On February 11th 2014, Naturejobs relaunched their podcast with a very interesting interview. We spoke to Nessa Carey: from academia to Industry and got some great responses on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. In the accompanying podcast, we asked you if you had any questions for Nessa, and she has kindly answered your questions below!
1) From Simon Peyda on Twitter: When would it be plausible to make a career move from #AcademiaToIndustry, i.e. what acedemia experiences are vital?
For a long career with continuing progression I would say it’s vital to have a PhD these days. But after that, you can move from academia to industry at any time. I know people who went there as soon as they finished their PhD and others who moved when they were full Professors running successful departments or institutes (and at every step in between). The most important factor is that you can show that you have accumulated new skills in each stage of your academic career. This is far more likely to get you a good job with interesting opportunities than doing three post-docs on the same topic where you have never got out of the lab.
2) From Mohammad Dadashipour on Linkedin: It is a good idea to make potential applicants familiar with the issue. Our way of thinking is completely or more academic than industrial. On the other hand, there are thousands of researcher with no chance of getting in an academic position in near future. It is a good time to hire some of them in industry but I guess industry also may have to train them since an industrial environment has its own necessities. Might industry be more kind with academic people who do not have all necessary skills already?
Industry is great at training people. In small companies this tends to be of the ad hoc, on the job type. In large companies, there will be loads of formal training on offer. It’s also worth considering that in large companies, there may be opportunities to explore different types of roles. For example, I know people who entered as bench scientists but are now running clinical trials or heading up business development. Good employers will hire you not just for what you have done, but for what they believe you will be capable of doing in the future. That’s why it’s so important to have developed skills that are more than lab ones. If you can demonstrate potential for other aspects of working life, it will make a big difference to your employability.
If you have any more questions for Nessa, keep ’em coming! We’ll be updating this post as the questions come in.