I graduated with Ph.D. in 2012 from SUNY-Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, with B.S. in Physics. Then I could not find a related job to this day.

In 6 years, I managed only to get two different full time jobs in entirely different fields, and they did not last. I believe one of the major obstacle in my goal is that I am Deaf, and the employers do discriminate.

So, now I am enrolling into community college to try to get in an internship program in Computer Science/Engineering in Spring 2019. One of my major defects was that I did lot of modeling and simulations on a platform, but without a computer program language (C++, for instance). Another major defects: the program was not ABET certified, did not have any undergraduate engineering courses (AutoCAD, statics, etc), exhausted references.

As I was working on this course of action, I realized that most college and universities tend not to admit people who has advanced degrees (both undergraduate and graduate programs). Granted, the community college will provide me with additional training and coursework to cover some of the defects such as basic engineering courses, programming and possibly one more math course. But how do I get back into advanced research and coursework, or at least do advanced research (postdocs generally requires recent graduate within 3 years)?

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    What specifically is your question? – Fábio Dias Sep 22 '18 at 21:55
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    This seems like a question for workspace. You want to work in industry, not academia, correct? I would suggest coding courses and informational interviews, not community college enrollment, but the people at workspace should know better. – Dawn Sep 22 '18 at 22:42
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    @FábioDias: The last sentence seems to form a pretty clear question, which I think is on topic for this site. – Nate Eldredge Sep 22 '18 at 22:45
  • Are you profoundly deaf or something less? Does it affect your speech as well? – Buffy Sep 22 '18 at 22:53
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    To the close voter and any potential close voters, this site is for helping Academians. The OP is a deaf PhD and needs help. And we close the question? – scaaahu Sep 23 '18 at 2:50

First of all, you don't need a job at most colleges, you just need one of them. So don't let a bunch of closed doors bother you. Many others are still open.

You can definitely still do postdocs. Some schools have strict rules, many others do not, treating it as a generic at-will employment job with whatever name the prof wants to give the role. I knew someone who came back to a postdoc after over a decade in industry (they left again in a few months for another industry job though). I know others who have stayed in the role for way too many years. There are also similar jobs with other names like research scientist that you can get in academic labs. It's kind of wide open if you are willing/able to relocate. Pick some big schools and monitor their job opening list.

You can also take classes at many (perhaps all?) major public universities via some variant of an open university system, requiring little more than permission of the instructor (and some cash). There will likely be a limit in the number of classes you can take this way but it can get you started. Ace a few classes and you will have a much easier time moving to the next step.

Lack of ABET certification is not a huge deal, by the way. It's a lot of paperwork and many universities don't bother with it. It's more important that the school is regionally accredited. Then we can trust (at least somewhat more) that you were actually taught what your transcript says you were taught.

  • True! I had no idea postdocs were that flexible. Thank you. As for ABET certification, it was to my understanding if I wanted to become licensed engineer, I would have to graduate from ABET accredited program. However, that might be a question for workspace, instead. – Dr. Paul Kenneth Shreeman Sep 23 '18 at 2:49
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    @Dr.PaulKennethShreeman I think you're right that you cannot become a licensed engineer currently because you don't have an engineering degree beyond the fact that the department wasn't ABET. This may be state-dependent. You would need experience in the field if you don't have an engineering degree. – mkennedy Sep 23 '18 at 22:21

This is a bit orthogonal, but let me describe a project that might give you some ideas that you could conceivably turn in to a career. Not exactly in this form, but you might want to think about whether some variation on it might suit you.

A friend of mine started a project in New Mexico to take young people with no seeming future (poor, gang-bangers, dropouts) and start up a combination educational program and software development house using Agile Software Development principles. I met some of his students/workers a few years in to the project and they were productive, hardworking, and articulate. They were also fantastic software developers. The Road: Reinventing Education - pdf download.

Dave West was the principal person here. He both taught the "kids" how to do software development, found grants to support the project, found real projects in local businesses, etc.

It occurred to me, reading your question, that if you are in a large enough place that there are others like yourself nearby, a project that is part education and part workforce might be something you would be interested in.

The education part isn't enough, as you learned in your own life, but a Studio Workshop that provides also a workplace in which the workers are trained by other, similarly situated, people might be viable.

It does require a fair amount of governmental support, but I imagine that can be found, though it is hard to maintain. A relationship with a sponsoring educational institution also helps. The workshop was not a charity in any sense and it produced real software for businesses. It helped a lot of young people turn their lives around.

One major challenge, of course, is that building software requires communication. Pair programming especially depends on a lot of communication. Someone wanting to do this with profoundly deaf people would need to replace chit-chat with visual communication, of course. But it would be a major contribution for someone to do this well.

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    Is "deaf and dumb" current vernacular? How about "deaf and mute" or just "deaf". – mkennedy Sep 23 '18 at 1:47
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    I really enjoyed your "orthogonal" solution. Unfortunately, it is not direct answer to the posted question, but still an excellent option to consider, and I find the concept very attractive. By the way, the Deaf community considers "Deaf" to be sufficient description, and that other two terms, (dumb and mute) is considered to be demeaning terms. It's interesting, tho, because ability to speak and ability to hear is two distinct and separate abilities which 'deaf and dumb/mute' supposedly help convey that concept, but is no longer viable (or at least proper term) to be used. – Dr. Paul Kenneth Shreeman Sep 23 '18 at 2:42
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    @Dr.PaulKennethShreeman, thanks for the education. I worried about my phrasing, actually. I lost most of my hearing as an adult due to disease. No hearing on my right and vastly diminished on the left. It didn't affect my speech, I'm told. So I'm "deaf" but not in the same sense you are. I'll make an edit here. – Buffy Sep 23 '18 at 10:40

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