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CSTalks-LifeBeyondPhD-16Mar

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  • 1. CS Talks 16 March 2011Life Beyond PhD Claudia Szabo claudias@comp.nus.edu.sg 1
  • 2. Disclaimer• All points are contentious, discussion is mandatory 2
  • 3. Books I should have read• Tomorrow’s Professor, R. M. Reis• A PhD is Not Enough: A Guide to Survival in Science, P. J. Feibelman 3
  • 4. Outline• Permanent Head Damage• Career Paths ‣ Academia ‣ Industry ‣ Other - the world is your oyster• Open Discussion 4
  • 5. PhD, A Diagram Copyright Matthew Might 5
  • 6. Elementary School Copyright Matthew Might 6
  • 7. High School Copyright Matthew Might 7
  • 8. Bachelor Degree - Speciality Copyright Matthew Might 8
  • 9. Master Degree Copyright Matthew Might 9
  • 10. Reading Research Papers Copyright Matthew Might 10
  • 11. Focus at the Boundary Copyright Matthew Might 11
  • 12. Pushing the Boundary Copyright Matthew Might 12
  • 13. And You’re Through! Copyright Matthew Might 13
  • 14. DR! Copyright Matthew Might 14
  • 15. Your World Copyright Matthew Might 15
  • 16. The Big Picture Copyright Matthew Might 16
  • 17. Why?• To enhance knowledge• To share knowledge• Masochistic need to be in school until you’re at least 30- 17
  • 18. How• Perseverance ‣ uncertainty, rejection, frustration• Tenacity ‣ competition is fierce• Communication skills ‣ reading, writing, social 18
  • 19. PhD in SoC• The good ‣ Structured program with bounds on finishing time ‣ MOE scholarship with no bond ‣ Conference funding, plenty of resources (some of us have windows in our labs!) ‣ SoC: - one of the highest ranking CS/IS departments in the area - large department, ~150 profs, ~400 graduate students• The bad ‣ QE + coursework takes up around 2 years; ‣ Program details are undocumented; changes are unannounced• The ugly ‣ Funding runs out after 4 years ‣ No career path counseling for SoC graduate students available ‣ Reduced teaching opportunities for final year graduate students 19
  • 20. Career Paths• Think about the long-term goals (20 or so years) ‣ what do you want to do ‣ what questions/problems will keep you on your toes• Academia ‣ Teaching & Research ‣ Research & Teaching• Industry ‣ Engineering ‣ Consulting ‣ Researcher• Haven’t decided 20
  • 21. Academic Career• Structure• Things to do throughout PhD• Applying for positions• Interview(s)• The job offer(s)• Early career 21
  • 22. Academic Career Structure - Research• Post-doc• Assistant Professor• Associate Professor (tenure, uha!)• Professor• Older age 22
  • 23. Academic Career Structure - Teaching• Lecturer at research university ‣ contract-based• Assistant Professor at teaching university• ... 23
  • 24. Academic Career Things to do• Publish, publish, publish + collaborate• Network• Teach: tutorials, projects, lectures• Be mentored & mentor• Be active in your professional societies• Avoid burning out ‣ research ‣ thesis writing 24
  • 25. Academic Career Network• Where ‣ conferences, workshops, seminars - students and profs ‣ virtually• How ‣ identify people in your area of research ‣ talk about your work ‣ talk about other people’s work ‣ attend poster sessions, PhD colloquims ‣ hand out business cards ‣ follow up with emails, send them draft papers, get & keep their interest 25
  • 26. PostdocsWhere to Find Positions• CRA announcements• Network, network, network ‣ ask profs when you are about mid-way through writing your thesis (or early!) ‣ let people know you are on the market - web page, conferences 26
  • 27. Assistant ProfessorWhere to Find Positions• cra.org• Chronicles of Higher Education -> more towards teaching• Ask your prof to ask• Post job materials on your website• Network at conference 27
  • 28. Assistant ProfessorApplying for Positions• Usually october/november - february/march• Ask your supervisor about: ‣ contacts, appropriate schools, your cv & statements• Establish your referees: ask & confirm ‣ Give them plenty of time to write the reference letters ‣ Send them your CV such that they have key details about you available• Make sure your first interview is with a trash school• Have a back-up plan in case you don’t find anything 28
  • 29. Assistant Professor Typical Application• Web page (easy on the personal details) + Facebook• CV + Cover letter (personalized)• Teaching statement - ~ 1.5 pages max• Research statement - ~ 3-4 pages• Reference letters• It’s not your skills that get tested, but wether you are a good fit for the department 29
  • 30. Assistant Professor Interviews• Phone/Skype interview ‣ 10-20 minutes to establish you - can speak Englihs :) - are not a psychotic loony bin ‣ ask for details in advance• Campus interview 30
  • 31. Assistant Professor Campus Interview• Opportunity to meet with COLLEAGUES to see if you are a good match• Discuss research & teaching with committee and other colleagues• Visit department, campus, and surroundings• One or both of ‣ research talk - light on the details, more on the pressing issues/problems you have/will be solving ‣ teaching talk - lecture demo 31
  • 32. Assistant ProfessorCampus Interview - What to Bring• Yourself: focused, professional, calm (but not bored), dressed appropriately (like a professor, not an investment banker or grad student)• Water, mints, remote control (for slides)• Copy of your thesis, papers, etc.• Practiced talks• Practiced elevator pitch: 1 - 3 minutes or less speech about your research ‣ varying levels of detail depending on audience• How you see yourself in five years?• Dream course syllabus 32
  • 33. Assistant Professor Other Interview Tips• Other campus interviews will be light talks/ lunches: engage and be engaged• Talk to junior faculty• Ask about funding• Bring up the two-body problem after you get the offer; may hint during conversations• Follow up with emails, admins included 33
  • 34. Assistant Professor Job Offer• Start-up package• Teaching load• Fringe benefits• Two-body problem 34
  • 35. Assistant Professor Early Career• Research - Grant writing ‣ finding research problems ‣ writing the grant/being rejected; around 2 years ‣ find graduate, under-graduate students• Teaching ‣ negotiate: lighter at first; teach courses you are extremely familiar with ‣ (1) awareness of teaching & learning styles; (2) course structure; (3) continual assessment; (4) communities 35
  • 36. Industry Career• Saturation in academia & economic climate ensures that a lot of [computing] PhDs will eventually end up in industry• While a fresh PhD lacks industry experience, the title will make up for it 36
  • 37. Industry Career Things To Do• Choose a practical angle for your research ‣ hot problem, solid implementation, ample testing• Network ‣ seek out vendors at conferences• Focus on problem solving and communication• Publish in trade journals• Collaborate 37
  • 38. Entrepreneur Things to do• Focus on your innovation• Test, test, test• Publish about your innovations• Patent your innovations; write business plans• Network• Use start-up funds 38
  • 39. Haven’t decided Things to do• DECIDE! ‣ if you positively abhor teaching & mentoring, then maybe academia is not for you?• Do not give up on the quality of your research & writing• Collaborate• Network 39
  • 40. Conclusion• Publish• Network• Don’t give up on quality research 40
  • 41. Take Home Message e! m l ike be n ’t o Start thinking & acting about life afterD PhD as soon as possible. 41