According to the US Department of Labor, Materials Scientists are “involved in the development, processing, and testing of the materials used to create a range of products, from computer chips and aircraft wings to golf clubs and snow skis. They work with metals, ceramics, plastics, semiconductors, and composites to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements. They also are involved in selecting materials for new applications.” According to the Sloan Cornerstone Career Center, in ”both small and large organizations…in industries as diverse as: semiconductor, consumer products, communications, medical devise and computers.” For more details, visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook, Sloan Cornerstone Career Center and the Material Science department website.
Top employers in the field:
Materials Science Job Search
While some large organizations may recruit in the Fall semester, many others will seek full-time hires on an “as needed” basis. The key is to start your search early so that you do not miss opportunities. Use resources like the professional associations listed below to apply to positions and seek out networking opportunities, attend CCE’s Engineering Consortium Career Fair and Engineering Industry Showcase, and pay attention to your departments’ emails. Many engineers continue on for a master’s degree either immediately after graduation or after a few years of work experience. A master’s degree generally takes two years of study. Working in entry-level positions usually means executing the research, plans, or theories which someone else has originated. With additional experience and education, materials engineers begin to tackle projects solo or, at least, accept responsibility for organizing and managing them for a supervisor. Those materials engineers with advanced degrees or a great deal of experience can move into supervisory or administrative positions within any one of the major categories, such as research, development, or design.
- Science Technology Engineering Internship Program (STEP) and other CCE sponsored international and national internship programs
- Career Fairs and Networking Events: Attend our career fairs and special events throughout the year including the Engineering Career Fair and Startup Career Fair.
- Engineering Industry Showcase: Held in the Spring semester, offers a panel session and networking opportunities with representatives from a variety of engineering disciplines.
- List of Leadership Development and Rotational Programs
- Vault & WetFeet guides: Profiles industries, companies, and careers including: Vault Guide to the Top 50 Consumer Products Employers, Vault Guide to the Top Manufacturing Employers, Industries and Careers for Engineers, Vault Guide to Technology Careers
- Materials Science and Engineering Department website
- Student Research Involvement Program
- Information on the FE Exam (Students should find out from their academic advisor whether their desired career path requires EIT/PE certification)
- Fellowships for CC/SEAS, GS, and GSAS
- Mentornet, an online mentoring community in which Columbia University participates
- Materials Research Society (MRS)
- American Chemical Society – Materials Science
- ASM International – The Materials Information Society
- The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society
- The American Ceramic Society (ACerS)
- Association for Iron & Steel Technology
- National Society of Professional Engineers
- Society of Women Engineers
- Pathways to Science: To find programs such as undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral positions, as well as resources and materials pertaining to recruitment, retention, and mentoring
- National Science Foundation REU Sites - The NSF Division of Materials Research (DMR) supports REU Sites that focus on research in materials science and related areas, including condensed matter physics, materials chemistry and physics, and materials engineering
- American Academy for Advancement of Science: A resource list of AAAS career development programs
- Engineering Jobs – Materials: A broad starting-point for career opportunities for engineers interested in materials science
- Materials Jobs: Career opportunities specifically focused in metallurgy, polymers, and ceramics
- The Material Research Society’s Job Board
- The Materials, Metals and Materials Society Job Board
- The American Ceramic Society Job Board
- ACECNY: A proactive coalition of more than 270 firms representing every discipline of engineering related to the built environment — civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, geotechnical — and affiliated companies.
- Research Gate: A network dedicated to science and research. Connect, collaborate and discover scientific publications, jobs and conferences
- Engineering Central: Lists engineering positions and resumes across all engineering disciplines
- Engineer.net: A broad-scale engineering job-search engine that many companies use to find new talent