Academia vs Industry

How different are they? Can they play nice? Let's find out, shell we?

My response to: Voices of the defenders of grad school. And me crushing them.

If you do anything for the wrong reasons you will most certainly fail. In such cases motivation isn’t there to push your through the hard times.

If you go to grad school without “knowing why”, “to satisfy others” (parents, peers, etc), or simply because “there is nothing else”, then your mistake was starting a long-term commitment without the right motivations. You will simply burn out.

If you instead take that tuition money (as someone pointed out) and start your own business in a field you are “not passionate about”, “don’t understand”, or simply “don’t like”, you too will fail.

There are exceptions to both of these, of course, but this is the norm. If you don’t have any skills or passions and go the non-grad school route, you at least have a better chance of not starving.

The benefits of not going to grad school is at least being employable. Owning a business you learn to wear many hats, and this I believe makes you a great candidate for a related position in a larger company once your business has run its course.

A Master’s teaches you (or at least should) to think about a topic in depth, (PhD also teaches you how to do research), or if it’s not a research degree (course based), it teaches you to think in broad terms and consider many possibilities. This often involves reading more publications rather than writing them. If you fail at your degree, you should at least take away some skills in thinking objectively.

For the commenters who noted that some HR/Managers only hire people with degrees, that is a sad truth. A graduate comes with a guarantee. The guarantee is not that the applicant is good, but that hiring a bad applicant with a degree is less risky than hiring a bad applicant without a degree. For positions that don’t require any research experience but need practical experience, working experience should be enough. Sadly, as someone else pointed out, many HR personnel simply follow guidelines, without putting too much thought into each applicant. In their defence, however, when you have to go through 100 applications in 1 hour, some key characteristics they look for are going to make or break your chances of landing that job.

Of course if you’re a prodigy then grad school is not required to be rich. It is still required to teach at a graduate level…. usually.

  1. academiavsbiz posted this