In this question, the OP wants to know the opportunities in industrial R&D after a PhD in organic chemistry. In general, industry vacancies and requirements do not have anything to do with academia, so Charles has rightly cast his vote to close the question.

But on a previous date, we have enthusiastically answered this question, which asks almost the same question for CS.

How do we decide if a particular question asking about industrial R&D opportunities for PhD and post-doc scholars is on-topic or not? Asking about software jobs after MS is obviously out of scope, but aren't professors in academia better informed than most about research opportunities? Shouldn't we give a concession to questions about industrial R&D after PhD/post-doc alone?


4 Answers 4


See my comment on this recent question. This question to me seems perfectly on-topic. The questioner is in academia, and has questions that relate to life as an academic, namely, what else can I do outside of working as a professor? Given that statistics (which I'm too lazy to look up now) suggest that most PhD students go on to careers outside of academia, this is actually a very relevant question.

That being said, I agree with @Charles that this particular question was poorly phrased, and could have had a better reception if it was worded better.


I agree with EnergyNumbers, I think that by default, question only about opportunity in industry are not on topic, but it's not a very strict rule. A question asking the difference between academia and industry might be more on topic. A question stating that the OP wants nothing to do with Academia is not really on topic on a website dedicated to academics ...

That being said, the quality of the question is also a very important factor, and that was a main reason for closing that question: it was not really on topic, so I didn't see the point of leaving a low quality question open.


I agree with Bravo. I think that professor should know a decent amount about how to help their students prepare for life outside academia. So I think that in fact academia.SE is a very appropriate place to ask such question. When posted here, the questions are likely to be seen by professors, as well as by other grad students who may be preparing for similar jobs.


No. Questions about careers outside academia should be off-topic.

They're suitable to a career-advice site for the world outside academia. This isn't a career-advice site, and it's a site about the world of academia.

Furthermore, the questions will attract subjective answers, and answers localised to one time / place.

NB: this is just my opinion. I'm only giving something for people to vote down or up, as they (dis)agree; I have neither the will nor the ability to dictate site terms

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