academic vs industry

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MahlerROCKS

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Hello, I recently decided that I would like to take two years off before I apply, and I am trying to create a rudimentary game-plan of what I intend to do after I graduate this coming spring.

Let me preface by stating that my reasons for deciding to take time off are that I would like more research experience, and that I would like to enjoy my 20's while I still can. That being said, I want to know if anyone has, or knows of people, who have decided to pursue research in industry during their gap years, and whether or not this affected their application. The only reason I am asking is that I know for Ph.D.s, completing a post-doc in industry can blacklist you from future academic positions.

Thank you all very much for your help

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QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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Hello, I recently decided that I would like to take two years off before I apply, and I am trying to create a rudimentary game-plan of what I intend to do after I graduate this coming spring.

Let me preface by stating that my reasons for deciding to take time off are that I would like more research experience, and that I would like to enjoy my 20's while I still can. That being said, I want to know if anyone has, or knows of people, who have decided to pursue research in industry during their gap years, and whether or not this affected their application. The only reason I am asking is that I know for Ph.D.s, completing a post-doc in industry can blacklist you from future academic positions.

Thank you all very much for your help
You're finishing UG, not grad school, right? I don't think it matters too much where you work between UG and med/grad school as long as you get good research experience wherever you go. I had two jobs, one private and one in an academic lab, after I finished my MS. That issue never came up in any way whatsoever when i applied for my PhD or med school. If you're worried, you could always split the difference and go work for a government lab, like at the NIH.
 

1Path

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If you're worried, you could always split the difference and go work for a government lab, like at the NIH.
I actually found NIH to be MUCH more like academia than industry. Industry is all about making MONEY.

As for which one to do, I say it depneds on how badly you need money and whether or not you have an advanced degree because without some type of connection like an internship, getting into industry is going to be relativly difficult with just a BS/BA. If money is no issue, then go academia and do your best to get publiched, but recognized that you'll make peanuts compared to what you could make in industry. If you need to save some, go industry and just realize that unless you can publish while there which is almost unheard of, no one involved in med and grad school will really care/ask questions about your time there.
 
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MahlerROCKS

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go industry and just realize that unless you can publish while there which is almost unheard of, no one involved in med and grad school will really care/ask questions about your time there.

I was really hoping no one would say this :laugh:
 

QofQuimica

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unless you can publish while there which is almost unheard of, no one involved in med and grad school will really care/ask questions about your time there.
That wasn't my experience at all. I got asked about both jobs by interviewers. I was trying to say in my previous post that no one made any big deal about one job being academic and the other being for a private company. They were much more interested in my understanding of the goals and purpose of the research (as well as what I learned from it personally) than they were about who was funding it.

OP, if I were you, I'd apply for a bunch of different jobs of both types, go on your interviews, and take the one that sounds most interesting to you. Don't worry about pubs; most people don't come into grad research programs already having pubs. If you do manage to get one, it's a nice bonus, but it's totally not necessary.
 

RxnMan

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My college did not hire anyone as a professor unless they had had some industry experience first.

My thoughts on jobs,

Academia: Money is less, Potential to publish in ~two years, greater flexibility with time.

Industry: Money is better (~1.5x), Potential for patent/publish = f(employer*), greater time committment, less flexibility in time and what you work on.

I had several academic research jobs during my gap years. One was relatively unproductive, another was a great experience and career-building. Regardless of field, I suggest using your interview as an opportunity to gauge whether your employer is productive and if they can be a mentor to you. These years are an opportunity to develop research skills.

*Some buddies of mine are in industrial research jobs where they present findings at conferences. Others are directed by their employer to instead seek patents. Depending on your employer and your qualifications, some or none of these will be options.
 

1Path

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That wasn't my experience at all. I got asked about both jobs by interviewers..
I think the difference may have been that mine was an MD/PhD interview where experiences in academia were the only ones that "counted". I also published in industry but besides noting the publication, no one asked anything else about my time there.
 
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