Introducing “Editing After Academia”

Are you a PhD student thinking about a career in editing?

Are you uncertain about what it takes to be an editor? Are you worried editing won’t be the right job for you?

PhD students can become great editors, but most PhD programs don’t train you for careers outside academia. 

Still, many people with PhDs find themselves in an editing career. Sometimes this transition is deliberate; most times, it represents the culmination of unexpected opportunities, the generosity of connections, and a mind open to reconceptualizing the skills and values developed during the PhD.

In the following series, “Editing After Academia,” guest author and PhD student Heidi Rennert interviewed editors with graduate degrees who have transitioned out of academia into their current field. In these interviews, editors reflect on a variety of topics, questions, anxieties, and unexpected challenges, including:

  • the postacademic identity;
  • the transferable skills and core values of the PhD;
  • the importance of curiosity and a desire for learning;
  • the challenge of breaking into new fields, such as fiction or technical editing;
  • the process of starting a freelance business after the PhD; and
  • the idea of reading for pleasure again (is it possible?).

This series reflects the diverse career experiences of editors today. By shedding light on the process, it hopes to make the pathway from PhD to editor clearer.

See the posts in this series


Still undecided and looking for more? Consider enrolling into my microcourse Transitioning into a Career in Editing. Drawing on research literature on graduate professionalization and career transitions, this course offers a more expansive insight into the many fields of editing, as well as guided activities to help you chart your career path after your PhD.

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