19 August 2015

Panel Discussion: Advice for a Diverse Range of Careers

Laura Trouille Northwestern University & The Adler Planetarium

Watch and weigh in on the conversation and questions from a recent career panel discussion hosted by Laura Trouille on Google Hangouts that live-streamed to YouTube.

This is a new experiment following the Career Profiles series that first appeared on the Women in Astronomy blog. The overarching goal is to provide insight into the range of careers that astronomers pursue (e.g., finance, communication, data science, software, academia, industry, etc.) and to share advice and lessons learned along the way.

Astronomers develop an incredibly useful (and employable!) set of skills while pursuing their degree and research interests. The latest statistics indicate that while ~75% of recent astronomy PhD's accept a postdoc position ("Astronomy Degree Recipients Initial Employment," AIP Statistical Research Center), more than 80% eventually pursue careers outside the tenure-track-faculty route ("2013 CSWA Demographics Survey," Women in Astronomy blog).

A particular emphasis of the panel discussion was on the transference of skills and knowledge obtained while the panelists earned their PhD to their current jobs and what opportunities students should consider pursuing during graduate school to prepare themselves for the range of careers available.

The live audience was Northwestern University's CIERA Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) students. The panelists:

  • Evghenii Gaburov, NVIDIA
  • Meredith Hughes, Department of Astronomy, Wesleyan University
  • John Johnson, Department of Astronomy, Harvard University
  • Melissa Nysewander, Director of Data Science, Fidelity Investments
  • Leslie Sage, Senior Editor, Physical Sciences, Nature
  • Ali Vanderveld, Data Scientist at Groupon