I've got jobs offers. Which one do I take?

  • Thread starter Iforgot
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I have a PhD in physics, and have been working as a scientist since I graduated last year. I've been looking for a new job since January. I have a couple offers lined up and one more interview coming up. And I botched one interview.

One offer is for a postdoc in my field. The other offer is for a scientific programming position.

The interview I botched was related to my PhD work, and the interview that's coming is also related to my PhD work. Both are big name companies.

All of these interviews are at least 7 hour long. I've had to travel all over the US for thes interviews:P

Position in my field: While the work in my field is interesting, I don't think it will provide for a stable career. If the technology I'm hired to work on doesn't pan out, I could be retrained, but I don't trust corporate America enough to do so.

The postdoc position could lead to a cushy professorship, but only if I get some high impact publications (i.e. I get lucky). And tenure track professorships are hard to get. And I've been reading that there's an equivalent of the mortgage bubble brewing for higher education.

I'm leaning towards the programming position. I've been trying to get my foot in this door for a while. It would provide a nice transition to a career in finance by providing more programming experience. They gave me a 6 hour programming test that I aced, so I know their decision to hire me is based on hard facts. I think the PhD in physics open the doors for some programming positions that are not available to people with degrees in straight computer science. And it's a more stable career and easier to find and get jobs... right? Anyone have any thoughts on this?

With regards to the interview I botched. There was one point where one of the interviewers was giving me the 3rd degree. It was worse than a thesis defense. When I would try to explain why certain measurements were not necessary and the relevant data could be obtained via other methods, he would interupt about 6 words in and repeat his question. Like they do in interrogations scenes on crime shows. What does this sort of interaction indicate? Are they just testing to see if I'll go postal?

Regardless which path I choose, I'll be closing off the other paths probably for good.

Any one have any thoughts on the pros and cons of the various career paths?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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They gave me a 6 hour programming test that I aced, so I know their decision to hire me is based on hard facts.
Wow, thats intense. Where are you interviewing that is giving 6 hour programming tests? Most of the programming interviews I've had involved outlining small tasks (reversing a string, converting roman numerals to integrals, etc) or giving small presentations about code I've written.
 
  • #3
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Like they do in interrogations scenes on crime shows. What does this sort of interaction indicate? Are they just testing to see if I'll go postal?
Often, yes.
 

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