Every researcher finds it challenging to decide whether to pursue a career in industry or academic research after graduation. There are two options available to you once you have successfully completed your PhD.
The advancement of society depends on both academic and industry research, yet they are undertaken by a variety of researchers, have distinct views, and require different resources.
Although there are many differences between working in industry and academics, the choice is ultimately yours based on your skill set, professional aspirations, monetary requirements, area of interest, and level of job satisfaction.
This article lists the main differences between conducting academic research and working in industry.
Differences Between Working in Academic Research vs Industry Research
- While academic researchers want to publish their findings in journals, industry researchers are more focused on getting results. In other words, industry researchers immediately put their research output to use.
- Due to the widespread adoption of open access research by academic institutions and researchers, academic research is generally accessible to everyone and even freely available. Industry research, on the other hand, belongs to the business and is used to increase performance.
- Academic researchers have the freedom to pursue questions and topics that interest them. In contrast, corporate strategy and stakeholders’ wants are what motivate industry researchers.
- The results of industry research may be classified as “know-how” and remain in companies, whereas academic research could be applied to the general public.
- Financially speaking, industrial researchers would not have to worry about funding, but academic researchers must submit grant proposals and lobby for research funding.
- Companies in the industry generally forbid researchers from publishing their work when it comes to publishing studies. With certain exceptions, universities are less strict in this area.
- It is important to note that while social sciences research is somewhat less affected by the aforementioned factors, research in the natural sciences may be affected by some of them.
- Academic research would be hindered by a lack of labs, technology, and equipment, whereas industry research directed by biomedical companies might be more advanced.
Academic Research vs Industry Research
|Academic Research||Industry Research|
|Responsibilities||writing grant applications, carrying out independent study, publishing papers, teaching courses, supervising students, and providing departmental services.||Supporting the business plan requires researchers to create projects that meet company goals.|
It is focused on applied research.
|Flexibility||Working in academia gives you the flexibility to set your own hours and decide when to do research, teach classes, and publish your findings.||The majority of industry research focused on a typical 9 to 5 workday.|
|Intellectual Freedom||Academics can work without deadlines. Take courses and stay with young people to stay current on knowledge.||Working in the industry has the advantage of having access to funding and state-of-the-art resources because of the larger organization.|
|Collaboration||The majority of academic research is collaborative and team-based. You are free to decide when and who you want to work.||You are not free to decide when and who you want to work.|
It’s essential for researchers to be able to collaborate and work as a team.
|Career Advancement||If few universities specialize in your field or hire each year than climbing the career ladder can be challenging.||career opportunities are broader and might range from research at the bench to work in product development or marketing.|
|Workplace Culture:||research and discovery focused||The works are typically more deadline-driven as teams work to the business-focused problem.|
|Salary||Academics in the USA, including postdocs, typically earn $50,000 to $110,456 per year.||Industry scientists earn more than academics. A recent report estimates the annual range at $74,587 to $154,263.|
Pros and cons of Academia VS. INDUSTRY
|Less Salary||More Salary|
|Work Alone||Work in Team|
|Career Growth in Single Direction||Broader Career Opportunities|
|Work Schedule is Flexible||9 to 5 Schedule|
|Get Credit For Research Work||Rarely Get External Credit for Work|