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Industry v/s Academia


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19 replies to this topic

#1 biofuel

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 07:46 AM

Hi,

The question which i am going to ask, I know there can be a debate on this. And I think earlier also this question has been asked many times that whether industry is better or academia? But I could not find the link for that on this website therby thought of asking this again.I want to know about some permanent job in our field, like after finishing PhD you go for postdoc, that is like relaxation for 3 years after that if you don't have so called good publication then again look for another postdoc. Postdoc, then postdoc, then postdoc and then may be some position in academia. But If you directly take up the job in R & D in some in industry then it may be permanent, but still people say academia is better. I don't know may be I am biased towards industry thats why want to know about general opinion. And one more question, I know in publications impact factor matters alot. But If A has more impact factor with more number of small publications and the other person has one big publication but less impact factor than A, then who will get more opportunities. I hope I am not confusing :( .................If I am, please bear with me :)


Thanks

#2 pcrman

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 11:21 PM

Yes this is a question/choice many people ask/face. There is no definite answer to the question which is better. It all depends on personal preference and strength/weakness. We all know the advantages/disadvantages of industrial and academic job. Some people are lucky to have two choices available. Some are not so lucky that there is only one choice left to them. I think no matter where you work, the most important thing is that you enjoy what you do, and if you work hard, smart and lucky enough, you will get what you want.

#3 genehunter

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 11:04 AM

If you are looking for $$$ and less stressful living, going industry is clear the choice.

However, you may still have to complete at least one turn of Postdoc before some big firms will consider you.

#4 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 01:47 PM

I'd not call it less stressful. Each has its own character - industry has little or tenure system and one has to prove themseves every rating period.

#5 leelee

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 06:29 PM

one has to prove themseves every rating period

As do you in non-industry science jobs. Most people are employed on contracts, as permanent positions are very rare, hence you need to continue to publish and secure funding in order to maintain your own position.

#6 aleruiz

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 07:59 PM

I have the same question in my mind. I like te academy, but to be honest, I'm tired of it. I'd like to have some opportunity in industry field. I don't know how academy is in other countries, but in Mexico it's difficult to reach some good researcher position. Besides, I don't know if it's just me, but I'm disapointed about academy research... at least I'm not that happy with what I'm doing now.

#7 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 12:19 PM

Comparison was academia vs. industry. Science "jobs" per se are not academia - whatever the setting. I understand the pressure for grants and don't underestimate the confort of tenure.

Edited by GeorgeWolff, 18 June 2009 - 12:26 PM.


#8 rhombus

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 02:20 AM

Hi,

The question which i am going to ask, I know there can be a debate on this. And I think earlier also this question has been asked many times that whether industry is better or academia? But I could not find the link for that on this website therby thought of asking this again.I want to know about some permanent job in our field, like after finishing PhD you go for postdoc, that is like relaxation for 3 years after that if you don't have so called good publication then again look for another postdoc. Postdoc, then postdoc, then postdoc and then may be some position in academia. But If you directly take up the job in R & D in some in industry then it may be permanent, but still people say academia is better. I don't know may be I am biased towards industry thats why want to know about general opinion. And one more question, I know in publications impact factor matters alot. But If A has more impact factor with more number of small publications and the other person has one big publication but less impact factor than A, then who will get more opportunities. I hope I am not confusing :( .................If I am, please bear with me :D


Thanks



Having spent 18 years in industry and 13 years in academia...these in my opinion are the pro's and con's

Industry: Pro's
Permanent position.
Training infra-structure
Money and resources
Team atmosphere
Higher Salaries
Better pensions/health cover/SAYE share schemes

Cons:
No academic freedom
Very specialised area of screening/research
Difficulty in getting a position in the first place
Possibility of takeover/merger/relocation........redundancy.


Academia: Pro's
Academic freedom
A more relaxed environment

Con's
Tenured positions/short term contracts
Poor pay structure
Very little career structure
Competition for grant money
Pressure to publish and in good journals
Normally not working in a multi disciplinary environment.

You make your own judgements...but in my opinion go for the industry jobs first.

Kindest regards

Rhombus

#9 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 01:21 PM

Rhombus says it well, tho tenure if you can get it - us a definite pro. I too prefer industry.

#10 swanny

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 05:04 PM

I'd recommend doing at least one postdoc, even if you're not thinking of going into the full academic stream. You get to show initiative (show your independent thinking ability), you'll probably have to supervise a student (which would show an employer you are manager material), plus you can tie off any loose ends from the PhD (equals a paper or two, plus another couple if students are successful, or if you collaborate with other projects).

On the subject of publications, don't forget you always have the ability to patent, if you come up with something original. In both industy and academia, you show the management (read faculty or your upline managers) you are "adding value" to work, and you get a share of royalty payments without the personal costs of getting the patent.
Heart disease kills more women than breast cancer, but heart attack symptoms differ from men's symptoms. Get to know your heart... it could save your life.

#11 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 02:37 AM

Not a bad point but indsutry jobs - esp. now- are not so plentiful. So continue to interview from graduation through your post doc and be prepared to leave if you get an offer.

#12 gebirgsziege

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 04:19 AM

I have seen lots of brilliant people changing into industy because they wanted to have a defined area of researchinstead of doing million things at one time. As young researcher in academia (postdoc level) you must try to find coop werationshich often means a lot of unrewarded work. But you are forced to take any opportunity...this migh be your chance for a tenure or similar.

Like rhombus pointed out: industry has clear pros - Training, money and resources. And to some extend very specialised area of screening/research.

But in industry you have a goal....and you have to find a way to reach it. In academia it is not so much about specific results, you must provide good results no matter what the primary question was (which you usually do not find in papers :huh: ). But few people can really cope with the academic freedom. Because the more freedom, the more responsibilities (you will have to supervise people, teach, take responsibities for your workinggroup/faculty/university/institution....)

When you have done a PhD you should be able to decide if you would like to continue in academia (and keep in mind: over time lab work decreases, paperwork increases, and the hours you spend working usually increase as well).
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#13 K.B.

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 03:09 AM

I was applying for both kind of jobs and in the current economic environment my policy regarding future employment can be summed up in two phrases: "beggars can't be choosers" and "catch-as-catch-can". :)

#14 OA17

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 08:17 AM

And what about industrial postdocs? Has someone had this experience?

To be honest, I don't see myself forever in academia (for many reasons, my PhD has been very disappointing, even though I still don't hate science), and I know that I will want to apply for a position in industry at some point in my life. However, I don't know if there are research positions in industry right after the PhD, or if it is necessary to have a postdoc. If this were the case, I have heard that there are some companies where you can actually do a postdoc, and I would imagine that this would be an advantage for applying for a "real" industrial position afterwads.

Does somebody have an idea? Would you recommend and industrial postdoc for somebody who wants to end up researching in industry? Would you recommend instead a normal postdoc, or would you not recommend a postdoc at all?

Thank you!

#15 zienpiggie

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 02:24 PM

Hi folks, I am also at a point where I am considering my options. How about government jobs? Does anyone have experience/advice for government-related occupations?




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