of it, so I can speak to the nitty gritty of how to write a resume and LinkedIN profile as well as get meta in helping attendees figure out what kind of career they see themselves leading as an anthropologist beyond academia.
I hope my workshop offers attendees the tools and resources to crave out their own career path, receive a livable salary, AND still do the rigorous research and teaching they’ve gained from a degree in anthropology.
2. What will be the number one takeaway from your workshop?
Without compromising the unique research skills and social theory frameworks that anthropologists bring to industry, this workshop will help anthropologists make the transition from academia to industry.
3. Who will most benefit from attending your workshop?
If you enjoy ethnographic research and teaching anthropology, and you want to make a career of it but maybe not in academia, this workshop aims to give you some answers on how to take the next step.
4. What other events at the Annual Meeting tie in to your workshop?
I’m happy to see that there are several workshops this year to help guide students, adjuncts, and professionals on how to transition from academia to a career in UX, humanitarianism, consumer research, and tech.
My workshop is a bit different in that it’s more a mentorship opportunity to help attendees figure out what kind of anthropologist they want to be in the world.
“Addressing Academic Precarity: How to Transition from Academia to Industry” is scheduled for Saturday, November 17 at 8:00 AM.