Hello PF! I was just wondering what the main pros and cons of working in both academia and industry are. I have read some things about this, but sometimes the texts just sounded biased. Personally, I have always wanted to go into academia, based on my limited amount of understanding, I’ve always perceived it to be an opportunity to study what I am truly interested in. I know that sounds naïve, and probably it is. However, a bunch of people that I know personally seem to be at the consensus that academia is not what it’s cut out to be. Their reasoning as follows: 1) You have to work really, really hard. 2) You’re paid less. 3) The amount of freedom that you’re thinking about is nothing but a fantasy for the most part. Generally, you’ll still be told what to do, no matter how long you’ve worked. 4) Sure, you might do the research you want eventually but then you’ll have to fight for a grant all the time. 5) You are given very little feedback on your work and you often have to work alone (???) 6) There are too many academic research scientists already. 7) Going into academia will lead you nowhere. You’ll go to graduate school, do a postdoc eventually, and become a professor. The End. I’m totally okay with the first two points--my whole intent is to work hard/get my hands dirty and, as long as I can survive alright, I don’t really care about being paid a lot. As for the last five, I’m not sure what to think about those... 3) Still being forced to do what I am told when I am not interested in any of it rather defeats the purpose of going into academia for me. Obviously, I expect to have to work with/for somebody at first. Nonetheless, the prospect of never being able to do what I want is disappointing. 4) ...not thinking about this now... 5) The idea of not receiving much feedback, advice, or criticism and having to work alone does not sound very pleasant. I’ve perceived pursing research as the exact opposite and wonder if this is true or not. 6) Really? There are more scientists in academia rather than industry? How exactly would this negatively affect anyone who also wants to go in that direction? 7) The idea of eventually becoming a teacher/professor of some sort is horrible to me. If I’ve spent years doing a postdoc, shouldn’t I at least have the option of doing something other than teach? Just my opinion. I am not interested in working in industry because I see the goals of a commercial company to be quite different from an academic institution--research for profit versus research for the sheer desire of learning something new that may (or may not) be of any practical benefit. I’m more interested in the latter. I have read and learned about various instances where a commercial company has stopped an incredibly great research project in order to devote more time to projects that would yield a greater profit for the company (I lack immediate references, sorry). I don’t like this at all. So is there anything else to be added to this/is wrong? What’s your opinion and what have you seen? Additionally, are my perceptions horribly incorrect and priorities reversed? Many thanks for taking the time to read this and feeding my curiosity! I’ve still got a long way to go, but am really interested in this, nevertheless. I greatly appreciate your input and effort.