Academia (Tenured) to Google or Amazon

New / R&D
DwdY76

New R&D

BIO
Academic, tenured.
DwdY76more
Jun 22 22 Comments

I have very short industry experience in a very small software company. I am a tenured CS professor living in a Big City, Texas with TC 100. I am 40s with a family of 5. Would you leave tenured academia position for a SWE position (TC 200) in Google or Amazon in Austin. Thanks.

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TOP 22 Comments
  • Amazon copycat
    Amazon will give you 500k - 1M if your area of PhD and research matches wit the right role (very unlikely for direct Software development). What’s your area of research?
    Jun 22 7
    • New / R&D
      DwdY76

      New R&D

      BIO
      Academic, tenured.
      DwdY76more
      OP
      I sincerely appreciate your advises. Being in academia in all of my life, I have very limited judgement capacity once I receive this of similar opportunities. Thanks a lot. Have a wonderful day.
      Jun 22
    • Twitter / Eng CGXr42
      Strongly agree with copycat. Level matters a lot, especially in your case.
      Jun 22
    • Twitter / Eng CGXr42
      and 200k is way too low for you
      Jun 22
    • Snapchat gqkO66
      Strongly agree 200k is too low and strongly agree you need the right allies in a staff position. Without the right allies, people will wonder why you have an office and a title but can’t use git or compile code
      Jun 22
    • Amazon lpstrong
      What copycat said + I have seen several faculty members join and leave. So, my overall advice would be a strong NO. Reason folks left include: not being able to tolerate low depth of work in industry, lack of familiarity with organizational politics (kinda important at senior levels), poor meeting performance, could not switch wlb. Faculty careers are longer and have less stress (no boss) but not as remunerative. So the total money you make by the time you retire at 75 may be more than switching to a job where you will last between 3 to 10 years. Intellectual stimulation is an added advantage. Please find folks who have been through this route for more details.
      Jun 22
  • Amazon mr3r6
    I wouldn't for 200k. It's not worth it. If it were 300k or more, may be.
    Jun 22 1
    • Google topCon
      200 in Austin is like 400 in Bay area
      Jun 22
  • Google / R&D
    vnzF53

    Google R&D

    PRE
    Google, WeWork
    vnzF53more
    Google offers L6 for sure for tenure prof. Several ones joint my group and they all got this level or above. Except one who joint to do totally irrelevance project got a L5.
    Jun 22 3
    • New / R&D
      DwdY76

      New R&D

      BIO
      Academic, tenured.
      DwdY76more
      OP
      Hi VnzF53 - do those who joined your group as L6 have "Software engineer" or Data Scientist / Machine Learning Scientist, etc title at Google? Do you think it is okay for me accept an Software Engineering title with 12 YOE?
      Jun 22
    • Google TensorCow
      Don’t worry about the title. Most SWEs at Google have a PhD and many do research. Many RS write lots of code. I’m a SWE and I still publish papers and speak at conferences.

      Worry more about culture fit. Most Amazon RS never publish and the company is more operational than research/y. Ask lots of questions about culture fit, make sure you’ll have what you need to be happy.
      Jun 22
    • Google / R&D
      vnzF53

      Google R&D

      PRE
      Google, WeWork
      vnzF53more
      Profs joint with RS titles except the L5 one with SWE title
      Jun 22
  • Google / Eng jf8s3b
    Tc 200k doesn’t sound competitive for a tenured professor. I imagine your students are getting the same numbers for their offers after graduation.
    Jun 22 2
    • New / R&D
      DwdY76

      New R&D

      BIO
      Academic, tenured.
      DwdY76more
      OP
      Yes, I am kind of feeling this way. I am working hard to publish more papers, get more grants. But new MS grads starts with TC of 150.
      Jun 22
    • Google / Eng jf8s3b
      My understanding is ms/bs are in the same category while phd grads are one level up
      Jun 22
  • F5 Networks RRA
    Tenured academia is ultra cushy and secure. I'd not leave.
    Jun 22 0
  • Amazon :$sqG@^f
    Know of tenured faculty who have taken L6 scientist at Amazon, but they moved up to L7 in under 2 years. Personally would not accept less than L7 in your position. Make sure the role plays to your strengths and you have a good relationship with your manager/VP or you could get pushed out at either level. It’s uncommon for scientists, but does happen.
    Jun 22 0
  • Coming from academia, you might wanna consider two more possibilities:
    1. Take a sabbatical or so, go do some industry job, and figure out what you like better at the end of that year.
    2. Try to get a part-time job in the industry. I know a few professors that work one day a week at some tech company, in addition to their academic position.
    Bottom line, if you like research, the ideal combination is doing both. That's more money, industrial experience, real-world knowledge and so on.
    Jun 22 0
  • Walmart.com / R&D
    serjorah

    Walmart.com R&D

    PRE
    Grab
    serjorahmore
    Amazon L7 sounds about right
    Jun 22 0
  • Deloitte broadway74
    If you didn’t have kids sure, however, cost of living with kids would be hard to swing
    Jun 22 0