RCD Career Arcs

Career Arcs Interviews underway!

We’re conducting face-to-face interviews with current or past RCD professionals to understand RCD career trajectories more deeply. If you are interested in participating in such an interview, please email us at career-arcs-participate@carcc.org.

Career Arcs paper wins Phil Andrews award at PEARC22!

Career Arcs WG members presented our paper “Understanding Factors that Influence Research Computing and Data Careers” at the PEARC22 conference in Boston. The paper was awarded Best Full Paper, Workforce Development, Training, Diversity, and Education, as well as the Phil Andrews award, granted to a manuscript deemed to be the most impactful in practice of research computing. See also the University of Central Florida post and the CI Compass post.

The 2021/22 Career Arcs Survey has closed.

The Research Computing and Data Professionals Career Arcs survey was open from November 2021 through February 1, 2022. We received 233 responses in total (although some are only partially complete). The RCD Career Arcs Working Group is going through the data and drafting a report of survey outcomes. We plan to share it with the community at RCD venues throughout 2022.

Thanks to everyone who completed the survey! Your input will help us better understand how to recruit, retain, and help the professional development of RCD professional roles.

Working Group Background and Activities

This group is creating resources for Research Computing and Data (RCD) Professionals to explain RCD career options and help existing RCD professionals explore professional development and advancement. These resources will also aid in recruiting a larger and more diverse pipeline into the RCD profession.

People across a range of roles support research computing and data (RCD) services; the community of people in these roles is evolving into  a distinct profession, and is widely understood to be an integral part of scholarly research. However, distinct RCD roles are relatively new and it is not obvious to people outside of these roles how their skills and experience map to the RCD profession. This is a serious barrier to recruitment and to the development of a “pipeline” into these roles. In addition, staff currently in RCD roles lack resources to help them grow into new roles and more generally to create a professional development plan; this undermines retention of these skilled professionals.

An additional benefit of the resources we are building is as an analytic tool to identify gaps and needs for missing training programs that will facilitate the transition from other positions into RCD roles, and, e.g., to develop existing RCD staff into RCD leadership roles.

The Career Arcs activity began with discussions at the 2018 CI Professionalization workshop. The WG charter describes our plan. If you are interested in this work, email the WG chairs to get involved.

Career Arcs co-chairs: Sam Porter (University of Maryland), Patrick Schmitz (Semper Cogito)

Thanks to our previous Career Arcs co-chair: Arman Pazouki (Purdue)

Works Products to date

A number of these were in collaboration with the RCD Professionalization WG.