Academia vs. Industry in Life Sciences

Academia vs. Industry in Life Sciences

In a general sense, the life sciences sector is divided into two main workplace categories: academia and industry. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, particularly when it comes to workplace culture.

Ultimately, finding a company culture that aligns with your needs and preferences is crucial for a satisfying career. Whether you’re considering a job change or are preparing to enter the field for the first time, here’s what you need to know about academia vs. industry in life sciences when it comes to workplace culture.

Autonomy vs. Team Goals

In the life sciences sector, both academia and industry roles require some degree of collaboration; however, how teamwork functions are different in each of these paradigms.

Academia often has a slower pace, as well as a degree of autonomy when choosing collaborators. In industry, teams are designed by the company, and work occurs at a far quicker rate, often with tight deadlines and significantly higher stakes. Additionally, industry life sciences professionals focus on the organization’s goals, while those in academia may be able to focus on societal benefits.

Individual vs. Team Contributions

The degree of recognition a life sciences professional receives for their contributions differs in the worlds of academia and industry. For those in academia, credit – such as citations or publications – is critical for securing your reputation and advancing your career, as well as getting funding.

Industry operates differently. While accomplishing various goals and meeting targets is critical, networking and developing a solid relationship with colleagues is often more valuable than receiving academic-style credits. Even if your name doesn’t end up in research papers, advancement is still possible.

Multitasking in Academia vs. Focused Projects in Industry

In academia, there’s a far higher need for multitasking. Many life sciences professionals in this realm aren’t just doing research; they’re also teaching courses, serving as peer reviewers for journals, and working to secure grants.

On the industry side of the equation, it’s far easier to focus. Most life sciences professionals here can concentrate on a single project or a small set of projects, all without the need to worry about acting as professors or doing the legwork to get funding.

Flexible Hours vs. Structured Schedules

Working in academia as a life sciences professional can come with far more flexibility, which may make it seem like work-life balance is easier to achieve. However, long hours are incredibly common, especially early in one’s career.

With industry life sciences jobs, schedules are much more structured. However, they’re also highly predictable, and there may be less need to work outside of predetermined hours, which could make work-life balance easier to maintain.

Ultimately, both academia and industry life sciences positions have their pros and cons. As a result, professionals need to determine which option suits them best. If you’re looking for a new right-fit opportunity in the life sciences sector, the Staffing Resource Group wants to hear from you. Apply Today and SuRGe your career forward.