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PhD in Classics: Beyond the Academic World

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Obtaining a PhD in Classics is a significant achievement that requires years of dedication and hard work. Traditionally, individuals with a PhD in Classics have pursued careers in academia, teaching and researching ancient languages, literature, and history. However, in recent years, there has been a growing recognition that the skills and knowledge acquired during a PhD in Classics can be applied to a wide range of careers beyond the academic world. In this article, we will explore the various career paths available to individuals with a PhD in Classics and discuss the skills and qualities that make them well-suited for these roles.

The Changing Landscape of Careers for Classicists

Historically, individuals with a PhD in Classics have primarily pursued careers in academia. They have become professors, researchers, and scholars, dedicating their lives to the study and preservation of ancient civilizations. While these traditional career paths still exist and continue to be highly valued, the job market for academic positions in Classics has become increasingly competitive. As a result, many PhD holders in Classics are exploring alternative career options that allow them to apply their expertise in different ways.

One of the reasons for this shift is the changing perception of the value of a PhD in Classics outside of academia. Employers in various industries are recognizing the transferable skills that Classicists possess, such as critical thinking, research abilities, and strong communication skills. These skills are highly sought after in fields such as publishing, journalism, consulting, and even technology.

Skills and Qualities of Classicists

Classicists develop a unique set of skills and qualities throughout their academic journey. These skills are not only valuable within the field of Classics but also highly applicable to a wide range of careers. Some of the key skills and qualities that Classicists possess include:

  • Research Skills: Classicists are trained to conduct in-depth research, analyze primary sources, and synthesize complex information. These research skills are transferable to many professions that require data analysis, market research, or policy development.
  • Critical Thinking: Classicists are adept at critically analyzing texts, artifacts, and historical events. They can evaluate evidence, identify biases, and draw logical conclusions. This skill is valuable in professions that require problem-solving, strategic planning, and decision-making.
  • Communication Skills: Classicists are skilled writers and speakers, capable of presenting complex ideas in a clear and concise manner. They can effectively communicate their research findings to both academic and non-academic audiences. These communication skills are highly sought after in fields such as journalism, public relations, and marketing.
  • Language Proficiency: Classicists often acquire proficiency in ancient languages such as Latin and Ancient Greek. This linguistic ability can be applied to careers in translation, interpretation, or even language teaching.
  • Cultural Understanding: Classicists develop a deep understanding of ancient civilizations, their cultures, and their contributions to human history. This cultural knowledge can be valuable in fields such as heritage preservation, museum curation, or tourism.

Career Paths for Classicists

With their diverse skill set, individuals with a PhD in Classics can pursue a wide range of career paths. Here are some examples of the career options available to Classicists:

1. Academia

While the academic job market in Classics may be competitive, there are still opportunities for PhD holders to pursue careers in teaching and research. They can become professors, lecturers, or researchers at universities and colleges. Additionally, they can contribute to the field through publishing scholarly articles and books.

2. Publishing

Classicists possess excellent writing and research skills, making them well-suited for careers in publishing. They can work as editors, proofreaders, or content developers for publishing houses specializing in classical literature, history, or archaeology. They can also contribute to academic journals or start their own publishing ventures.

3. Journalism

Classicists’ ability to critically analyze and communicate complex ideas makes them valuable assets in the field of journalism. They can work as reporters, editors, or columnists, specializing in historical or cultural topics. They can also contribute to magazines, newspapers, or online publications that focus on ancient civilizations.

4. Consulting

The research and analytical skills of Classicists make them well-suited for careers in consulting. They can work as cultural consultants, providing expertise on ancient civilizations to businesses, museums, or government organizations. They can also offer their research and analytical skills to consulting firms that specialize in historical or cultural projects.

5. Technology

Classicists’ ability to analyze and interpret complex texts and data can be applied to careers in technology. They can work as data analysts, content strategists, or user experience researchers for companies that develop software or digital platforms related to history, literature, or archaeology. They can also contribute to the development of educational technology tools for teaching ancient languages or history.


A PhD in Classics opens up a world of opportunities beyond the academic realm. Classicists possess a unique set of skills and qualities that are highly valued in various industries. By recognizing the transferable skills they possess, Classicists can pursue fulfilling careers in fields such as publishing, journalism, consulting, and technology. The changing landscape of careers for Classicists reflects the growing recognition of the value of their expertise outside of academia. As the demand for individuals with strong research, critical thinking, and communication skills continues to grow, Classicists are well-positioned to make significant contributions in a wide range of professions.

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