DMSE offers a wide range of career opportunities. Graduates can pursue careers in materials research, development, and design, working in aerospace, energy, electronics, health care, and manufacturing. DMSE’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship equips students with the skills and mindset to build their own startups, launch groundbreaking technologies, and drive transformative change.

Types of Careers

Materials science and engineering encompasses a broad array of scientific fields and specialties, and graduates have a wide range of opportunities. Materials science and engineering graduates build dynamic futures—working as engineers and researchers with multinational companies, professors at prominent academic institutions, or policy advisors for governmental organizations. Here’s a sampling of jobs materials science and engineering majors get after graduating.

Use computer simulations and modeling techniques to study and predict the behavior and properties of materials. Develop and apply algorithms and tools to understand material structures, properties, and performance, contributing to materials design, optimization, and research. Computational materials scientists work in many industries, including aerospace, energy and renewable resources, electronics and semiconductors, and chemical processing.

Apply data science techniques to analyze large data sets generated in materials research and development, extract insights, and make data-driven decisions. Develop algorithms and models to analyze and interpret materials data for various applications. Data scientists/analysts with materials science and engineering backgrounds work in industries such as automaking, materials manufacturing, health care and biotechnology, and consulting.

Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance criteria. In health and medicine, for example, develop materials for use in medical devices. Materials engineers also work in industries such as aerospace, automaking, electronics, renewable resources, construction, and infrastructure.

Analyze and optimize metal properties and work on developing new alloys with enhanced performance characteristics. Metallurgists work in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing and production, mining, energy and power generation, and defense and aerospace.

Some graduates pursue careers in academia, becoming professors or academic researchers. They teach courses, mentor students, and lead research projects, contributing to the field’s knowledge base and inspiring future generations of scholars.

Design and optimize materials for specific products or applications. Work with design teams to select materials, develop prototypes, conduct testing, and ensure that materials meet required specifications. Product development engineers work in consumer goods, automaking, aerospace, health care, sports and recreation, and other industries.

Study and conduct experiments to analyze natural phenomena and develop new materials or devices. In the construction industry, conduct hands-on lab-scale testing of new, emissions-free building materials, for example. Research scientists with materials science and engineering backgrounds work in other industries, too: examples include government and national laboratories, academia, technology and electronics, energy, and health care.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

DMSE has long been recognized for its commitment to fostering innovation. The department’s curriculum is designed to encourage creative problem-solving, hands-on experimentation, and interdisciplinary thinking. In 3.042 (Materials Project Laboratory), for example, students learn to design and prototype a potentially viable product or system.
DMSE also fosters entrepreneurship. Through various initiatives, the department supports students, faculty, and researchers in turning their innovative ideas into successful ventures. As a result, numerous groundbreaking startups have emerged from the department, making significant contributions to various industries and reinforcing MIT’s reputation as a hub for technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

Resources for Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Students are invited to enter design and innovation contests in the Department and across the Institute; and they can apply for fellowships and other funding to bring their ideas to reality.

Explore DMSE Entrepreneurship

Learn the stories behind some of the most successful and innovative startups with roots in DMSE—how they started and how they’re making an impact.

Breaking ground with green cement

Startup Sublime Systems has developed a way to produce cement using electrochemistry instead of heat powered by fossil fuel.

Decarbonizing the power grid at scale

Ambri’s liquid metal batteries, developed in DMSE, can store renewable energy.