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I got my PhD in computer science (in the field of AI with a focus on GNNs) in 2021 from the university of my Iranian home town, which is good, but not widely known. Afterwards, I worked for six months as a data scientist.

Now we have moved to Munich (Germany) and I've started applying for data-scientist positions and got multiple rejections without interviews. It makes me really disappointed and I don’t know the exact cause of it. I have only four papers in my PhD (almost all first author, one journal, two conferences, and one workshop). I don’t even know whether the reason for my rejections is that I am not a good match for the job, that my résumé and cover letter are not good enough, or that I don’t know the German language (I've asked some of them in LinkedIn and received no reply).

However, I have come up with the thought that I might have better chances when applying for a post-doc (because I have had a two-year sabbatical in Munich during my PhD. On the other hand, I am afraid that I might leave my post-doc in two years in a worse situation (older without any job experience). I should also mention that I don't like academia that much anymore.

I would appreciate your comment or advice regarding this idea and also if you have any recommendations regarding the application for a job position or any other advice that makes this misery a little bit more tolerable for me.

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    – Wrzlprmft
    Aug 5, 2023 at 17:24

2 Answers 2

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I would recommend you to give it a try to get a postdoc position in Germany or elsewhere in Europe.

You are saying:

I am so afraid that I might leave a post-doc in 2 years in a worse situation (older without any job experience).

First of all, a postdoctoral position at a good school is definitely a worthy job experience.

More importantly, after that your CV will carry a "European stamp", so to say. People will often judge you based on your last job. In their eyes, your CV will then look stronger.

Last, and by no means least, while postdocing you will be able to take a course of German, which will then become another good point in your CV.

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    Thanks Michael for your reply. I have a two-year experiences of visiting research at TUM. Do you think it is not strong enough and having a post-doc experience might be better? As I said, I am afraid of getting older without job experience and getting stuck in the same situation maybe two years later (I don't want to stay in academia). But the thing you mentioned about the German course is totally right.
    – user137927
    Jun 23, 2023 at 11:30
  • @user137927 Not knowing all your circumstances, it is hard for me to give advice. In academia, a postdoc line in a CV looks much stronger than visiting researcher -- because a postdoc is a bona fide job. My guess, it will look similar to people in industry. So, from my viewpoint, it will be worth it. But I am not in industry -- so please give a limited weight to my advice. Compare it with other people's opinions. Your choice may also be simplified by the fact that at present you have no other offers. So you may consider starting a postdoc, while looking around for other jobs meanwhile. Jun 23, 2023 at 14:09
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    Thanks Michael, very nice advice and elaboration.
    – user137927
    Jun 23, 2023 at 14:42
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    @user137927 Good luck with your career! Jun 23, 2023 at 15:56
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If your goal is to pursue an academic job, a postdoc can certainly be beneficial. It provides valuable research experience and allows you to further develop your expertise.

Even if you are considering an industry position, a postdoc in your new country (Germany in this case) can offer relevant work experience and help expand your professional network.

Therefore, a productive postdoc can be advantageous in both academic and industry settings.

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  • Thanks Bob. I am pursuing an industry position. Thanks for your comment.
    – user137927
    Jun 23, 2023 at 11:31

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