I received my MSc and BSc in Mechanical Engineering (solid mechanics) and PhD in Applied Mathematics. I am considering both academic and industry jobs. Due to instability and short-term nature of academic jobs, I am more interested in industry jobs. However, my goal when I was pursuing my PhD was to stay in academic world, so I am less prepared for industry jobs. My research focus in both master's and PhD had been on control and optimization. I have done a good deal of theorem-proving, paper-writing and programming in MATLAB.

I am wondering about the types of job I would be suitable for, in particular in Canada? My goal is to find a stable job in a major city.

  • Robotics? Any r&d at any engineering company ? Any engineering position? I’m not quite sure what you’re having trouble with knowing. You’re a phd in engineering, surely you would do engineering related things.or is your question more, ‘what are some company names who want someone like me?’ Mar 10, 2020 at 11:26
  • Your background in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics seem ideal for control engineering or industrial systems engineering. Targeting your search in these areas would be my suggestion.
    – Anthony
    Mar 10, 2020 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


Well, you will have to make a decision... As a PhD, you won't have too much competitive advantage in the industry unless it's a research-level job.


  • Junior postdocs
  • Research assistant and go your way up

After a few years, you may be able to write a grant. That's how you might move up. Academic jobs are generally not stable. You will be kicked out as soon as the funding runs out. Applying for new funding/grant is insanely difficult for a junior post-doc like yourself. It's very competitive.


  • Data scientist
  • Software engineer
  • Scientific programmer


If you're good at writing papers/grants or able to secure an early-career fellowship (super competitive). Go for academics. Good writing skills in academics will push your career up much quicker than industry. If you are able to land yourself in some high impact journals, you may get yourself promoted to senior lecturer, assistant professor, professor etc etc.

Yes, you will be locked for writing for many years. If you prefer programming, please head to industry. Programming skills are not honored in academics. It's all about publication.

If you prefer a stable 9-5 job, don't do academics. It's lower paid. Unless you are able to write good papers, it's not a good field. Academics is much more competitive than industry, you will work in a small field where people know everybody. So you really need to publish to shine yourself. However, academics has a very clear career path. It's a must if you can write.

Related. Do you enjoy trying to secure your own salary? In industry, it's not your job to cover up your own salary. In academics, you will be expected to cover up your own salary if you want to move up, typically by fellowship, grant etc. So, you may work with your institution for "free". They will hold up your own money. Do you like it?

  • Thank, that's right, more information: I have just finished my PhD and have four publications in good journals and 3 pre-prints and 4 conference talks. However, I did not do me bachelor's degree in top tier school. This will definitely makes academic path difficult. I do not like to end up in a small university in a far off city.
    – Saj_Eda
    Mar 10, 2020 at 13:41
  • @SaraWinslet in academics you just have to publish well. Sounds like you are on good track
    – ABCD
    Mar 10, 2020 at 13:44

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