Quick reminders: masters, postdocs, faculty, etc.

As we’re getting closer to the season when undergraduate students are considering graduate school, and graduate students are considering the next steps such as postdoc or faculty positions, I wanted to remind people of two resources for such positions: the TCS jobs and crowd-sourced masters pages.

The process and market for both graduate studies and faculty positions (at least in the US) is fairly standard, with more or less a common timeline, and general ideas of where to look for positions (universities’ websites are always a good start, as are the websites of ACM and CRA). Even so, it’s not always clear which areas a university is searching for at any given year, and also these resources are very US-centric, while many great places are located outside the US.

The postdoc market is much more “ad hoc”. Some places such as the Simons institute and the IAS search for postdocs yearly and have several positions. (Our own Kempner Institute will also be having regular searches after it launches this year.) But in many other cases, postdoc positions are with an individual researcher that might have availability only every few years, which makes it harder for candidates to find out about this. For such positions, the Theoretical Computer Science jobs page is a great way to both advertise any position you have to offer, as well as find out about opportunities. Please post any postdoc or faculty positions relevant to TCS in your institution, as well as advertise it to your students as a place to look for jobs.

Finding information about research-oriented Masters programs is also sometimes challenging. In the US it’s common for students to apply straight to a Ph.D from undergraduate, and Masters programs are often intended more for professional development. But, as I wrote in the past, research-oriented Masters programs can actually be a great fit for many students. A Ph.D is a huge commitment on both the student and advisor side. If you have not had a chance to do research during your undergraduate studies, it may be better to start with a Masters before taking such a commitment. Some research Masters programs do not charge any tuition, and several offer a stipend. To post and look for such opportunities, see the crowdsourced TCS research masters website, managed by Aviad Rubinstein and Matt Weinberg.

If there are other great resources or opportunities, please post them in the comments!

In particular, the resources above are geared for theoretical CS. If you have suggestions of analogous resources for other fields, please post them as well.

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