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Other than going fully academic and getting a doctorate/post-doc, or going for a more or less 'standard' job in software development, what are some other career options in the full or semi theoretical C.S field?

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    $\begingroup$ I think that this is off-topic. If not, it should probably be community wiki. I voted to close. $\endgroup$ – Shane Aug 16 '10 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ I agree. Definitely should be made CW. @ripper234, please edit the post. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Aug 16 '10 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ I meant to make this CW, forgot. $\endgroup$ – ripper234 Aug 17 '10 at 6:10
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    $\begingroup$ I think this is a reasonable soft question that lots of graduate student in theory have, I am voting to reopen it. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Nov 12 '10 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with Kaveh. I am voting to reopen, too. $\endgroup$ – Giorgio Camerani Nov 12 '10 at 9:26
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Assuming you do not get intimidated when reading theory papers due to your training in your master's degree, which I assume is in a theoretical aspect of CS since you are asking on this site, I think it would be a great idea to try being a research programmer (usually inside some research organization, like an industrial lab or under the umbrella of a larger grant).

Why? It's not easy to implement an algorithm correctly, even if the authors sincerely meant to spell it out completely, and yet sometimes the need to run an algorithm does arise! Additionally, if you enjoy programming and measurements, later on you may even be able to further your study into a PhD in the area of algorithmic engineering, which I think is a very exciting area and wish to see more of it happening. (Check out the ALENEX conference and the DIMACS implementation challenges.)

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A Master's is often sufficient to get you a job as a lecturer at a four-year institution or a full professor at a two-year college.

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Any "cutting-edge" technology field will look for theoreticians.

One recent example is high-frequency trading, as in this recent job post from Allston Trading (h.t. to Don Stewart):

Are you familiar with the teachings and lore of SICP, PAIP, TAOCP? Do you know why monads really are like burritos (or have an even better analogy)? Do you have a love/hate (or just love?) relationship with Hindley-Milner inference? And can you make code run so fast your CPU begs for mercy? Then we want to talk to you.

It goes on to guarantee a phone interview to anyone who has solved P != NP (amongst other things).

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    $\begingroup$ I think that job posting was an April-Fools-type post. The link is broken now, but that's what I heard at the time. Does anyone have hard evidence either way? $\endgroup$ – Aaron Sterling Nov 12 '10 at 12:49
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Take a look at General Electric Global Research. In particular, see here for cool jobs in Computer Science (some of which have a non-empty intersection with theory).

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You could attach yourself to a science lab (radar, sonar, weather, space, etc...). The scientists will have algorithms that are not ready for prime time and learning their field will enable you to make contributions outside of computer science.

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