I want to change my career path from academia to industry. I have a PhD and I worked in academia for a few years now.

I have theoretical knowledge about the area I want to go into but I lack practical experience.

I saw some internships in a company that I like that are aimed at final year, master or PhD students.

Is it a good idea to apply for such an internship or would it discredit me?

  • 3
    Well, my company would not allow me to hire you into a student internship because you are not a student. Your mileage may vary...
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 12:52
  • Unfortunately, we do not know the rules of the company, and we also do not know what they will think. The only way to find out any useful information is for you to ask them directly. I voted to close the question for that reason. We can only provide opinions, which cannot be verified or trusted.
    – virolino
    Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 13:39
  • If you can land a job straight away that would of course be the better option, but internship experience will "discredit" you less than having no experience at all.
    – David
    Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 15:09
  • There are many companies that hire applicants with PhD, and they are will to train them. You can search for these companies in LinkedIn. Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


I would not recommend an internship.

First, what is the purpose of an internship? An internship is way for companies to "give back" (at least in engineering fields). By providing students with real life application to the theory that they have been learning in academia.

Additionally it is a way for them to filter thru the soon to be graduates who have no job history to find good candidates to hire. But you have been hired by someone in the past (for academia, sure) which means that someone already thought that you were a good candidate. You are a less risky hire than a doe-eyed graduate with no job history.

I don't know what field you are trying to get into... But As an interviewer if I saw someone with a PhD and a couple of years in academia applying for an internship. There would be a bunch of red flags raised in my mind... Why is someone with a PhD, who is not currently in school applying for an internship instead of job? Do they lack self confidence? Are they just bad at what they do? Basically, What is wrong with this person?

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