This study employs qualitative methods to research career transitions from industry to academia. Interviews were conducted with 25 academics from different parts of the world and with a range of subject specialisms. Findings suggest that a lack of work–life balance and the need to respond to a ‘calling’ are the main drivers for the transition. Participants emphasised the flexibility inherent in their role, although salary and seniority are often affected when the transition is made. The reality of their jobs was different to their expectations prior to making the transition. Despite preconceptions, working conditions are not always as anticipated, and this can be a concern for some. This chapter adds to the corpus of knowledge in this under-explored aspect of academic life. It will also be of benefit for those who are seeking to make this transition and will help future academic scholars to navigate their career paths.
Mark Crowder and Maria Mouratidou
Using narratives from four academics in the UK, this chapter offers an understanding of the career paths and motivations of academics from a range of sectors. It uses in-depth interview data to construct a narrative that demonstrates how the academics morph their professional roles over time, illuminating the complexity of career decisions in academic careers. The aim of this study was not to generalise; rather, the intention was to explore four participants’ careers in depth, and thereby to share real-life stories. This chapter answers a call for research into different academic contexts and deepens our understanding of academic career motivations and issues in the UK. This issue is highly topical, and therefore this chapter makes an important contribution to the debate in this area.