I am a CS/EEE person. A resident of India. I am hoping to apply for an internship in either BARC or TIFR. These are internships related to research. A senior told me that having a Research Internship in his CV counted against him for a technical job interview.
Is this true? Should I rather apply for a Technical Internship instead? The kind of job I am looking to do later is a technical one, not one related to research.

CS/EEE -- Computer Science / Electrical and Electronics Engineering
BARC -- Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
TIFR -- Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

  • How are you defining "Technical Job" and "Technical Internship"? The technical places I've worked at favour academic research experience in a related field very highly. – Jase Feb 16 '14 at 15:37
  • They really do ?? By technical, I mean a core EEE job or a coding CS job. Not such a descriptive definition, but I hope u get what I mean. – MichaelB Feb 16 '14 at 15:45
  • You would need to leverage soft skills from your "research skills" when applying for "technical jobs". No, I don't think research experience will block technical job possibilities -- you will be a well rounded individual, if anything. – dearN Feb 16 '14 at 15:48
  • I work in a technical job and at my workplace research experience in academia in a quantitative area is highly sought after. The majority have academic research experience. – Jase Feb 16 '14 at 15:53
  • Okay, doubt cleared. Research Internships are valued by technical job interviewers. I was misinformed then. Thank you for your replies. (Can't I mark the question as solved?) – MichaelB Feb 17 '14 at 11:56

I can answer this question from my undergrad experience and work ex in India.

Short Answer: No, having research experience doesn't hinder your chances of getting into a technical job.

Long Answer: Having a good research project/internship demonstrates your deep thinking abilities and capacity to do challenging work often with minimal guidance. Good companies often admire these skills. In addition to this, research internship along with good implementation part(CS specific), count heavily to your favour.

The advise of your college senior (without any offense) is directed primarily towards service sector companies and is misleading. The reason is not that your research internship would not give you proper skills for the job, but that your research experience may give them an indication that you would leave the job for higher studies. There are many other factors such companies consider for minimizing the attrition rate and maintaining high reserve manpower, and research experience is certainly not at the top of that list.

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I don't think this would count against you. It could perhaps be beneficial to have both research and conventional internship experience, but I think the research experience could only help you.

Personally, I have not done any research (I am a Computer Science and Business student), but I do know some people who have had both research positions and conventional internships, and they said that interviewers often focused on talking about their research experience (and these people also got extremely good jobs with companies that a lot of CS students dream of working for).

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