Learn about Industry and Government Careers
- Browse Jobs on Toast.com, skim the discussion boards at the Versatile PhD, read some transition stories at From PhD to Life.
- See career possibilities at WeUseMath.org and the SIAM careers brochure.
- Correspond or talk with alumni online and at the departmental reception at the AMS Joint Math Meetings (JMM).
- Talk with the Director of Graduate Studies about your interest in industry or government careers.
- Join the SIAM or INFORMS chapters on campus.
- Talk with as many people as possible among your friends, family and academic network - many people will help and offer advice if you explain what you want to know.
Prepare for Careers
Resumes and interviewing:
- Upload your resume, view job postings, register for campus career fairs at Handshake.
- Check Student Resources at the BIG Math Network.
- Consult CollegeGrad.com for advice on resumes and interviewing. Also, resume samples from the Graduate College include one by Russo that shows how to effectively present your teaching experience - not by listing courses but rather by emphasizing transferrable skills.
- Visit Graduate College Career Development for career and resume guidance. Check their presentations on Finding Nonacademic Jobs and The Job Search.
- Acquire basic coding and statistical skills – take some courses on campus at whatever level gets you started. Possibilities include:
- STAT 200 Statistical Analysis
- STAT 425 Applied Regression and Design
- STAT 440 Statistical Data Management
- STAT 448 Advanced Data Analysis
- STAT 542 Statistical Learning (highly recommended). Theory and proof of popular machine learning algorithms, with practical implementation homework. The end-of-semester project is good for your CV.
- CS 307 Modeling and Learning in Data Science
- CS 446 Machine Learning
- CS 512 Data Mining
- CS 598 Machine Learning for Signal Processing (topics course)
- Machine learning courses in the CS department
For students who need numerical methods:
CS 101 – Intro Computing: Engrg & Sci (tools course, scientific computing, C, Matlab, Unix/Linux)
CS 357 – Numerical Methods I (theoretical, Python, Mathematica, Matlab, course for large scale programming)
CS 450 – Numerical Analysis (theoretical)
CS 555 Numerical Methods for PDEs
For students who need programming exposure and not numerical methods:
CS 125 – Intro to Computer Science (Java, object oriented programming)
CS 173 – Discrete Structures (prereq for CS 225)
CS 225 – Data Structures (C++, object oriented programming)
- Online training options include:
- “Programming Foundations with Python” and “Design of Computer Programs” at Udacity. These free, self-paced courses are extremely well-structured and interesting. Highly recommended!
- Free courses through Coursera, EdX, Udacity; search for courses on coding, algorithms, machine learning (e.g. the course by Stanford's Andrew Ng is highly recommended), and data science.
- Math/coding problems at ProjectEuler.net - form a group with other graduate students to tackle some of the problems.
- Data science training programs (most charge fees)
- Software engineering career advice from a PhD alumnus
Summer internships get you experience and recommendations from people working in industry. Read about past internship experiences of graduate students from our department. Then start applying...
- Inmas - based at University of Illinois; industry placements.
- IMSI - based at University of Illinois; scientific lab placements.
- NSF - grant supplements for internships
- MSGI - Mathematical Sciences Graduate Internship Program (NSF); national lab placements.
- National Lab links - apply for full-time and internship opportunities.
- Pacific Northwest National Lab - internship programs and job board. If you apply, please alert our department’s contact at PNNL, Dr. Emilie Purvine.
- Sandia National Laboratories - internships and postdocs. Contact Prof. Lee DeVille, so that you can tap into the Department's pre-existing contacts at Sandia. Prof. Lee DeVille is a point person for the institutional collaboration with Sandia National Labs.
- Handshake - companies post internship opportunities here
- SIAM internship and career links
- Job board and tenant directory for the UI Research Park - clicking on each company name gives contact information for the local site manager
- Networking - talk with students, faculty and your other contacts to help find people with internship experience and companies wanting to hire interns.
- Handshake - register, and update your resume for employers to see
- SIAM Job Board
- Federal Government employment
- Presidential Management Fellows (high acceptance rate)
- AfterCollege, Inc., Mathematics students can use this free online service to browse current job postings.
But remember - submitting resumes online to companies where you know no-one is a low-percentage way of finding a job. Instead, put time into talking with friends, family and professional contacts to expand your personal network. That is a far more powerful means of getting a satisfying job.
- U of I Math graduates and their first jobs (useful for networking)
- BIG Math Network and SIAM – articles on careers in the Mathematical Sciences
- Sloan Career Cornerstone Center
- UIC Office of Career Services
- Science Magazine's Job Forum
- AMS Blogs on life and career issues