Our mission in academia is to “explore strange new worlds, … to boldly go where no one has gone before.” Professors and their teams should be free to focus on high-risk topics, to publish less, and to emphasize quality. Collaboration with industry can sometimes help in accomplishing this mission provided you find the right partner.
Doctoral students in electrical and computer engineering often ask me what salary to expect in industry after graduation. “From 45.000 € to 75.000 € gross per year in Austria or Germany” could be an answer, but this is a vague statement that does not help much. In fact, there is no general answer to this question, as the salary depends on many factors, such as personal profile, position, company type, current situation in the job market, and company location. Let me thus redefine the above question and give some hints for negotiating a salary and other factors to consider. These hints are from an Austrian-German perspective, but many of them are of general validity.