Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

(Robert Frost, 1916)
In 2003, with Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology doctoral degrees recently in hand, we did something risky. We decided to step off the traditional academic career path and pave a new road. This approach, which has since become known as an “alt-ac” (alternative academic) career, is gaining many followers, particularly in the face of the increasing corporatization of the university, which has cast much doubt on the future of traditional academic careers.

Our story is not unusual. Everyone knows that it is very difficult to find a job in archaeology. It's even harder to find two jobs in one place. However, we were at an age where we were willing to take some risks, and we had an idea. As recent graduate students, we had...

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