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Work Your Career: Get What You Want from Your Social Sciences or Humanities PhD (my reading notes)

A few weeks ago, University of Toronto Press sent me a complimentary copy of “Work Your Career: Get What You Want from Your Social Sciences or Humanities PhD“, a book written by Dr. Loleen Berdahl and Dr. Jonathan Malloy. It’s the first time I have gotten a complimentary copy of a book of this type and while UTP did not ask me to review it, I figured that it would be good for those who follow me on Twitter to get a sense of what the book offered.

I stand by what I said on the above shown tweet: I don’t think anybody who wants to work in academia should do a doctoral degree right now. The market is atrocious and we don’t anticipate that it will improve any time soon. But since there are thousands of PhD students worldwide, and I DO want them to succeed, I will continue to write about how to do a doctoral degree as much as I can.

There are a number of things that make “Work Your Career” worth checking out. It’s an honestly written book, and it does offer lots of good suggestions. It also speaks to challenges doctoral supervisors face. And as always with books like these, there are important gaps. Berdahl and Malloy cover grant proposals (which many books don’t), but they skim over the thesis writing process (which is what many books DO cover, and one of the places where most students get stuck). As I said, I like this book as a backbone/workbook to work from. his book is an excellent and refreshing addition to my collection of books on how to help doctoral students.

I am glad they do offer suggestions to faculty who supervise doctoral dissertation, but if I may be so bold as to say, I think Berdahl and Malloy should have scolded supervisors more! At any rate, a good read, which I am sure will help my own doctoral students.

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