France has a mechanism, named CIFRE, by which a PhD student can be employed by a private company while working on their thesis. This is done in relation with a university or institute, which awards the degree. This is interesting for the student, as they are paid as a junior engineer and have an almost guaranteed industry position at the end.
I may have such an opportunity in the next year or two, in the field of machine learning/computer vision. I work well with my potential advisor and current team, and it's even more interesting in my case, as my past grades and school would not look very good on a PhD application.
If I choose to stay in that company at the end, I'm sure there won't be a problem. But I am not sure of what I will want a few years from now. I would like to keep the door to an academic career open, in case the thesis goes well, and I definitely want to keep good career options in the rest of Europe as well.
I have sometimes read that this kind of theses is only a good option if one wants to get better career prospects in the same company, and that CIFRE PhD students don't publish enough to be competitive in academia. I have also read that this could be compensated later by doing a good post-doc. These are just random opinions from forum posts, so I don't know what to make of them.
Part of the problem is that the company is small (though successful), the R&D team is very small (though they do interesting research), and I don't know if I would spend most of my time at the company or how many opportunities I would have of collaborating with people at the institute (a quite good one in France, known abroad).
Note that I might be able to get good recommendations, both from researchers who advised a small research project of mine, and from another in my current company. My grades also improved quite a lot near in my last semester, and I have a good justifications for the older ones. I could thus try to apply to "regular" PhD programs abroad, though I'm not sure how much these recommendations can compensate for old bad results.
How should I decide if an industry thesis is the right fit for me? If someone knows about this specific kind of industry theses and their career prospects, I would like to hear about it too.