Leaving Academia: Intro to Series

I had a dream of being a professor at a university, running experiments to learn about the intricacies of visual perception, teaching a course or two, and leaving a legacy of academic accomplishments and proteges. Then, as the number of academic job applications crossed over the 50, and then the 100, and then the 150 marks, my dream began to shrink. In the hopes of getting a faculty position and putting my postdoc behind, I became open to small schools in dusty corners of the country and schools that have high teaching loads, tiny research programs, high expectations for tenure and even salaries lower than my postdoc pay.

Thankfully, I was also exposed to opportunities outside of academia that seemed as intellectually challenging and engaging as a life of an academic had been. Explorations of these options revealed many exciting careers that have been overshadowed by the glamour of academia. Working in industry meant no more pressure to publish (or perish!), to secure grants and pay salaries of graduate students. Love flexible work hours? You got it! Want benefits that adjunct faculty never get? Done! Want job security? Well, it’s going away in academia too…

The reality of the shrinking academic job market is pushing more and more graduates, postdocs and researchers into industry. So, how to make that transition? I’ll share with you tips on:

  • Converting academic skills to industry
  • Going from CV to resume
  • What kind of jobs to search for
  • Where to search for jobs and company background
  • Utilizing LinkedIn and social media
  • Learning the lingo and lay of the land
  • Power of networking
  • Interviewing and negotiating

Blog is part of series on transitioning to industry from academia