I am currently a postdoc and well aware of the 'postdoc trap' scenario, as well as biases in favour of going to industry etc. However, the situation I currently find myself in is rather peculiar so if possible I'd like some people to weigh in with their two cents.

I obtained my PhD in a different country than the one where I'm originally from, and I have been doing a postdoc in that country ever since (not overly long). Due to personal circumstances, I have now decided to go back to my home country for some time. Unfortunately, there are no companies that specialize in the field of research I performed - and love - in my home country. Fortunately, however, a postdoc position opened up at a university that exactly uses my background, and expands upon it with techniques that I currently don't have under my belt but which are relevant in the industry in my home country.

Thus, I am seriously considering what to do next. I love doing and managing research, and both academia and industry grant you that opportunity. However, I worry I may not be hired in the capacity of R&D researcher in a company because the skills I obtained during my academic research career hold no direct merit for these them. Alternatively, the postdoc would allow me to do exactly that, but then I may be stuck in academia with very low chances (but not impossible in my home country) of actually progressing further down that route - leading to me having to go to industry regardless albeit with some extra skills that are in fact applicable in R&D.

The industry options I've looked into are finding a position through a consulting agency (they generally offer MSAT, QA/QC roles - none of which I am too thrilled about) and trying to find a job as a project manager or technical support/field application scientist.

Two final curveballs: 1) I don't necessarily plan to stay in my home country for the rest of my life; 2) the postdoc position would pay better than any of the jobs in industry.

I would be enormously grateful if people could share some of their insights as I may be overlooking some very obvious possibilities.


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    I don't think anyone here can give you decent advice. In the end, it's a personal decision you're asked to make, and you'll have to make it for yourself... Jan 21 at 22:44
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    FWIW, my read is that this post doc lets you gain the skills that will be useful both in universities and also in industry, and it pays better. So it seems like a great option. The downside seems to be mostly that if you stay in your home country now, it may be very difficult to find a position abroad later. Only you can weigh these.
    – cag51
    Jan 22 at 2:02


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