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I want to pursue a PhD in computational/numerical mathematics. I am unsure about what to do afterwards, but I am gravitating more towards industry at the moment. Although I don't want completely close doors behind.

I applied and got an offer for a PhD in industry in my field. However, I am skeptical for two reasons:

  1. the university issuing the PhD program is not prestigious, say, ranked 300-500th
  2. the PhD itself seems a lot of implementation and little to no actual research

What kind of venues do you think that such PhD will very likely close? For which reasons, with regards to 1. and 2. but also others?

I am talking about venues in both academia and industry. It would be good if you could address both aspects. For instance:

  • I expect that academia will be a difficult avenue because of 2. I am not sure if a prestigious university counts a lot for a position in academia afterwards.

  • as for industry, I am not sure if it is more valuable to show research capabilities and a prestigious PhD title, or years of industry experience.

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  • 300-500, where? The US, the World, other?
    – Buffy
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 13:17
  • @Buffy World rankings
    – Lilla
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 13:47

1 Answer 1

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This problem is too multiparameter for me to offer advice. However, to the two items you mentioned, I would add one more:

  1. The number of papers you publish during your PhD studies -- and the rank of journals where you publish them.

Ideally, by the day of defence (or defense, if you are in the US), a PhD candidate in hard sciences should have three works published or accepted, preferably in journals of high impact, and better as the first author. This is not a strict rule, of course, but your CV will look good if you follow it.

Another item in your CV, which some interviewers may take seriously, is your conference record. For some positions, especially in industry, it is important for a candidate to be good in preparing and giving presentations. So, if your CV contains talks at a bunch of conferences, it will add you points in the eyes of some employers.

Some food for thought...

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  • 1
    Publication record is important for companies or more for academia? And in academia, for two candidates from different unis but equal publication record there should be no difference, right?
    – Lilla
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 13:48
  • It depends. If you are interviewed for job at a lab or at a research unit in industry, then your publicatuion record may play a role. Also, the term "in industry" is too general, because in the end of the day you will be interviewed by particular people. Some of them may originally come from academia and carry the appropriate habits. Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 14:20

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