Academia or Industry?

Ray Gosine Striving solely for a tenure-track position at a university is not a foregone career path for many graduate students and postdocs these days. The stigma of "selling out" really does not apply anymore for scientists choosing a career in the private sector. Nevertheless, there are distinct differences and yet some similarities regarding working in either setting. One difference is in salaries, with industry positions usually commanding more pay than academic jobs.1,2 A less tangible a

Karen Young Kreeger
Jan 21, 2001


Ray Gosine
Striving solely for a tenure-track position at a university is not a foregone career path for many graduate students and postdocs these days. The stigma of "selling out" really does not apply anymore for scientists choosing a career in the private sector. Nevertheless, there are distinct differences and yet some similarities regarding working in either setting. One difference is in salaries, with industry positions usually commanding more pay than academic jobs.1,2

A less tangible aspect is the differences in culture.3 That is, although a sound work ethic is required to succeed in both arenas, many in the business world say there is more flexibility than in academia. At the same time those in academia say they chose that route because of creative freedom and a less regimented schedule. Still others think that a spirit of teamwork and true collegiality is more prominent in the private sector....

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