What sort of HPC jobs are available that require only a BS?

(Last Updated On: September 22, 2011)
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What sort of HPC jobs are available that require only a BS?

I graduated last month and all of the HPC work seems to require at least a master’s and experience. Has it always been this way?


I’ve just got a Master in HPC and I can not find anything without experience…



Not to my knowledge Luis.. depending on where you live, try the Government. Virginia has occasional opportunities as does the weather service in Princeton, NJ. Good luck!


All HPC centers have folks who do system administration. These rarely require more than a BS. Many HPC centers also have staff who assist users with software development, application porting, modifying batch scripts, application installation, etc. These jobs may require a BS, but usually prefer an MS. Finally, some HPC centers have staff who assist in research, either with faculty or on projects funded by the HPC center or university. These positions require a PhD.

By the way, universities often require a higher degree than businesses do, largely because they want the degrees of their staff to equal or exceed those of their users/clients. It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s a cultural thing.

If you want a position on the software side of HPC, I recommend that you prepare by taking one or more numerical courses like Mike Heath’s “Scientific Computing” or van Loan’s “Intro to Scientific Computing”. Otherwise you won’t understand enough of the math behind the HPC algorithms and your usefulness will be limited to software support rather than research support.


I’ve been hired to work for Intel without even having BS. Off course, experience is always required.

one option you can look at though with a BS/BEng is look for a software development role as part of a HPC computational project doing work like GPU-enabling or parallelisation of code, or cloud computing/big data aspects. Then look to learn some of the more full-on maths/numerical algorithms/advanced hardware stuff as you progress, and go the Masters/PhD later on.
I also recommend the http://software-carpentry.org/ course as a good all-round primer for any computational science work.


can you give me an idea of what kinds of places I could be looking at? Almost all of my experience is with CFD using MPI/OpenMP and I’m trying to get a better idea of what’s out there in the industry.

I’m currently pursuing a master’s part-time and have every intention of getting a PhD down the line, but I wanted to get some work experience in before going back to school.


if you haven’t already, I recommend you visit HPCWire’s job page <http://www.hpcwire.com/jobs.html>. It’s the best single source of HPC job listing I know and may give you further idea of the range of opportunities and desired skills.



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