I am a third year phd student. I got an offer for an industrial job which is very tempting. The salary is competitive and much higher than my phd salary. I already worked there as an intern, so I know the environment. The only problem is that I am involved in multiple projects in my phd. If I leave the group, someone has to take over those tasks, but there is no such a person in our group yet. What is your suggestion?

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    Since you have been an intern there and these people know you, they might be willing to keep the position open for you for one more year. Then you can talk with professor about this and get his confirmation that you can finish within a year. This gives professor enough time to hire a replacement person. – Mojtaba Jan 25 '16 at 15:20
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    Or arrange to work part-time, leaving out e.g. teaching assistantships coupled to the PhD. – vonbrand Jan 25 '16 at 16:04

Taking the job would probably mean permanently leaving academia behind, and giving up the prospects of ever finishing your Ph.D. If you're okay with that (which you might well be), then I think it's fine to take the industry job.

I also recommend trying to figure out what your future job prospects are if you decide to finish your degree (and conversely, what your future job prospects might be if you take this industry job and it doesn't pan out).

The comparison to your PhD salary seems a bit strange unless your circumstances are unusual (e.g. you really need the money now). Whatever you decide, I recommend putting your own future first, and thinking less both about your present salary and about your PhD advisor.

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    Isn't it selfish to totally ignore my advisor? – Mah Jan 25 '16 at 15:48
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    It's nice to wrap up the projects you are running for your Prof, if that is possible. It would be also good to finish your PhD. From experience, finishing a PhD is much harder once you start working in industry, unless you have a Spartan discipline. It's definitively possible, but hard. – Captain Emacs Jan 25 '16 at 16:23
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    You certainly don't want to totally ignore your advisor, but I don't believe that you are obligated to keep working at these projects for another year or two if you don't want. For example, if you decide to take the industry job you might offer to your advisor to put off your start date a few weeks and wrap up some projects and/or train your replacement. – Anonymous Jan 25 '16 at 16:55

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