Careers outside the Professoriate: Considerations for Graduate Students and Sociology Departments

Conference Highlights, Panels and Plenary, Professional Development
Applied Sociology

While the career path of PhD graduates has traditionally focused on faculty positions, there are a range of alternative careers in which sociology graduates can apply their research skills. Applied sociologists who are not members of the professoriate often continue to engage in research activities in a range of occupations. However, this kind of work is not typically discussed within sociology programs and thus is not obvious to graduate students as a career option. Students’ increased interest in alternative career paths has created a greater demand for sociology departments to address non-faculty career options. This session is intended to be a forum in which students and sociologists working within or outside of academia can openly discuss issues such as attitudes toward applied careers outside of the professoriate, work-integrated and experiential learning options, building students’ non-academic and alt-academic networks, and the similarities and differences in skills required of sociologists conducting research within and outside of the professoriate.


  • Kristin Atwood, Victoria Division of Family Practice
  • Sara Cumming, Sheridan College
  • Nicholas Spence, University of Toronto
  • Loleen Berdahl, University of Saskatchewan
  • Andrea Dean, Western University

Organizers: Kristyn Frank, Statistics Canada, Shane Dixon, Wilfrid Laurier University, Brittany Etmanski, University of Waterloo