Making the Leap from Industry to Academia: What You Need To Do

Have you thought about a career in a university tech transfer office but you’re not quite sure where to start? There are two important things you need to do when considering the transition from industry to academia.

First, you need to make connections in academia. It’s not as simple as connecting with individuals on LinkedIn, either. Here are ways you can start building your network and get involved in the university world of tech transfer:

  1. Reach out directly to people at tech transfer offices at colleges and universities in your area, or your alma mater. Let them know about your interest in working in academia. Schedule a time to have coffee. Ask them what they look for when hiring new employees.  For those not in your area, set up a short phone call.
  2. Get involved in local incubators.
  3. Attend the AUTM Annual Meeting.
  4. Attend local chapters of Licensing Executives Society meetings.
  5. Participate in AUTM webinars.
  6. Contribute on LinkedIn by sharing relevant articles.

Second, your resume needs to showcase your transferable skills. This means reading academic job descriptions carefully and highlighting what they are looking for. You can’t just have a blanket resume; it must be tailored to the job. The Vortechs Group can help you make sure your resume is best showcasing your skills and expertise, so if you have any questions on editing your resume, just ask.  You should also create a deal sheet if you do not have one already. 

Other things to consider: Pay in academia is usually lower than industry, though the overall benefits package may be better. You should also keep in mind that many academic institutions require an advanced degree, either a masters in a technical field, Ph.D., J.D. or MBA.   Almost all require a technical bachelor degree.

There are benefits and challenges to working in both industry and academia. The transition to academia is very doable, you just need to make sure you’re making the right connections and showcasing your strengths on your resume. Having experience in both industry and academia will make you a uniquely qualified candidate for other positions later in your career!

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