CDIPS began in 2012 when two physics graduate students began inviting speakers to talk to PhDs about non-academic career options. In response to the outstanding demand for such programming, the organization quickly grew. In addition to the speaker series, CDIPS initiated a popular data science workshop. This annual (free) 3 week summer program facilitated small teams of grads and postdocs pairing with mentors from industry to analyze problems in data science. CDIPS ran the workshop from 2012-2017; in 2018, it branched off to into the Graduate Data Science Organization. Similarly, CDIPS formed a PhD Consulting Club to help grads and postdocs interested in management consulting, which also became independent in 2018.


Complementary to these offshoots, 2018 was a time of great growth for the speaker series. In Spring 2018, CDIPS partnered with the physics department at UC Berkeley to create a new course, Physics 297: Careers in the Physical Sciences, which formalized the speaker series into a 1-unit seminar for academic credit. Physics 297 was a success, with enrollment hitting the 50-person cap within days of the course announcement and overflowing onto the waitlist. The average number of speakers per year quadrupled. To meet this challenging new pace, in the Spring of 2019, CDIPS leadership also grew and diversified, expanding from a 2-person physics grad team to a 10+ organization run by grads and postdocs from physics, chemistry, and astronomy.