A little background

I graduated with a bachelor's degree in computer science not too long ago. Unfortunately, I didn't understand the importance of formal research for grad admissions as an undergrad. I got a software development job in industry, but it has little relevance to my career path (not just my academic career path either).

As I looked around for opportunities to remedy this situation, I found a few jobs in academia as a software developer working in a lab. These seem to fall in some gray area in terms of research vs. software development. While these jobs aren't "research" jobs (in that you aren't the one making breakthroughs or responsible for writing papers, for example), they involve developing/integrating code relevant to research (e.g., creating programs for the researchers and/or assemble their code into a larger program). Obviously, the ship has sailed for me to do formal research as an undergrad.


Before someone links to this, I read this post already and many other relevant posts on this site: Usefulness of prior industry experience before entering grad school?

My question is more specific. I can possibly be more specific as well, but I'm not sure how general I should/can make this question. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Formal Question

What impact could a software development job in a research lab have on grad school admissions (research masters and PhD in computer science) compared to a software development job in industry?

  • Not only is important, but the UK is trying to create a new job position in academic environment called "research software developer" , focused in people that are great code writers and understand research Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


I believe that a graduate school would look very favorably on a candidate who worked as a research lab technician and implemented the research challenges by writing code. To me this seems like a great path for you to strengthen your resume to apply to graduate schools.

  • Thanks for your opinion on this! I at least feel a little reassured now.
    – aces
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 3:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .