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Non-Academic Careers for Astronomers and Physicists

274bc3b916eac3fd5280c4a8b60b244b?s=47 Julia Silge
September 18, 2016

Non-Academic Careers for Astronomers and Physicists

274bc3b916eac3fd5280c4a8b60b244b?s=128

Julia Silge

September 18, 2016
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  1. NON-ACADEMIC CAREERS FOR ASTRONOMERS AND PHYSICISTS Julia Silge @juliasilge •

    http://juliasilge.com/
  2. WHO AM I? HOW DID I GET HERE?

  3. None
  4. MY BACKGROUND ➤ BS in physics in 2000 ➤ PhD

    in astronomy in 2005 ➤ Studied galaxy kinematics and dynamics Silge, J.D., Gebhardt, K., Bergmann, M., & Richstone, D. 2005, AJ, 130, 406
  5. MY BACKGROUND ➤ Developed near-IR spectroscopy techniques to trace the

    older, redder stars in galaxies and reduce the effects of dust ➤ Used dynamical modeling to find masses, etc from kinematics ➤ Measured supermassive black holes!
  6. None
  7. MY BACKGROUND Silge, J.D., Gebhardt, K., Bergmann, M., & Richstone,

    D. 2005, AJ, 130, 406 My work was observational in focus, with lots of DATA ANALYSIS
  8. PhD in astronomy postdoc in physics adjunct professor teaching physics,

    astronomy, etc stay-at- home mom data scientist ed tech content developer
  9. WHERE DO PHDS GO? STEM PhD finishers in the UK

  10. UNDER PRESSURE Science & Engineering PhDs awarded and faculty positions

  11. SINCE 1982, ALMOST 800,000 PHDS WERE AWARDED IN SCIENCE AND

    ENGINEERING FIELDS. ABOUT 100,000 ACADEMIC FACULTY POSITIONS WERE CREATED IN THOSE FIELDS IN THE SAME TIME FRAME. Science & Engineering PhDs awarded and faculty positions
  12. WHERE DO PHDS GO? ➤ A large portion of people

    who finish astronomy/physics PhDs end up, like me, working outside of academia ➤ A variety of forces within academia and outside of it work together to limit the number of people who eventually get tenure track jobs
  13. WHERE DO PHDS GO? ➤ Talking to someone with a

    tenure track faculty job? ➤ Remember that she or he is the exception, not the rule
  14. UNDER PRESSURE Declining Proposal Success Rates

  15. WHERE HAS MY GRAD SCHOOL COHORT LANDED? ➤ Tenure track

    astronomy jobs ➤ Soft-money astronomy research positions (see Pamela Gay’s recent discussion of her experiences) ➤ Non-tenured teaching positions (full-time or adjunct) ➤ National labs or government research jobs ➤ Finance ➤ Various jobs in tech ➤ Data science
  16. WHERE HAS MY GRAD SCHOOL COHORT LANDED? from Katie Mack

  17. WHERE HAS MY GRAD SCHOOL COHORT LANDED? ➤ Tenure track

    astronomy jobs ➤ Soft-money astronomy research positions (see Pamela Gay’s recent discussion of her experiences) ➤ Non-tenured teaching positions (full-time or adjunct) ➤ National labs or government research jobs ➤ Finance ➤ Various jobs in tech ➤ Data science
  18. WHAT IS DATA SCIENCE? from Josh Wills

  19. WHAT IS DATA SCIENCE? from Drew Conway

  20. WHAT IS DATA SCIENCE? from someone who thought he was

    hot stuff
  21. WHAT IS DATA SCIENCE? from Oliver Keyes

  22. PROBABLY ALL OF YOU COULD DO DATA SCIENCE

  23. “ I am a grad student/postdoc. What can I do

    to prepare for a job outside academia? -you, probably
  24. LOOKING FOR A MIND AT WORK

  25. LOOKING FOR A MIND AT WORK Carefully consider the tools

    you invest time to become proficient in ➤ IDL and IRAF ➤ Python and R
  26. LOOKING FOR A MIND AT WORK This is not a

    value judgment on the quality of work done with any of these tools, but a comment on their use outside academia. Carefully consider the tools you invest time to become proficient in ➤ IDL and IRAF ➤ Python and R
  27. LOOKING FOR A MIND AT WORK Learn key practices from

    software development ➤ version control ➤ unit testing ➤ test-driven development ➤ continuous integration
  28. LOOKING FOR A MIND AT WORK Build a public (online)

    portfolio/presence ➤ have an active GitHub account ➤ write a professional blog ➤ contribute to an open-source project
  29. LOOKING FOR A MIND AT WORK Don’t consider this separate

    from your academic work; find ways to integrate them so you make it happen. Build a public (online) portfolio/presence ➤ have an active GitHub account ➤ write a professional blog ➤ contribute to an open-source project
  30. LOOKING FOR A MIND AT WORK from David Robinson

  31. LOOKING FOR A MIND AT WORK Emphasize communication skills ➤

    speaking ➤ writing ➤ diverse audiences
  32. ➤ Consider taking an actual statistics course ➤ Should you

    study machine learning now? ➤ Data science bootcamps? LOOKING FOR A MIND AT WORK
  33. I’M A TRUST FUND BABY, YOU CAN TRUST ME ➤

    Most of us have never thought a lot about ethics in our research. ➤ Moving outside academia almost always means the work you do will impact real people.
  34. I’M A TRUST FUND BABY, YOU CAN TRUST ME ➤

    Ask what the ethical implications are of the work you are doing. ➤ Seek out organizations that have good ethical practices. ➤ Don’t be afraid to admit (or report) when you make a bad call.
  35. “ I am a professor here. What does this have

    to do with me? -others of you, probably
  36. FOR FACULTY ➤ Remember that your career path is atypical

    ➤ Consider the ramifications of your choices and students’/postdocs’ choices on a possible non-academic career
  37. FOR FACULTY ➤ Be sensitive to the pressures on students

    and postdocs ➤ Expand your definition of success
  38. None
  39. None
  40. QUESTIONS? Julia Silge http://juliasilge.com julia.silge@gmail.com