Currently, I have a master’s of science in mathematics and a potential plan to couple my qualifications with a masters of science in analytics. I am actually nowhere close to being retired in the industry. But thinking way beyond the scope of the near future, I am curious if there is any possibility for someone who officially is retired from the industry to contribute to academic research? If so, how should a recent graduate prepare himself to make this a possibility.

Ideally, I would like to contribute to research in machine learning after completing a rewarding career as a data scientist. I have been continually expanding my knowledge by reading mathematical references on the train ride to work each day.

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    The only problem you might face is that some journals won't consider submissions if you don't have an official academic affiliation (including a valid academic email address). That said, nothing prevents you from publishing online in any venue that does not screen submissions on academic affiliation: if your work is good and a relevant contribution to a field, it will be recognized as such and cited, no matter where it is published (as long as it is in a somewhat known journal or pre-print repository).
    – Guillaume
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 15:21
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    I've seen a full-blown academic paper with a prison as author's address. It was an infamous convict in campus shooting, who was however capable of doing research even after being convicted. Now, it that works out... Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 16:05
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    @OlegLobachev DOI, or it didn't happen. ;-)
    – Guillaume
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


A non-negligible amount of people start a PhD after retirement from industry. Depending on where you are in the world, if there are coursework requirements, having a master's may exempt you, so this can give you a fairly unrestrictive but very beneficial environment to do research in. If furthermore you have a comfortable retirement package and don't need funding you will be a very attractive candidate.


I've seen a number of professors contribute to their field after getting the title "professor emeritus".

One example would be with Terrence C. Mills who is still producing material on applied time series analysis dispite of being a retired professor.

Based on this it seems that academics can still make contributions to their field regardless of the fact that they are retired.

  • Would it matter if you have a Ph.D. or not? I know that there are some publications that don't have an education requirement, but am I severely limited in this respect due to the lack of Ph.D.?
    – Wilson
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 17:45

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