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233rd AAS Meeting Career Services and Professional Development


Some workshops and events require registration and payment of fees. Please see the individual write-ups for details.

Career Services

Career Center

The AAS hosts a Career Center in the AAS Booth at each winter AAS meeting. The Career Center is a place for job seekers to get career advice and to find out who at the meeting is interviewing (informationally or formally) for open positions. Job seekers can also submit their CV or résumé for the AAS CV Collection.

For employers, the Career Center is where they can advertise their jobs and meet with interested candidates, either formally, in a reserved interview room, or informally, in the AAS Booth or exhibit hall. Recruiters are welcome to scan the AAS CV Collection for top candidates.

There is no cost to employers or job seekers to participate in the Career Center.

Employers: Contact Diane Frendak to reserve a formal interview space or to ask questions. Bring your job postings to the AAS Booth and indicate whether you're willing to host informational interviews with attendees.

Job Seekers: To participate in the Career Center, please upload your CV or résumé to the AAS CV Collection by 28 December 2018.


Career Networking & Job Fair


Tuesday, 8 January | 12:00 pm to 6:30 pm, Exhibit Hall 4A
Participating in the Career Networking & Job Fair is a great way to increase your visibility at the AAS Meeting. As a recruiter, you have the unique opportunity to meet and engage with outstanding candidates for the best recruiting opportunities. If your company is already an exhibitor at the meeting, there is no cost. Non-exhibiting companies can join us for the one-day Job Fair for $500. We will provide a 6' skirted table. Bulletin boards are available for an additional $65. Your organization will be acknowledged at the event, on the meeting website, and in the meeting program. Sign up to recruit at the Job Fair. Bonus opportunity on that Tuesday: join the Beyond the Academy Round Table Discussions from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. The AAS Employment Committee is convening representatives from various career arenas beyond research universities for an hour of informal discussions with attendees.


Career Development

One-on-One Career Consultations
Throughout the meeting in 20 minutes sessions; check in at the AAS Resource and Career Center
($20 per session)
Alaina Levine of Quantum Success Solutions, a science careers consultant, science writer, professional speaker, and comedian, will meet individually with attendees to provide confidential, customized career advice for people from student through mid-career. Attendees are encouraged to bring CV/résumé, cover letter, or any other item you wish to have evaluated. Register for a Session.
Careers 101: Career Planning Workshop and Panel
Monday, 7 January | 9:30 am to 11:30 am (registration requested)
This FREE workshop and panel discussion will center on the current and expanding crisis in the job and career market for astronomers. Specifically targeted towards graduate students and postdocs, this workshop will identify and investigate the shortage of traditional astronomy jobs, and how early-career scientists can best prepare for this challenge. Our focus will be on career planning for traditional astronomy positions. We will demonstrate how to orchestrate a personal career plan and develop a Plan B and Plan C for contingencies. Q&A between panelists and workshop participants will be highly encouraged.
Career Hour - Networking for Nerds: Create Your Dream Career in Real Life (IRL) and via Social Media
Monday, 7 January | 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm (registration requested)
Do you want to land your dream job? Get ready to network! Most jobs and other game-changing career opportunities are not advertised, and even if they are, there is usually a short-list of candidates already in mind. So how do you find out about and access the 90% of jobs and other opportunities that are "hidden"? In this session, we will focus on proven networking strategies and tactics to identify new opportunities, locate decision-makers within organizations, solidify your reputation and brand in the minds of those who hire, and gain access to hidden jobs and game-changing opportunities. Discover how networking and self-promotion, especially on social media, can enable you to land or even create your dream job from scratch!
Beyond the Academy: Transitioning to a Career in Data Science (Panel Discussion)
Tuesday, 8 January | 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Data science is one of the most promising and popular non-academic career options for astronomers. However, while many young astronomers hear the message that data science is a possible employment outcome, they often do not hear the associated message of how to make the transition. This workshop aims to address this shortfall by featuring a panel of astronomers who have already made the transition. As there are numerous paths and entry points into data science, the panel will include 3-4 data scientists with a variety of transition experiences (such as little to no formal training, university training, or bootcamp training). Panelists will share their experiences on these different paths, describe the pros and cons of each, and answer questions from attendees. This career hour is sponsored in part by the American Institute of Physics.
Beyond the Academy Round Table Discussions and Career Fair
Tuesday, 8 January | 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm (registration requested)
To provide first-hand insight into the wide variety of career paths available to those with degrees and/or advanced training in the astronomical sciences, the AAS Employment Committee (EC) is convening representatives from various career arenas beyond research universities — e.g., the aerospace and data science industries; national labs; science policy institutes/agencies; and small colleges — for an hour of informal discussions with attendees of AAS 233.

Several career path representatives will be drawn from the panel at the associated Beyond the Academy Career Hour: Transitioning to a Career in Data Science, and the remainder will be AAS 233 attendees and exhibitors specifically recruited by the Committee so as to adequately cover the various career areas. Each representative will serve as a discussion lead at a round table in the exhibit hall's Career Center. After a brief welcome and introduction by the EC Chair, participants will be invited to choose among -- and circulate among — the “Career Path Rep” tables as they see fit, sitting down to ask questions or just listening in to the conversation. The first hour will feature the round table event described above, followed by a 1-hour recruiting event, where job seekers can sign up for interviews with recruiters.

Career Hour - Interviewing: What You Need to do Before, During, and After to Get the Job
Wednesday, 9 January | 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm (registration requested)
What you need to know and do to get the job from the first moment of contact to the moment you leave the interview.


Professional Development Workshops

As these have become a regular feature of the AAS winter meeting, there is again an excellent lineup of professional development workshops before the main meeting begins. These workshops are organized by members of the AAS Employment Committee as well as by individual AAS members. Several workshops have a limited number of spots available so be sure to register early!

Introduction to Software Carpentry
Saturday and Sunday, 5-6 January | 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Fee: $100
Computing is an integral part of every aspect of astronomy and astrophysics, but most scientists are never taught how to build, use, validate, and share software. As a result, many spend hours or days doing things badly that could be done well in just a few minutes. The goal of the Software Carpentry Workshop is to change that. The tools presented at this two-day workshop will enable astronomers to spend less time wrestling with software and more time doing research with results that are easier to confirm, distribute, and update.

This workshop consists of short tutorials alternating with hands-on practical exercises and covers the core software skills needed to construct, use, verify, and share software in astronomy. Saturday’s tutorials will include shell automation, basic python programming, and code review. Sunday’s sessions will shift to more advanced python, including numerical- and astronomy-oriented computing, and version control with git. The workshop will be run by a team certified instructors and helpers. The course is aimed at astronomers at all stages of their education and careers who wish to learn computational tools to increase the reproducibility and efficiency of their work. The course will be taught with the assumption that participants have written or edited code in a language other than Python and can navigate directories using the shell command line. Knowledge of Git is not required. Registration is for both days.

The course is aimed at astronomers at all stages of their education and careers who wish to learn computational tools to increase the reproducibility and efficiency of their work. The course will be taught with the assumption that participants have written or edited code in a language other than Python and can navigate directories using the shell command line. Knowledge of Git is not required.

Participants will be required to bring their own laptops and to install software in advance of the workshop. Approximately one month prior to the workshop, instructors will contact participants to provide software requirements and collaborative troubleshooting. We encourage participants to apply their newly developed skills at the Hack Together Day. More information on the Software Carpentry project and the skills covered in the workshop can be found at software-carpentry.org.

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