Have any of you done think tank work? How does it differ from academia?

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They're similar and different in a lot of ways, so this distinction is not as clear as one might think. One mostly true generalization is that think tanks are concerned with "relevant" questions that are of interest to the public and private parties while academia pursues inquiries for the sake of advancing our knowledge without as much regard for its direct applicability

Pay is, for the most part, higher while working for a think tank so if that's something that you value highly while choosing one over the other then think tank might be your best bet

One thing to note about researching in academia is that you'll also have to make a commitment as an educator. If you don't have passion for teaching and mentoring than academia might feel like a burden to you

Think tanks are generally seen as less prestigious than universities, and the work is often seen as less rigorous. There is also a lot of politics involved in think tank work, which can be frustrating.

I have not done think tank work, but I have heard that it is very different from academia. In think tank work, you are often working with policymakers and trying to come up with ideas that can be implemented in the real world. This can be very different from academia, where you are often doing research for its own sake and not really concerned with how it can be used in the real world.

I love think tank work! It is so different from academia in that you really get to see the impact of your work in the real world. You also get to work with amazing people from all over the world who share your passion for making a difference.

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