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Tuesday, 16 August 2016 at 12:50am
Tuesday, 16 August 2016 at 3:48pm
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Thread: Teaching/Academy vs Industry

16-Sep-16, 21:41
edited about 55 seconds later
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posted about 3 years ago
It all depends.
I believe you should have passion for teaching if you want to work in academia. It's not only research, but a lot of teaching as well.
In my case I knew for sure that this is not my thing and never wanted to work in academia.

Industry: it depends a lot on a particular company and your field. I work in chemical industry and this field is declining, really hard to find new industrial job in the US. Not so easy to change company. I wish I could jump from one company to another that will be better fit, but these jobs are scarce and it is luxury changing jobs in this field, especially for PhD.

Yes, industry gives better pay in general. But it also depends on a company. Bigger companies pay better, but salary for entry level PhD in smaller companies is pretty much the same as for assistant professor in academia.

The main disadvantage in academia: long career growth. It takes many years to grow from assistant professor to full professor. In industry you can become R&D manager much faster. It also depends on a company and your personality though. Another advantage of industry: better choice of geography. In academia chances are high that you will have to work in a middle of nowhere. At least this is reality in the US (most campuses are located outside of popular cities).

Thread: No job after 3 years of PhD. My options are?

17-Aug-16, 00:39
edited about 13 minutes later
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posted about 3 years ago
Well I don't know where are you located. UK?
I have no idea how UK job market looks like, but in the US things are getting pretty tough for PhDs.

PhD is only a good way to immigrate here if you are not originally from this country. But if you already have citizenship or green card you are digging your own grave by getting PhD (from non-academic career perspective). You are automatically overqualified for most industrial jobs. This job market is over-saturated with PhDs. I don't regret that I chose this path and I should be grateful for what I have (at least I have a job at OK company). However it's really hard to find better company. I've been monitoring the job market actively for a year now and see less and less jobs in my field. Two years ago it was much better. I think this is sign of new major recession coming. August normally is a month when companies start hiring actively. But right now I don't see enough new job listings. There are some, but in undesirable locations, and overall it's very small amount of listings.

...But if you could not get job in 3 years after PhD, there is something fundamentally wrong. You need to identify what's wrong. Either dead-end specialization, zero job market, inefficient job application process, or all combined together. But you could survive somehow, right? If you can't get job from someone, try to create it yourself. I have a side business and I actually enjoy it a lot more than my regular job. My side business doesn't require any degree or certificate. Maybe you can figure something out too. I am thinking about expanding my side business and maybe giving up regular job in a future after this business starts bringing enough $$$.

Thread: Mortgage Approval For Post-Doc (USA)

16-Aug-16, 17:19
edited about 1 minute later
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posted about 3 years ago
Well I am pretty happy with my current house in Texas. Decently built, not old, no construction issues at all. I don't regret house purchase because I hate paying rent. Just could not living in rental apartment any more. And I have a lot more space, plus little land for the same price as apartment rental. Of course, own house is much better. But originally I was planning to stay here much longer. Now I want to change industry. Here everything is oil-related, but you know what is happening on oil market. It will recover, but I don't have high expectations for this industry in a long run. But once again I will not lose $$ even after selling this property within less than two years from purchase date.

Comment about buying house at new location is reasonable. But I know what I am doing. That is kind of unique location with lowest property taxes and reasonable commute to most jobs in my field. I will just filter out other jobs that are not within reasonable commute. And in general I prefer living in that particular place (I am already familiar with it).

Thread: Mortgage Approval For Post-Doc (USA)

16-Aug-16, 15:49
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for Ghost_Town
posted about 3 years ago
Thanks! I didn't know this is UK-based forum. But people from other forum are saying this is possible.

Thread: A Dr PhD yet jobless

16-Aug-16, 01:40
edited about 11 seconds later
Avatar for Ghost_Town
posted about 3 years ago
Oh sorry to hear about your struggles, guys. :((

I did two postdocs in the US, finally got my green card and thought it will be easy to find my dream company with it. But reality was different. Right now job market in chemical industry is not great. It took a couple of months for me to get a job, but the company is not what I was dreaming about. Not of a level of Dow Chemical, DuPont, whatsoever. I've been looking for a better company for a year now, but without any luck.

Chemical jobs are very focused. It's really hard to find a good match. I'm tired of my current company but see that things could be a lot worse. Now I am considering another postdoc just for a year to expand my skills, get new connections and change place to live. Will see how it goes. But current US job market doesn't give me much optimism. I'm thinking about starting own business in a future. In fact I already have a small side business and planning to expand it.

Thread: Mortgage Approval For Post-Doc (USA)

16-Aug-16, 01:15
Avatar for Ghost_Town
posted about 3 years ago
Hello everyone!

I am a former post-doc, now working in chemical industry.
Yes, pay rate is much better in industry but I got crazy idea of quitting my current company (really tired of it) and moving to another state for a new postdoc job. Little tired of living here in Texas and want to go back to the East Cost. But right now it is really hard to get industrial job in the state where I want to live. So new postdoc for one more year before settling with a new industry job seems a feasible option to me.

Of course I realize that new postdoc will be a downshifting for me in terms of salary, but it's not too bad. The main question is if I can buy a house there? I can't wait for more than 6 months after moving there.

Right now I own a starter home in TX (only $120K value). And it was fairly easily for me to get approved for that home loan, especially after 3 months of my industrial job.

Now things will totally change: I am aiming for 300K house, but on much lower post-doc salary. Will I get approved by a bank? Has anyone bought a house while working as a post-doc? Another thing is that property tax will be much lower in the new state, so monthly payment for 300K house will be feasible even for a poor postdoc (same as 2BR apartment rate).

Has anyone had such kind of experience? I heard about some postdocs who owned houses. But I am not sure about their house value.

Thanks in advance!
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