Essential Skills for an Industry Career

Essential Skills for a Career in Industry

Teaching scientists what they won't learn in academia about a private sector career (Online and in-person)

Industry career workshop for scientists

Working in industry is very different than the academic environment where scientists and engineers are trained. An advanced degree in science and engineering gives you many technical skills that are valuable in the private sector, but there are a lot of important aspects of working in a company that aren’t taught in school.

We start with an overview of the five most important ways that working in industry is different than the academic research environment STEM graduate students are trained in, and then outline five habits that scientists and engineers who are successful in industry learn quickly.  Then we dig into some important topics that are rarely covered in a STEM program such as company finance and how projects are managed in industry.

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe five ways that working in industry is different than academic research.
  2. List the five habits that successful scientists and engineers in industry learn quickly.
  3. Explain basic corporate finance terminology and describe revenue and expense reporting.
  4. List the key elements of a typical industry development project.

If you are considering a career in the private sector, this course gives you the industry primer you need to hit the ground running!


David M. Giltner, PhD – Founder and President of TurningScience

David has spent more than twenty years developing cutting-edge photonics technologies into commercial products in the fields of optical communications, remote sensing, directed energy, and scientific instrumentation. In 2017 he started TurningScience to provide training and support for scientists of all disciplines seeking to enter the private sector as employees, collaborators, or entrepreneurs.

David is the author of the books Turning Science into Things People Need: Voices of Scientists Working in Industry and It’s a Game, not a Formula: How to Succeed as a Scientist Working in the Private Sector and is an internationally recognized speaker and mentor on the topics of technology commercialization, product development, and career design. David has a BS and PhD in physics and holds seven patents in the fields of laser spectroscopy and optical communications.

Contact me about this short-course

Scientists working in the private sector find that there is often no single right answer to many of the questions they face. For a scientist who has been trained in the skills and habits of looking for right answers, this is often a shift in thinking. At TurningScience, we say that being successful requires understanding that ‘It’s a game, not a formula.’ This talk will help you understand this principle!