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Thread: Where to find RA jobs

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    Where to find RA jobs

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    Hello all, I've been wondering where all of these RA jobs can be found? I checked NBER earlier today and only found 3 faculty looking for RAs posted... the odds seem very slim for someone looking to definitely find an RA job... are there other places to look? I imagine the Fed branches all take RAs, but do they have an official process to find and apply for RA jobs? Also, what are some of the think tanks, other than RAND and Brookings that actively recruit RAs? Thank you all...

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    Re: Where to find RA jobs

    There is a section on the NBER website for non-NBER RA jobs. This link should work Research Assistant Positions not at the NBER Some of the postings there are old and have probably already been filled. This time of year is a less busy time for postings since Spring is when most researchers looking for full-time RA's for the following academic year post, but new stuff gets posted as people receive funding or start new projects. A lot of top researchers post jobs there - at the moment the second and third posts are from Amy Finkelstein and Luigi Zingales respectively and in the past I have seen postings from Lars Peter Hansen, Raj Chetty, Emily Oster and Susan Athey.

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    Re: Where to find RA jobs

    zshfryoh1, that link is very helpful, there are so many postings! If not NBER, would there happen to be other opportunities? What is the "RA admit rate" approximately to the best of your estimation? And more specifically, how likely is it for a median qualifications level applicant to find an RA position?

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    Re: Where to find RA jobs

    From what I gather, the minimum GPA or cut-off happens at about 3.5/3.6. After you've crossed the hurdle, the thing that will land you an interview, and consequently the job will be past RA experience, proficiency in coding and interpersonal skills (which will be evident during the interview).

    The best way for a median quality candidate to get an RA position will be to go back to your alma mater and reach out to your old professors. That's usually how it goes for the majority of students. Pre-doc fellowship positions are extremely competitive (and rightly so).

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    Re: Where to find RA jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by zshfryoh1 View Post
    This time of year is a less busy time for postings since Spring is when most researchers looking for full-time RA's for the following academic year post.
    I don't think this is accurate- both fall and spring are peak-time recruiting seasons for RA positions. Most of the fall-recruitment positions should be posted throughout September and October, so you should probably wait it out a couple weeks.

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    The best way for a median quality candidate to get an RA position will be to go back to your alma mater and reach out to your old professors. That's usually how it goes for the majority of students. Pre-doc fellowship positions are extremely competitive (and rightly so).
    I'd actually be surprised if there are that many paid full-time RA positions outside of NBER postings and Fed positions. Maybe the RA's on this forum can chime in. All the RA's that I know applied through pre-doc fellowships.

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    Re: Where to find RA jobs

    Another source of quite a few RA positions is JPAL and IPA. Some of them are very good RA positions for someone headed to grad school (but some aren't).

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    Re: Where to find RA jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by tutonic View Post
    From what I gather, the minimum GPA or cut-off happens at about 3.5/3.6. After you've crossed the hurdle, the thing that will land you an interview, and consequently the job will be past RA experience, proficiency in coding and interpersonal skills (which will be evident during the interview).
    Would it possibly be well worth my while to study the intricacies of coding on places like stack overflow and read coding blogs, to become the best coder I can be, or is there some kind of a saturation point when it comes to coding for Economics? I'm thinking maybe it'd be good to be very good at coding since different kinds of questions can emerge that require coding skills?

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    Re: Where to find RA jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by mathenomics View Post
    I'd actually be surprised if there are that many paid full-time RA positions outside of NBER postings and Fed positions. Maybe the RA's on this forum can chime in. All the RA's that I know applied through pre-doc fellowships.
    That was kind of my line of thinking too. NBER and Fed are the main pools and then there's places like JPAL and IPA like startz mentioned...

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    Re: Where to find RA jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by dogbones View Post
    Would it possibly be well worth my while to study the intricacies of coding on places like stack overflow and read coding blogs, to become the best coder I can be
    No. Probably the only way to be good at coding is doing it. Reading others' code and think "oh of course that's how ABC is done in code. I can do it too" is like committing plagiarism, or like copying solutions to homework problems

    Quote Originally Posted by dogbones View Post
    different kinds of questions can emerge that require coding skills?
    Unless you're a theorist, every question you encounter in economics requires coding skill

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    Re: Where to find RA jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by applicant12 View Post
    No. Probably the only way to be good at coding is doing it. Reading others' code and think "oh of course that's how ABC is done in code. I can do it too" is like committing plagiarism, or like copying solutions to homework problems
    Disagree with this - if someone has written a package or made their code freely available online, of course it's fine to use that code (and just cite it in a footnote).

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