Are you thinking of leaving academia to get a job in industry? Or are you simply wondering what it’s like on the other side? Leaving academic research to become a data scientist in industry is one of the biggest changes I’ve gone through in my life. And it wasn’t an easy move: it felt quite uncertain and risky. But something that really helped me was to talk to other “failed academics” that had already been through it themselves.

So, now that I’m one such failed academic, my hope is that this blog helps you in that transition too.

Before we begin, what do I mean by “academia” and “industry”? These are very broad terms, and my experiences may be very different to yours. So let me give you a quick overview of my background. I used to work in academia as a researcher in astrophysics. After a PhD and three postdoc positions, I left academia and moved to an industry job. Since then I’ve been working as a data scientist, first in a big consultancy company in banking, and then in the renewable energy sector. Additionally, I’ve also collaborated as a data scientist with tech startups and NGOs on a range of topics (to read more about me, please visit my about me page). 

While I do miss certain aspects of research, I don’t regret my decision to leave academia. Data science is flourishing, and there is plenty of interesting work to be done to make this world a better place. However, leaving academia to work in a company is a one-way road. So you need to be sure this is the right decision. There’s no going back.

So, whether you’re considering leaving academia, or are simply curious to know what you may be missing, I hope you find this blog useful. And if you have any questions or suggestions, or want to share your experience, please feel free to contact me!