If a PhD student (hard sciences like math, physics) decides to work in industry after graduation, are publications important?
For transition to industry, what are the most important factors to take note of during one's PhD?
Thanks for any advice.
Publications demonstrate several things such as:
All of these are good attributes to demonstrate with a publication record. Continuing to publish in industry is also valuable, but it is seldom "publish or perish."
Regarding important factors: use elements of your Ph.D. to demonstrate that you can work independently to solve difficult problems. A strong work ethic and ability to solve problems are key traits that employers are looking for.
For transition to industry, the important factor will be the ability to quickly convince the potential employer that you're the best person for the specific job. Which typically means you have to tailor your resume/CV to each employer.
Keep in mind that a potential employer typically have to go through many resume/CV within a short period of time. The person deciding which candidates should be shortlisted for interview may not be familiar with your research area. There may also be several candidates with PhD from different areas applying for the same job, along with a number of candidates with experience in the type of work similar to the position being advertised. So simply listing all your publications isn't helpful.
Instead, try to explain how your research experience makes you the best choice. Emphasize some of the research experience or publications that are quite relevant to the position. For example, if you're applying for a job as data scientist at an e-commerce company, and you have publications related to, say, automatic mining of customer opinions or automatic discovery of substitute/complementary product relationship, then it may be good to mention and emphasize that as evidence of your suitability for the job.