Learning about Nonacademic Careers
- Check the Student Resources at the BIG Math Network
- Graduate College Career Development
Presentations on Finding Nonacademic Jobs and The Job Search.
- Talks and panel discussions in our department, see the calendar of events.
- Network with alumni, e.g. at the alumni reunion in September, and the departmental reception at the AMS Joint Math Meeting.
- Join the Versatile PhD website and browse the discussion boards.
- Visit Jobs on Toast.com.
- Read the transition stories at From PhD to Life.
- Skim the career suggestions at WeUseMath.org and the SIAM careers brochure.
- Tell the Director of Graduate Studies that you are interested in nonacademic careers.
Preparing for Nonacademic Careers
- Updating your résumé. See the Graduate College Résumé Advice and Samples. The sample résumés by Michaels and Russo show how to extract transferrable skills from your teaching experience.
- Developing your skills – courses on campus
- 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.
- Machine learning courses at University of Illinois
- Other courses:
STAT 425 Applied Regression and Design
STAT 440 Statistical Data Management
STAT 448 Advanced Data Analysis
CS 446 Machine Learning
CS 512 Data Mining
CS 598 Machine Learning for Signal Processing (topics course)
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)
- Developing your skills – online training
- Udacity: “Programming Foundations with Python,” “Design of Computer Programs” These free, self-paced courses are extremely well-structured and interesting. Highly recommended!
- Free courses are offered through Coursera, EdX, Udacity, and directly from highly ranked universities; use a google search to find listings of MOOCs. You can find courses on coding, algorithms, machine learning (e.g. the course by Stanford's Andrew Ng is highly recommended), and data science.
- Math/coding problems to train on at ProjectEuler.net. Form a group with other graduate students to tackle some of the problems!
- Coursera now offers "specializations" -- students must pay a fee to earn the specialization certificate; however you can gain the same knowledge by taking the recommended courses for free. Our own university, for example, has a specialization in Data Mining, and Johns Hopkins has one in Data Science.
- How to become a data scientist
- Berkeley Science Review article
- Data Incubator (training program for data scientists; full tuition scholarship)
- Data Science for Social Good
- IMA Data Science Fellowship
- Insight Data Science Fellows Program (training program for data scientists; full tuition scholarship)
- Signal Data Science (training program for data scientists; tuition comes out of your first-year salary)
- INFORMS - student chapter at University of Illinois
- Preparing for a Software Engineering career (advice from a PhD alumnus)
- Join the SIAM chapter on campus
- Handshake -- Highly recommended! Upload your résumé to companies, view current postings for internships and jobs, and find out about on-campus recruiting events.
- SIAM Job Board
- EIMS Job Board
- Center for Quantitative Medicine (U of Connecticut)
- Federal Government employment
- Presidential Management Fellows (Note: The acceptance rate is apparently rather high)
- Hacker News is a software developer news/discussion site that has monthly "Who's Hiring" posts.
- AfterCollege, Inc., Mathematics students can use this free online service to browse current job postings.
- Career fairs on campus:
- Internship experiences of math graduate students from our department
- PI4 assists international and domestic students in finding internship positions in scientific labs, national labs and industry.
- NSF Mathematical Sciences Graduate Internship Program
- NSF grant supplements for internships
- SIAM internship and career links
- National Labs: full-time and internship opportunities
- Sandia National Laboratory
Internships and postdocs
Contact the Director of Graduate Studies if you are interested in order to tap in to the Department's contacts at Sandia. Prof. Lee DeVille is one of the campus point people for the institutional collaboration with Sandia National Labs.
- Naval Research Labs Internship
Contact the Director of Graduate Studies for more information.
- UI Research Park (on campus): see the job board and tenant directory (clicking on each company name gives contact information for the local site manager)
- Wolfram Research: talk to Director of Graduate Studies
- State Farm Insurance: talk to Runhuan Feng
- There are many other possibilities. Follow Handshake and other sources, and talk with students, faculty and other contacts about internships.
- U of I Math graduates and their first jobs (useful for networking purposes)
- 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