Careers: Master of Science Programs

The IEOR department provides individual career counseling to meet the unique career development needs of every student. A career placement officer partners with students from the time they enter the program through to completion and beyond.

We also organize numerous departmental events, including employer meet-and-greets, employer on-site visits and shadowing opportunities, Bloomberg (and related applications) training sessions, informational interviews, and alumni round table (and related) networking events.

Students also have access to a wealth of professional development resources from the Columbia Engineering Professional Development & Leadership Team, with the goal to enhance and broaden their skills in life and work.

    Career Placement Team

    The Career Placement Team consists of career placement officers: Lucy MahbubSara Yllescas, Cindy Mejia, & David Fitzgerald. Please message us at [email protected] if you have any career questions or just want to chat! You will be able to reach all of us at this email, to ensure a timely and helpful response. If you would like to have an individual meeting with us, please sign up for our office hours. See you soon!

    Please Note:  The appointment schedules below are for current IEOR masters students only.

    Team virtual office hours


    Listed below are resources for students interested in the consulting industry (management, financial, data, etc.). Specifically you can find resources for company research, preparing for the infamous case interview, and what to expect when you enter the work force.

    Company Research



    • Case in Point by Marc P Cosentino (to start learning about case studies and how to approach interviews)


    Students should also consider joining Consulting clubs for networking and case practice sessions.

    • CGCC—Columbia Graduate Consulting Club
    • ELC—Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Consulting Club

    Below are a wealth of resources for students interested in jobs in data, technology, and startups. They include suggested MOOCs to learn more about data science and machine learning, recommended programming skills, courses, and online resources.


    Taking a MOOC over the summer or during the year can help beef up your programming chops. Consider any of the below courses if you’re interested in data science or learning a new language.

    Specialization in Data Science (Coursera, Johns Hopkins University)
    Course 1 – The Data Scientist’s Toolbox 
    Course 2 – R Programming  
    Course 3 – Getting and Cleaning Data 
    Course 4 – Exploratory Data Analysis 
    Course 5 – Reproducible Research 
    Course 6 – Statistical Inference 
    Course 7 – Regression Models 
    Course 8 – Practical Machine Learning 
    Course 9 – Developing Data Products
    All are –week courses of 3-5 hrs of work/week.
    Start Dates in May, June, July & August!

    Machine Learning (Coursera, Stanford)
    10 weeks, 5-7 hrs of work/week

    Introduction to Data Science (Coursera, University of Washington)
    8 weeks, 10-12 hrs of work/week

    Data Analysis (Sliderule)
    Self-paced, 220+ hours of work

    MicroMasters Program in Business Analytics (EdX, Columbia University)
    Course 1 - Analytics in Python
    Course 2 - Data, Models and Decisions in Business Analytics
    Course 3 - Marketing Analytics
    Course 4 - Demand and Supply Analytics

    Recommended Computer Skills

    If you’re at all interested in going into data science and analytics, you should consider what your computer skills portfolio looks like. Companies are looking for a wide range of skills and the ability to use them to answer questions and solve problems.

    At least one of each of the following categories (the more the better):
    1. Basic Object-oriented languages - C++, Objective-C, C#, Java
         a. Advanced - Perl, Python, Ruby, Smalltalk and PHP
    2. Computational Statistics – Stata, SPSS, SAS, MATLAB, R, Maple, Minitab, Mathematica
    3. Data Manipulation – General Excel mastery, Visual Basic, VBA, Macros, SQL
         a. Advanced Skills – Hadoop, anything from Apache, Cassandra, mySQL, noSQL

    Courses to Consider at Columbia for Data Science

    Columbia has a wealth of classes you can take if you’re interested in data science and analytics. Below are just a few suggestions from IEOR and other departments.


