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I am 28 and will be finishing my PhD in the next 2 months. My PhD has been in the field of medical image analysis so it has covered quite a bit of image processing mixed in with machine learning.

My plan isn't to have an academic career. I see my short-term future as a research scientist/engineer and my ideal career route would be moving into the tech industry (hopefully focused on healthcare) and progressing there.

I have been offered a post-doc focused on deep-learning with a side-element of software engineering in Python/C++. Its in the same lab but with a different group, which is also very reputable both in academia and industry.

I have read that as soon as you know you want to go to industry, every month not working in industry is a waste; both in terms of experience and potential life-time earnings.

My question is: would a 2-year post-doc be detrimental for my future career?

The post-doc seems to tick many boxes that many companies list as job requirements for positions I'm really interested in but do not think I fit right now. The post-doc would involve:

  • Development of deep-learning algorithms with applications to image synthesis and segmentation
  • Software engineering in Python/C++ to deploy software at collaborators research centers
  • Part of the development team for a deep-learning open-source package
  • Mentoring 2 PhD students

Second question: does it make sense to take a post-doc that would build desirable skills/knowledge for jobs I am interested in? Rather than just applying for industry positions now and taking the best one I can get.

Thank you!

closed as off-topic by PeteCon, Mister Positive, Masked Man, gnat, Draken Mar 15 '17 at 9:09

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions asking for advice on what to do are not practical answerable questions (e.g. "what job should I take?", or "what skills should I learn?"). Questions should get answers explaining why and how to make a decision, not advice on what to do. For more information, click here." – PeteCon, Masked Man, gnat, Draken
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  • @mcknz I would say it's too specific since we can't speak to the value of a specific education for a specific industry. The general questions OP has here are answerable, as evidenced by Joe's answer, while all the details push this into career advice territory. – Lilienthal Mar 14 '17 at 23:56
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My question is: would a 2-year post-doc be detrimental for my future career?

Probably not.

It might not help but probably won't hurt. As you suspect, you may have to convince a potential employer that you really want to be in industry and not in academia. Some business folks would see a post-doc position as a sign that you don't yet want to be in the "real world".

Second question: does it make sense to take a post-doc that would build desirable skills/knowledge for jobs I am interested in? Rather than just applying for industry positions now and taking the best one I can get.

That depends on your goals, aspirations, and the specific requirements of the industry positions that interest you. It may also depend on the financial aspects - the opportunity costs you may be giving up now versus the enhanced rewards you may expect later on.

For some positions, 2 years of post-doc would be a waste of time. For others, it might be essential.

Just be aware that the skills/knowledge you learn during a post-doc won't necessarily translate directly to an industry position. As you probably know, working under business pressure is often different from working in a more academic setting.

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