Nenad Rijavec of IBM describes the transition from mathematician to programmer and gives some useful advice.
Jennifer Hodgdon's site comes highly recommended.
"'Lateral entry' from another career is becoming the default path into teaching. As a result,
the majority of today’s teaching trainees are older, often entering teaching as a second or
even a third career. And the transition to teaching can be very quick and relatively cheap."
"Many scientists and engineers spend much of their lives writing, debugging, and
maintaining software, but only a handful have ever been taught how to do this effectively:
after a couple of introductory courses, they are left to rediscover (or reinvent) the rest of
programming on their own. The result? Most spend far too much time wrestling with software
when they'd rather be doing research, but still have no idea how reliable or efficient that
software is. This site presents an intensive course on basic software development practices
for scientists and engineers. Its aim is not to turn biochemists and mechanical engineers
into computer scientists; instead, it introduces them to the 10% of modern software
engineering that will satisfy 90% of their needs."
"The most comprehensive and authoritative rating and analysis of employee satisfaction in
the federal government."
by Search Masters International recruiter Dave Jensen. "The often-used phrase "Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology" is actually two separate words hooked together, seemingly suggesting one grand industry. In actuality, one end of this phrase--biotech--represents a set of technologies joined by two key ingredients: entrepreneurs and money. Pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, is a business dominated by companies that are often over 100 years old. When we group these together and try to analyze trends like employment, we come up against a problem of definitions."
"Our top programmers are pure mathematicians who can, at a moments notice, turn off their programming skill and work in the rarified atmosphere of pure mathematics, though their most typical mode is to do both simultaneously. The relationship between empirical and theoretical is synergistic, with neither driving the other out."
The aspects of your mathematical training that nonacademic employers value most.
from the Chronicle of Higher Education. "Making the decision to pursue a nonacademic career is a big step for many Ph.D.'s. But once you've taken it, the challenge becomes figuring out exactly what you want to do. You may be puzzled about how to proceed. That's why we've compiled a long, if not exhaustive, list of Web resources where you might find useful information and job listings on a variety of alternative careers."
An overview of the roles of mathematicians in industry and their working environments. A must-read for those considering careers outside of academia.
"It would be unrealistic to finish high school, work for eight years in industry, and then expect to find a position as an assistant professor. It is just as unrealistic to finish high school, spend eight years in graduate school, and then expect to get a job in industry." Stanley J. Benkoski of D. H. Wagner Associates describes what math Ph.D.s need to do to prepare for a career in industry.
The Newton Fellowship Program trains mathematically-talented individuals to become high
school math teachers and supports them in the early years of their careers. The fellowship
pays your tuition for a master's in education from Columbia, NYU, or Bard plus $90,000 (total)
over a 5 year period while you teach.
"This research addresses why scientists and engineers choose to become librarians and information scientists and how the library profession can identify and encourage these newcomers. Presented as a panel discussion at the 2001 Annual Conference of the Special Libraries Association, the questions addressed in this research reflect the concerns of LIS professionals as they recruit librarians who have scientific or technical backgrounds. Results from interviews and a survey posted on selected mailing lists reveal details of career shifts from science and engineering to LIS. An influential factor in such moves was personal recruitment by LIS professionals."
Posts from Derek Lowe's blog, In the Pipeline, on getting a job in the pharmaceuticals industry. Lowe is an organic chemist who has worked for several major pharmaceutical companies on drug discovery projects.
Fields medalist Mike Freedman has moved from UCSD to Microsoft Research. Says Freedman, "I am deeply impressed by Microsoft's commitment to mathematical research across traditional boundaries. The Microsoft Research theory group is the ideal place for me
to pursue my interests in topology, physics and complexity."
"What's it like working outside academe? How should you prepare? This site explores these questions and more. Sellout is produced by Mark Johnson, an English literature PhD who works in the software industry."
by Search Masters International Recruiter Dave Jensen. "Over the past several years, I have received many suggestions for future articles. Some suggestions arrive in the form of specific questions about career scenarios. This column answers a number of these questions."
by Margaret Newhouse, Chronicle of Higher Education. A healthy perspective on life outside academia.
Nationwide program that teaches advanced, conceptually-oriented mathematics. We are seeking idealistic mathematicians and scientists to help us achieve our mission. Help shape the adults of the future by improving the education of the children of today.
Philip Greenspun, a well-known web guru and MIT instructor, is setting up a computer science boot camp in which older students take classes and work in groups for 12 hours/day, 6 days/week. After 1 year's time, the goal is for all the students to have received the equivalent of a BS in Computer Science at a level of quality comparable to Stanford/MIT/CMU. And it's all free. Quite an ambitious project -- very, very cool. They're taking applications now.
by James Glanz, The New York Times, May 31, 2000. "A national organization of scholars and educators voted on Friday to call upon Asian-American scientists to boycott federal laboratories by not applying for jobs with them." (Requires free registration)
A great seminar series run by the Cellular and Molecular Biology Group at Yale. The talk summaries and references from their seminar series are a must-read!
Article from The Chronicle of Higher Education on pathways out of bench science.
by Kristen Philipkoski, Wired News, May 10, 2000. "With increasing numbers of academics jumping ship to reap the rewards of IPO-filing biotech companies, universities could be left in the dust instead of heading the charge in genetic research."
The University of London Careers Service web site containing advice, vacancies and an ever increasing Virtual Careers Library of careers related links for graduates.
Posts from Derek Lowe's blog, In the Pipeline, on work in academia vs. work in industry. Lowe is an organic chemist who has worked for several major pharmaceutical companies on drug discovery projects.
Opportunities in bioinformatics once abounded for the self-taught and industrially minded, but employers are now turning towards the formally trained and academics...
by Maggie Debelius and Susan Elizabeth Basalla. $10.40 from Amazon.com. See the review on CNN.
The collected wisdom of sci.research.careers on going to graduate school, doing a postdoc, and alternative careers.
by Cynthia Robbins-Roth. "From Alchemy to IPO presents the dramatic story of the revolutionary and controversial business of inventing new cures and blockbuster drugs and a look at how biotech progress is generating powerful profit opportunities on all tiers of business and investment." $18.20 from Amazon.com.
Learn how to enter the field of patent law. Relevant to scientists and engineers.