Published Date

September 1, 2016

Resource Type

AHA Resource, For Departments, Program of Study

AHA Topics

Graduate Education, Teaching & Learning

The Career Diversity Five Skills were first identified in focus groups of historians with PhDs who found careers beyond traditional academia—five things they hadn’t learned in grad school but that they found they needed in order to succeed beyond the academy. These five skills are also essential to succeeding as professors. They are:

  1. COMMUNICATION, in a variety of media and to a variety of audiences
  2. COLLABORATION, especially with people who might not share your worldview
  3. QUANTITATIVE LITERACY: a basic ability to understand and communicate information presented in quantitative form, i.e., understanding that numbers tell a story the same way words, images, and artifacts do
  4. INTELLECTUAL SELF-CONFIDENCE: the ability to work beyond subject matter expertise, to be nimble and imaginative in projects and plans
  5. DIGITAL LITERACY: a basic familiarity with digital tools and platforms

This guide presents an introduction to each skill—adapted from posts originally published on AHA Today in Spring 2016—as well as a list of AHA-produced resources that can help develop an understanding of that skill. The resources include blog posts, Perspectives on History articles, video resources, and more.

Many thanks to our blog authors for their thoughts and to Lindsey Martin, Mellon career development officer at the University of Chicago, who compiled and annotated these resources.