On Going from Industry to Academia

There was some discussion on Twitter approximately a billion years ago (I don’t know, last month maybe? Internet time has always been messed up.) that I believe started when @georgeonline was musing about transferable skills and how there’s work to be had for digital humanities scholars outside of academia. My curmudgeonly self popped up and noted that jobs are hard to come by for everyone, that as an industry person it’s easy to see gaps in the skillsets of some academics working in digital humanities, that people coming from academia to industry are competing with people who have been in industry all their lives and have been laid off/downsized, and that it would be generally bad advice to tell an academically-oriented digital humanities scholar that they are automatically competitive for industry jobs (just like it would be bad advice to tell an industry person that they are suited for a wholly academic job without spending any time in the academy, IMHO).

Then I said that I should really get off my butt and write my “what it’s been like going from industry to academia” post, and @barbarahui said she’d like to see it—she did the same thing—and then I stayed really busy and never got around to writing it or anything else. But here we are. I’m going to take a crack at it.

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