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Other About PostDoctoral Positions

  1. May 2, 2017 #1
    Hello all,

    I have found this https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-you-should-quit-your-postdoc-catherine-sorbara-phd?trk=v-feed&trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3B0Sdmz%2FF19OFSLqlQhIrtDA%3D%3D [Broken], and from my experience as someone who did ~2-year as a postdoc, I think it says something to be considered. I have spent ~9 years on my master, PhD, and postdoc, and I barely have enough money and experience to land a job in the industry, compared to all my school peers who own cars, and houses, and are now in senior positions because of their experience, and they only have B.Sc. However, the conclusion was that after getting a PhD, the writer suggested to start the transitioning to the industry. But the question is: why does someone need a PhD if he/she will transition to the industry? Through my search for a job in the industry, sure there was some positions required a PhD, but the majority don't.

    Just something wanted to share.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2017 #2

    Dr Transport

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    you have enough experience, the issue is does your skill set translate??? Forget about doing what you went to school for in the pure sense, if you have a physics degree, you'll end up doing engineering physics or programming in support of other engineering. I will say this much, if you go into industry, you'll double your salary in around 15 years, that doesn't happen in academia too often at that rate.
  4. May 2, 2017 #3


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    Some positions in industry are easier to get if you have a PhD. The majority of high-level mixed-signal IC design jobs are going to PhDs (with the rest to MS grads... it is REALLY hard to get into IC design with a BS now). In my group we have five designers, 3 with PhDs, one with a PhD (ABD), and only one without one. So it depends on what you want to do. I worked with a physics PhD (she was a postdoc) who now works for an investment bank and probably makes triple what I do, so there's that, too.

    If you want to be a "coder", you probably don't need one. If you want to do advanced development in image processing or something, it is probably good to have.
  5. May 2, 2017 #4


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    This is one of those questions where if you have to ask it, a PhD probably isn't the route for you to take.

    A PhD is not vocational training. Pursuing a PhD will give you an advanced understanding of a very specific field and give you the skills necessary to conduct independent, novel research. If you don't care about developing these things (or if they are not a high priority for you), you're better off seeking some kind of professional or vocational training that is going to develop an industry-oriented skill set.
  6. May 4, 2017 #5
    Hold on there. What you say is true if you lump all industry jobs together. But, by that logic, if you want a university job, don't bother with a PhD, because most university jobs don't require a PhD; or, if you want a business job, don't bother with an MBA (or college degree, or HS degree, for that matter, because most business jobs don't require any degree at all). As a specific example, if you want a job at Amazon, do you need an MBA? No, not if you want to stuff items into shipping boxes. Yes, if you want to manage their green initiative.

    But, you have totally neglected the type of job. Some industry jobs require a PhD, some don't. Depends on the specific field and the level of responsibility you aspire to. I worked for 20+ yrs for a major telcom R&D lab. When I was in the microelectronics division, a PhD was the rule (with some exceptions) for a lead scientist or engineer. When I was in the wireless networks division, PhDs were the exception, rather than the rule, for a lead scientist or engineer. The requisite degree also depends on the size of the company and on whether your role is in research, development, or manufacturing (or a mix).
  7. May 4, 2017 #6
    I think most students who pursue their PhD, start with the goal of professorship in mind. This was my original plan. Yes I like to understand things and do research, but I also care of having a stable and a decent job. I mentioned this was my experience, but I didn't mention that my experience was in wireless communication/EE. I guess you are right. It depends on the job. For example, PhD in CS probably has a better chance in finding a job as a PhD, because his/her skills can be used immediately in many jobs.
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