Navigating the career transition from industry to academia

Michael John Wilson, Leigh Wood, Ian Solomonides, Peter Dixon, Merrilyn Goos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Transitions from 'industry' to 'academia' represent a unique type of career change. Although such transitions are becoming increasingly common in Australian universities and beyond, there is no coherent framework for making sense of the multiple and intersecting factors involved in these inter-domain movements. This form of occupational transition challenges the traditional and increasingly outdated conception of the linear academic tenure track. Thus, in order to revise the notion of the tenure track and gain a fuller understanding of these career trajectories, we must seek to understand the motivations for such occupational movements as well as the short-term, medium-term and long-term social, emotional and professional needs and preferences of practitioner-academics having made this transition. This article presents an attempt to re-think the imagery and language that have come to characterize this type of career movement as well as the attitudes within and between industry and academia. The authors advocate that transitions from industry to academia do not require the dismantling of linkages between the two fields, but rather are made more meaningful and effective when pre-existing professional and personal linkages are maintained and encouraged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalIndustry and higher education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • career support
  • career transition
  • industry-academia transition
  • mobility
  • socialization
  • industry–academia transition


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