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Topic: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??  (Read 4752 times)

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Offline kamiyu2550

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How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« on: July 15, 2018, 08:20:08 PM »
Hi Guys

I am an early postdoc (~9 months). My PhD is about OLED and my current project is about silicone polymers. Both of which are highly related to industry. I have three patents (all during PhD).

1. What do you think about my odds of getting a job in industry?

2. What should I do to increase my odds of getting a job in industry?

3. What kind of project should I work on to attract industry employers?

PS: I do not give up academia career path. I just wanna have a two-hand preparation

Offline hypervalent_iodine

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2018, 11:45:49 PM »
Do you have any first author papers? I can't give much advice as I am only just getting to the point of applying for post docs myself, but one thing I was told by someone in industry was to make sure you have post-doc or other lab experience outside of what you did your PhD in. I am not sure hoe general that advice is to industry positions, but I am sure someone else here could comment.

Offline wildfyr

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 12:48:14 AM »
You'll be fine. The PhD says you can learn new skills and at synthesize complex data. Expertise in a precise field is not necessary, but helpful.

There's a million billion science skills to learn, it's shooting in the dark. Much better odds to improve ordinary ones like buffing your resume, interviewing well, networking, that crap everyone needs.

Offline kamiyu2550

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 02:05:00 AM »
Do you have any first author papers? I can't give much advice as I am only just getting to the point of applying for post docs myself, but one thing I was told by someone in industry was to make sure you have post-doc or other lab experience outside of what you did your PhD in. I am not sure hoe general that advice is to industry positions, but I am sure someone else here could comment.

Yes, I have eight at the moment. If you have queries about applying postdoc, maybe I can offer you some advices.

Learning something new other than those in your PhD works for academic career path too.

Offline Arkcon

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2018, 06:32:32 AM »
Yes, I have eight at the moment. If you have queries about applying postdoc, maybe I can offer you some advices.

Learning something new other than those in your PhD works for academic career path too.

You shouldn't be worrying with 3 patents and eight papers.  Whoever you worked with on those will be glad to have you as part of their team, if only to prevent you from taking your knowledge to a competitor.

Spend your time vetting them, their projects, and their dedication to you -- how big are their projects, how secure is their direction, how big of a group are you going to be asked to manage, is their research funding secure.  The answers to these questions are all on you, now.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2018, 02:28:35 PM »
I have no experience in chemistry, but maybe some general ideas about industry apply?

Presently Oleds are fashionable, but nobody on Earth can predict for how long. Maybe we'll see them everywhere, maybe they'll disappear quickly. Even if they succeed, at some point the industry will consider research as ended, and in some future an other technology, which we can't foresee, will replace them. Think at the Cdrom for instance: huge research effort first, then some companies (but not all) made good money with them, and meanwhile they're disappearing, replaced by Usb stick and other supports that we couldn't imagine back then.

So don't imagine a career in the research for Oled. At some unpredictable point, you'll have to do something else.

Neither can we predict which company in which country will live from Oleds, if any. 30 years ago, clever future predictors told "Europeans shall make silicon because of its brain value, and buy machines from low labour cost Chinese". Presently, the French sell cheese to the Chinese, the Germans and Swiss sell them machines, and all buy the silicon chips from China.

So my suggestion would be: make Oleds right now if you like it, but be ready to do something else as the wind turns. Try to be as multi-purpose as a Swiss army knife, within chemistry and possibly outside. And learn foreign languages.

Offline kamiyu2550

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2018, 02:59:23 PM »
I have no experience in chemistry, but maybe some general ideas about industry apply?

Presently Oleds are fashionable, but nobody on Earth can predict for how long. Maybe we'll see them everywhere, maybe they'll disappear quickly. Even if they succeed, at some point the industry will consider research as ended, and in some future an other technology, which we can't foresee, will replace them. Think at the Cdrom for instance: huge research effort first, then some companies (but not all) made good money with them, and meanwhile they're disappearing, replaced by Usb stick and other supports that we couldn't imagine back then.

So don't imagine a career in the research for Oled. At some unpredictable point, you'll have to do something else.

Neither can we predict which company in which country will live from Oleds, if any. 30 years ago, clever future predictors told "Europeans shall make silicon because of its brain value, and buy machines from low labour cost Chinese". Presently, the French sell cheese to the Chinese, the Germans and Swiss sell them machines, and all buy the silicon chips from China.

So my suggestion would be: make Oleds right now if you like it, but be ready to do something else as the wind turns. Try to be as multi-purpose as a Swiss army knife, within chemistry and possibly outside. And learn foreign languages.

What an insightful and experienced response!

I do learn a lot. Many thanks!

