industry vs academia

Sabine Dippel sabine at
Mon Aug 4 01:55:53 EST 1997

In article <5rqjgl$7nf1 at>, carlisle at 
(Diane Carlisle) writes:
|> I'm coming up on what is (hopefully) my final year of graduate school, and
|> am trying to decide whether I want to look for a post-doc in academia or
|> industry.  Since I'm at a university, I understand, pretty much, the pros
|> and cons of academia, but really don't know much about industry.  
|> For those of you that have already made this decision, what do you see as
|> the pluses and minuses of the two?
|> Diane

Presently, I am trying to make this decision as well. For a while I thought
I had finally decided to stay in academia; an application for a post-doc grant
is submitted (to the only organization in Germany/Europe where this is possible
more than 3 months before the thesis defense), the answer is expected in 
November (and my defense planned for December). 

However, I once in a while think that this might have been a foolish decision,
simply considering the things you have to put up with in academia, and weighing
them against how I would wish my life to be. So I thought that instead of 
choosing academia without ever having considered industry, I might as well 
figure out if there are really no jobs in industry I would like. I think I 
will only be free to decide what I REALLY want to do if I manage to get a 
job offer from industry as well - so now I started applying for jobs in 
industry. Only for jobs I would really like to get, though - there's still 
the post-doc option. 

As a matter of fact, I know at least somewhat what to expect in industry, 
since I did a number of internships during my time in university. One I 
really liked, one bored me to death - both in the same company, so I know
that it really depends a lot on what job you are doing whether you like it
or not (which is the reason I am so picky about my applications - writing 
a good resume and cover letter just take too much time - time I don't have
at the moment with writing up my thesis).

So I guess my message is: apply for both, try to interview for both, and
then see what will happen. (In my case, maybe nothing, I can't tell yet, 
I only sent out the first two applications last Wednesday.)

Good luck,

| Sabine Dippel     | e-mail: s.dippel at                  | 
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