Hey everyone, asking for my dad here. He has a PHD in physics with a focus on laser research, and two masters. He’s been a professor for nearly 20 years but wants to get into industry. Does anyone know any places hiring? Booz Allen was interested in him but then the recruiter never responded back to him after the screening call. If you know any places and would be willing to provide a referral it would be much appreciated!

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He should look into the defense industry. Lockheed has been doing a lot of work with lasers over the last 10 years and it’s only accelerating

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Medical, aerospace, auto and the sensor industries are all doing neat laser work. I'd suggest he reach out to some of his best previous students are working.

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I’m a PhD physicist in consulting. He can apply to a specialist track, and most big firms have one. There are some roles that are easier for a theorist like the quant risk work. For an experimentalist in lasers like your dad, I would actually recommend looking into boutique engineering consulting firms. These literally have titles as staff scientists, have small labs, and will combine characterization & testing of products with conventional consulting services. Given the YOE in academia, these smaller firms may yield your best compensation package.

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Quantitative risk management in finance may be a good fit. It involves modeling etc.

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Has he done any research on behalf of companies? Natural first place to look. Or is anyone using his research in a commercial application?

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I live near their headquarters, and was going to recommend them. The laser marking system company, right?

It’s a hard switch given his time in academia and possible not much experience in industry. As M1 mentioned the easiest place is to look at companies that have internal research and development arms that may do similar research (look at all defense and aviation companies to start). Switching to a Big4/MBB/tier 2 would probably be harder, but I’m sure there are specialties out there he may be able to switch to.

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Appreciate the response! Any ideas on companies hiring doe internal research divisions right now?

That’s very broad 1) which industry 2) what roles that he want 3) what does he qualify for? Pretty much every company is hiring, but he needs to do research on roles. It’s hard to tell by the title sometimes so he has to select companies, look through job portal, and read descriptions. He should also be active on LinkedIn and connect with recruiters who may be able to give him leads. He can start by focusing on 10 companies, help him get organized with an excel (a tab for each company) and he can list the roles he is interested in or can qualify for. He can also use the advanced search feature on LinkedIn and put key words “ie Pratt & Whitney, recruiter”. Once he finds companies and open roles, then you can ask for referral help but right now it’s a bit too soon.

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1. Probably defense? His focus is in laser material processing, so I’m not quite sure which industry that translates to 2. He’s looking for a research/consulting role, something where he can leverage his experience to help lead clients or teams to positive outcomes 3. With a PHD and two masters (technology and lasers/electroptical engineering) I think he’d be qualified for most positions it’s just his lack of industry experience that concerns me

He could also look into large defense contractors. ie Lockheed, Northrop, Raytheon etc

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He wants to get into consulting? Or he wants to get into industry? Quite frankly, his best bet is a firm that values thought leadership and rigorous analysis - maybe McKinsey or OW have separate research divisions. Or a think tank.

I don’t, but I recommend you focus there. The issue with most of consulting is that it’s simply a sales-driven job at the top levels. Unless he’s bringing in million dollar contracts, there’s no role for him. At the lower levels, I think the bs would turn him off

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He should re-engage with Booz. Find a couple folks with similar profiles and have an informational interview. Problem is they'll probably need to have a specific funded role for him and that's a matter of timing, but I could see his background being a good fit there. Pay isn't great, though. Doubt he could get much over $160k and even that might be a struggle.

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