Will I Regret Leaving Academia?

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Will I Regret Leaving Academia for an Industry Career?

A common worry that I hear about a lot when I travel and speak is from scientists who worry "Will I enjoy industry? Will I regret leaving academia?"

I think this question is harder for PhDs than Masters, and even harder for for anyone leaving academia after a postdoc. The more time you spend in academia, the harder it is to make the transition from academia.

I know I worried about leaving academia for industry. I’d spent enough time in academia that I realized it probably wasn’t going to be the best path for me. But I didn’t know anything about working in industry, so I was worried. Will I miss academia? Should I get a postdoc position just so I can think about it longer?

I can’t tell you if you will like academia or industry better. That’s a decision you have to make for yourself. But I can tell you that I was worried about it, and 20 years later, I never regret leaving academia.

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