Research vs Tech Startup vs Google Intern

  1. Feb 24, 2012 #1
    So I've been in the processing of interviewing with a bunch of different places for summer internships, but it seems like this whole process is about to get wrapped up in the next few days. The catalyst: I got an offer from SLAC for DOEs SULI program. Needless to say, I'm very excited. However, I'm not sure how I feel about continuing with research/physics in general. In fact, just a few months ago, I posted a long whiny rant on PF about how garbagety I'm doing what I'm going to end up doing.

    Things turned up pretty quickly I guess. However I'm still not sure whether I can pursue a graduate degree; I'm held back by a very low gpa (lets say around 3.00) and a good amount of apathy. I think I might like to go to a tech startup/google for the summer and give that a whirl before I make a decision like grad school/industry next year.

    I'm in the process of getting placed at Google. I would love to work on computer vision at Santa Monica and was hoping I could leverage this offer at Stanford to make me somehow more competitive. However I think that plan might have backfired, since I haven't heard back in several days and my offer/decline deadline is coming up in about a week. I'm also interviewing with several startups and have (hopefully) the final round of interviews over the next few days. My dream would be to do both a startup and SLAC in Palo Alto/Menlo Park, but the one startup I mentioned the idea to wasn't enthusaistic.

    All that being said, I've always felt it would be much easier moving from academia/research into industry than the other way around and part of me feels like I should ride out this physics thing for as long as I can. So I'm basically looking for some input on what I should consider and your experiences with mobility between different fields. Is an advanced degree critical once you're older and have climbed ladders? Other thoughts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2012 #2


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    An advanced technical degree is not critical in industry once you've climbed up the that time you'll mostly be doing managerial stuff anyway
  4. Feb 24, 2012 #3
    If you got apathy towards physics or whatever, then go in the other direction. Schools ain't going nowhere.
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