I am a computer science Ph.D. student, and my advisor is in a different department. My work is very computational, and kind of CS related, but my advisor mostly wants to publish in journals outside of computer science. How will that affect my career prospects? I don't want to be a professor, but it would be nice to secure a good job in industry.

More specifically, I heard that Google/Facebook/other tech companies mostly give the interesting projects to people with Ph.D.s, and give more boring projects to people with bachelor's degrees. If I have a Ph.D. in CS, but don't really publish in CS conferences, do I still qualify for an interesting project?

  • 2
    What you were told about Google is incorrect. I worked there for 11 years and disagree that the interesting projects go to people with PhDs. – Ellen Spertus Jun 7 '15 at 3:55
  • "Journals outside of computer science". What kind of journals does he prefer then? – Alexandros Jun 7 '15 at 8:05
  • @espertus I disagree with your statement. As a person without a PhD, I interviewed with Google 3 times, and all 3 times they only offered me boring jobs in boring teams. – CaptainCodeman Jun 11 '15 at 16:46

It's hard to guess whether your work will help you get a job with any particular company, particularly given that you don't say what area you are working in. In general, however, let me provide an observation about how many companies think about Ph.D.s that may be useful to you.

First, industry typically doesn't care about publications per se. This is true even for industrial research, just as it would probably be more true for university academia if there were less metric-obsession. Instead, industry typically is interested in your ability to help meet business goals, and a Ph.D. is typically expected to bring deeper insight and more rarified skills to bear in doing so.

As such, publishing cross-disciplinary research is likely to be an advantage rather than a disadvantage in applying for industrial jobs. Scientific publication is evidence of your depth, and publishing outside of your "home" discipline is evidence that you are able to reach beyond your intellectual "bubble" and deal with problems of another field as well.

  • Good points (+1). Completely agree with you on this. – Aleksandr Blekh Jun 7 '15 at 4:05

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