Offline Soogniny

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 03:52:13 AM »
I also wondered if I was in my last year at university. Fortunately, I immediately began to write my own research with https://dissertationhelp.org.uk/dissertation-methodology/, saving at least a year in preparation. There is no better option for you how to go as a trainee for the next 2 years to a professor, you can prove yourself very well

Offline jeffmoonchop

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2019, 11:59:33 AM »
You dont need post doc experience to get a job in industry. In fact, you're wasting money doing a postdoc. I got a job in industry after my PhD instead of doing a postdoc and I earn double the average postdoc salary in Canada, and the work is way more satisfying, normal hours, exciting work, fast-paced progression, no need for grants, etc.

Offline kamiyu2550

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2019, 05:36:47 PM »
You dont need post doc experience to get a job in industry. In fact, you're wasting money doing a postdoc. I got a job in industry after my PhD instead of doing a postdoc and I earn double the average postdoc salary in Canada, and the work is way more satisfying, normal hours, exciting work, fast-paced progression, no need for grants, etc.

Great to hear you are very happy at your job! Which country is your job located at?

I did postdoc in Canada because I wanna get working experience in Canada. Also, my publications record may allow me to be a faculty and hence I gave it a shot to further my publication by doing postdoc.

Now, I have got a permanent chemist job in Basel, Switzerland and just got Work Permit/Visa things approved!!! (I am non-EU and things are hard..)

I should be happy about it (my main feeling now is "content" and "secure" but not "euphoric" ;D). Yet, I also feel a little bit lost: What should I do next? My job is about design and synthesis of advanced organic materials. I feel reluctant about traditional working hour thing. Let's see how things are going.

Offline jeffmoonchop

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2019, 12:16:36 PM »
If you can find a company working on a project which excites you, you'll be more than just content. For example I hope you're in charge of a project which helps you make new advances in the product you're developing. I'm working in Canada, in Vancouver. I should note that I know Canada pays way more for PhD scientists than the UK, where I'm from, it may be a similar thing in Europe. But I know the USA pays the most.

Offline kamiyu2550

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2019, 01:18:10 PM »
If you can find a company working on a project which excites you, you'll be more than just content. For example I hope you're in charge of a project which helps you make new advances in the product you're developing. I'm working in Canada, in Vancouver. I should note that I know Canada pays way more for PhD scientists than the UK, where I'm from, it may be a similar thing in Europe. But I know the USA pays the most.

For salaries, different countries in the EU pay differently for PhD chemists. Germany is at the high end, but not really attractive. Poland, Italy etc. are at the low end.

UK pays at the low end for PhD chemist. They are notorious. Yet, one cannot say Canada pays "way" better than the UK. I think it is ~ 20-30% raise.

Switzerland pays better than the US.

Offline jeffmoonchop

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2019, 01:54:04 PM »
if you look on glassdoor the average salary for those in the UK with the job title scientist is 30000GBP or 50000CAD. If you look up the same for Canada the average is 85000CAD or 51500GBP. I get paid 85k CAD as a scientist. I believe that is a 58% increase. That for me is way more. I was told by my supervisor when I was finishing my PhD that I'm probably worth 35K GBP, and I got a job paying 15k more.

Offline kamiyu2550

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2019, 02:37:13 PM »
if you look on glassdoor the average salary for those in the UK with the job title scientist is 30000GBP or 50000CAD. If you look up the same for Canada the average is 85000CAD or 51500GBP. I get paid 85k CAD as a scientist. I believe that is a 58% increase. That for me is way more. I was told by my supervisor when I was finishing my PhD that I'm probably worth 35K GBP, and I got a job paying 15k more.

Really great that you are happy with your pay and job!

Please note that the pay depends on location of the country, what company and its size etc. I have been working in Canada as a postdoctoral fellow for two years. My impression is that fresh PhD chemist is worth something 70-80K.

You need to notice that you are in Vancouver where the rent/housing is probably the highest in Canada. Indeed, same applies to Boston where the salary is generally significantly higher than most other places in the US. Yet, the living cost there is also much higher.

For the UK, currently postdoctoral fellow pays somewhere between 32-36K GBP. It is really hard to believe industry job pays even lower than that...…

Just my two cents. I could be wrong.

Offline jeffmoonchop

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Re: How to prepare for industrial job as a postdoc??
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2019, 05:12:54 PM »
I was stating the average across each country with the title scientist, no matter if they have a PhD or not. Yes I'm in Vancouver but I'm still paid the country average. Most scientist jobs in Canada are in Vancouver or Toronto, with some in Quebec where it may be cheaper to live. As an example, the average postdoc salary in Canada is 46000CAD, the gap in salary is disgraceful, I would highly recommend industry over academia as based on the numbers academia don't value PhDs as much as industry does.

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