I've received my PhD (or rather, candidate of sciences degree) this year, and almost immediately applied for a job in a well-enough-recognized tech company. In a couple of years I'm going to take my chances at looking for postdoc position in Europe/US. Please help me evaluate my assets.

  1. My current job involves a fair amount of research and a bit of engineering. It's pretty much related to the field I'm interested in (applied statistics/machine learning).
  2. I also have somewhat around three years of work experience as an engineer/software developer.
  3. I did my PhD thesis in a relevant field as well, but my university is pretty low-rank. It's recognized within my country, but most people overseas have never heard of it.
  4. I haven't been able to publish any papers in international journals yet, though I'm determined to do so. Will it increase my chances?

I probably have a chance at applying for similar industrial researcher position (a fair amount of people from the company transfer to Google/Microsoft/other places on a regular basis), but at this point I'd really like to try myself in academia.


I haven't been able to publish any papers in international journals yet, though I'm determined to do so. Will it increase my chances?

Certainly. A post-doc is supposed to play an active role in the publication output of the department. Demonstrating that you have experience with academic publishing is certainly valuable. Without it, it will be difficult to land a academic post-doc position.

So how do you successfully find a post-doc position?

First you need to find open positions that fit really well with your experience. Then, you will need to convince them that you are a fit candidate. It certainly helps if you can show tangible results. Think of e.g. working programs that you wrote.

You might also consider doing a short post-graduate program at an institute where you would like to do a post-doc (e.g. in the Netherlands there are 2 year PDEng programs). In this way you can demonstrate your abilities, and also get settled in the country of your designation.

  • Thanks! Especially for mentioning the postgrad programs, that was new for me. The actual question was more about, like, how much convincing does my case require? Does industry experience in and of itself count as an asset, or maybe without publications it doesn't mean much? How would an employer rank those two things in order of importance? And would it be enough, supposing that I'll succeed in publishing, to compete for a position against people from more respectable/higher-rank institutions? Thanks again for a swift answer. :-)
    – docohex
    Aug 23 '16 at 20:54
  • Lack of publications is certainly a substantial drawback. However, for some post-doc positions require a lot of programming. You could try to find such positions, and show them that you have professional programming experience. Aug 24 '16 at 16:40

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