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What type of position/job would you like to be in five years from now? Please log in to vote.

Tenured research/teaching faculty position
47% (53 votes)
Research laboratory position
10% (11 votes)
Purely a teaching position
2% (2 votes)
Industry - research oriented
24% (27 votes)
Industry - software/management/production oriented
5% (6 votes)
Non-governmental organization
0% (0 votes)
Government/United Nations
2% (2 votes)
Running my own business
8% (9 votes)
2% (2 votes)
Total votes: 112
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I'd like to be in Industry for another five years or so. Then I'd like to go back to grad school (talk about insanity) to get a degree in Comp Sci or Management or Finance.

If you are interested in maths, then getting a PhD from a business school is very lucrative and probably a better choice than a PhD in mechanics.  If you like game theory and such, then marketing is a good choice.  If you like Bayesian or frequentist statistics then finance needs you.  If you enjoy linear/nonlinear optimization problems then operations research will be good for you.

A fresh PhD in marketing/finance/operations research from a good top 20 school is paid around $130,000 or more per year in the business school at the University of Utah.  I'm sure they get paid much more at better ranked schools.  Also, at present, there is good job security in those sectors.   

Well, I have a Ph.D. in mechanics. And I am currently employed in industrial research -- which I've found more enjoyable than graduate school. So, it's probably too late to consider doing another Ph.D -- and I don't want to go through that stuff again. But, let's see where the next 5 years take me, its been an interesting ride for the last 6 or so. 




I do agree that terminal degrees can be rather painful to earn more than once.  However, if your aim is to become an expert in a particular subfield in a short period of time (3 -4 years) the terminal degree path does provide the needed structure.  I am also curious to know why you would want to get a degree in computer science. 


Concession to the evil is treason to the innocent.

In my laboratory in civil engineering when I was a graduate student, I was one of the only graduates who did not move on to finance (and the ridiculous compensation that comes with it). There is a desire for qualified quanitatively-minded people in finance, and it does not require a PhD from a business school to get there.

There's no reason not to earn another degree -- except for the lost time doing so. And the grind involved. Ultimately one needs to make that calculation for oneself.  The reason I would do it is because I've had an interest in computers and I'd like to know more than what I've picked up along the way. There are a couple of ways I can do this: 1) Keep up my interest by myself -- by learning more about the hardware, low level languages etc. 2) Go back to grad school where there is a structure, as you said. 

Zhigang Suo's picture

This is an excellent poll!  Thank you, Biswajit.  If many of iMechanicians respond to this poll, we will have some idea about the distribution of our career plans.  So, everyone, please login and click on your choice.  Even if you have already landed on a job, and do not expect any change in 5 years, you can still vote.  I have done mine.


This is indeed an excellent poll. Nobody seems to be interested purely in teaching.


Shivnandan Pingle


Sergio González's picture

Really nice poll! I think that a teaching/research postion in a facluty is a wonderful job. A dream job for me!

Sergio A. González

No pains, no gains!

  In the next  five years, you know, it's very important to a man at the age of 30. So I wanna do some practical research, have more and more useful experience.  That will help me make my eventual dream, running my own business, become ture.

ramdas chennamsetti's picture


This is really a good poll.

I have been working with Govt. R&D labs since 1997. Now I would like to get into reseacrh/teaching position, which I enjoy more than anything else.

- Ramdas


What if a man is a tenured professor engaged in research, who, in a typical year, also solves an industrial research problem and earns money as a consultant, provides sounding out services (serious ones) to his friends from a government research laboratory, and also develops, part-time, course-work for an eLearning course-ware development company?

Now you know why I called your poll bad. It makes pigeons out of real people!! BTW, take this as fun--the only serious point I have here is that there is no fractional or weighted voting to multiple options. That's what makes this poll impossible. Just the way there was that another poll some time back, asking people what they liked the most about iMechanica. Another impossible poll...


Temesgen Markos's picture

I think this poll is a good one. True people might be interested in having different jobs at a time. But then catering for all those options is not practical. I don't think one can put all the 'permutation' of jobs people can be interested in. So the reasonable thing to do would be to ask what people would like to be doing if they are allowed to have just one job.

A technical comment on the poll - I think the poll tracks IP addresses and not user names, which means a user can vote multiple times from different IP addresses. I know we wouldn't expect people to do that on such a professional forum, but hey we are humans.

Answer the following question: Have you stopped beating your wife lately? (a) Yes (b) No



I have now deleted--without anyone asking me--some more text which appeared here. It had nothing to do with Temesgen's post. If anyone wishes to know what it was, either refer to the comments page, which will continue showing the original version due to a bug in this (what else) open-source software, or write to me identifying yourself adequately: your name (first and last), institution, place, etc.

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