    • IEOR E4407 Game Theory Models of Operations
    • IEOR E4500 Applications Programming for Financial Engineering
    • IEOR E4521 Systems Engineering Tools and Methods
    • IEOR E4525 Machine Learning for OR
    • IEOR E4571 Applied Consulting
    • IEOR E6704 Queuing Theory & Applications


    • STAT 4026 Applied Data Mining
    • STAT 4201 Advanced Data Analysis
    • STAT 4240 Data Mining
    • STAT 4242 Intro to Data Science
    • STAT 4249 Applied Data Science
    • STAT 4400 Statistical Machine Learning
    • STAT 4701 Exploratory Data Anlysis Visualization


    • COMS 4231 Analysis of Algorithms
    • COMS 4111 Introduction to Databases
    • COMS 4112 Database System Implementation
    • COMS 4721 Machine Learning for Data Science
    • COMS 4771 Machine Learning
    • COMS 4772 Advanced Machine Learning
    • COMS 6990 Special Topics: Cloud Computing and Big Data


    • DROM B8123 Demand and Supply Analytics
    • DROM B9122 Computing for Business Research

    Key Job Fairs & Networking Opportunities

    Networking is just as important in Tech and Startups so consider participating in one of the following fairs or groups to help with your career search:

    Company Research Tools

    Start your career search in data, tech, and startups by using the websites below to learn more about what types of companies and jobs are out there:

    Starting your own Startup

    • Want to start your own startup? Take a look at the below resources to jumpstart your endeavor!
    • Consider taking the course: IEOR E4560 Lean LaunchPad  
    • Tech Crunch (Profiles startups, reviews new internet products, provider of breaking tech news)

    Supplementary and popular resources targeted towards IEOR disciplines that are recommend by the IEOR Career Team for students interested in Finance:

    Follow the news daily!

    Quantitative Finance and Technical Interview Prep:

    Popular External Networking and Job Search Opportunities:

    We are pleased to release our Graduate Student resume book to hundreds of employers each semester containing the resumes of any IEOR graduate student who abides by our resume format requirements and guidelines.

    Resumes submitted to the resume book that do not abide by the formatting requirements outlined below will not be included in the resume book. There will be no exceptions made.

    Non-native English speakers: The number one critique we receive from employers is that students need to improve their English communication skills and we know this takes time and effort, so start your language boot camp today! Please work on your spoken and written English by reading, watching TV, movies and YouTube clips and listening to music in English and reading The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need by Susan Thurman and Clear and Simple as the Truth by Francis-Noel Thomas and Mark Turner. For those of you with strong language skills who want further help with pronunciation try working on these fun tongue twisters!

    Please access the IEOR Department’s English Improvement Resources Brochure.

    The IEOR department is sensitive to the unique challenges and opportunities our international students face in the US, and have taken this into careful consideration when designing our professional development courses. We encourage our international students to get out of their comfort zones by helping them understand and navigate the cultural and business environments they will encounter here. Students learn how to craft introductory emails, engage in role-playing to prepare for one-on-one informational interviews and develop their networking skills, and learn how to keep connected after initial interviews and event attendance, with techniques proven to work in the US marketplace. We work closely with both employers and Columbia’s ISSO to make sure you have the information you need. 

    There is a common misconception that placement for international students is different from placement for US citizens. While there are some visa restrictions for international students, the actual job search process is no different. You will have access to the same resources, and our placement statistics are the same for both groups.

    If it is your first time studying in the US, you will be able to do an internship only after completing two full-time semesters, which falls along the typical timeline for most students. Also, as a student in a STEM program, you have more time to find a full-time job with sponsorship (up to three years). All our MS programs are STEM-certified and eligible for an F-1 STEM OPT extension.

    Commitment to attendance and engagement in the various activities and events organized by Columbia IEOR is crucial to students’ success. These activities and events are designed to enhance the student’s Columbia experience. The IEOR Team invests a considerable amount of resources to creating such events. We ask students to adhere to the following policy.

    The types of activities and events include, but are not limited to:

    1. Employer presentations and visits
    2. Interviews
    3. Professional development course and activities
    4. Departmental signature events, including faculty-alumni-student events, networking events, student mixers, etc.
    5. Seminars and conferences

    For certain career engagements, the Department will ask you to reserve a seat using email or an invitation system such as google forms or Eventbrite. If you register for an event, you are expected to attend and engage. If you registered and can no longer attend the event, the Department requires you to cancel at least (2) business days prior. For example, for an event held on Monday, you have until the previous Thursday to cancel. If registration was through Eventbrite, you must cancel your own seat directly. In select events, the Department reserves the right to set a customized cancellation policy. This will be articulated in the event announcement.

    Excessive absences without cancellation may result in poor administrative standing as articulated in the Columbia Engineering School policy below.

    At the department level, failure to comply and excessive absences without cancellation may lead to a Departmental disciplinary hearing and/or failure in the Professional Development course.