The benefits of working in academics are:
- Important and interesting work
- Opportunities for development and growth
- Freedom and fun
Those paying attention will recognize Daniel Pink's elements of motivation - autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
The downside? Having to explain to your spouse why you're not making as much money as so-and-so, who has basically the same skills as you. Or worse yet, why you make less than some other so-and-so who can barely tie his own shoes.
That is, unless your spouse is in academics, too. In which case, God help you.
Explaining this is not fun, but if the three elements above are in abundant supply, a fairly convincing case can be made. If those factors start to run low... well, your spouse might be right.
- Google Tech Lead Kevin Gibbs on how to Build a team they'll never leave: the 4 things that matter
- Valve Employee Handbook: how a game company runs without managers
- On Leaving Academia by University of New Mexico Computer Science Professor Terran Lane on moving to Google
- Tim O'Reilly says, Work on Stuff that Matters
- Attention, Intelligence, Creativity and Flow
- The Tiger Mom and A Clockwork Orange