Stepping outside the Ivory Tower

Welcome to WritingOIT, a blog dedicated to helping academics and other knowledge specialists step outside of their bubble and engage with different audiences. Whether you’re looking to write for media, to perform community outreach, or to translate what you know in some other way, this is your one-stop shop. I’m always open to topic requests, so please do be in touch if you’re facing a particular challenge that you’d like help with.

I’m hoping that the contents of this blog will be useful to a broad audience of readers. For example, you might be an academic giving a public lecture, or a medical professional giving an interview about a health threat. But I’ll always have a special place in my heart for those who are leaving academia and looking for employment outside the Ivory Tower. I finished my doctorate at the University of Toronto and wasn’t going to stick around to see what kind of part-time, piecemeal contract work the academic job market had in store for me. Those who want to read more about my alternative academic (or “alt ac”, as the cool kids are calling it) transition can see interviews I’ve given on the topic here and here. For the rest of you, suffice it to say that a growing body of research (from UBC, McGill, HEQCO and the Conference Board, among others) shows that only about 20-30% of PhDs in Canada find full-time academic employment as university professors, with the remainder building successful careers outside academia. To do so, however, they often need to develop new skills, with writing for non-academic audiences near the top of that list. I’m here to help with that too.

So sit back and enjoy what’s to come. We’ve only just begun.

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