A career in science or business?

Multiple arrows show in different directions

Fulfillment, security and prospects – what are the pros and cons of choosing a career in science or industry? The “Universitäts-Gesellschaft Hamburg” recently hosted a public panel discussion focusing on this difficult decision. Panelists included Prof. Christian Barrot, KLU’s Dean of Programs, and KLU alumnus Dr. Jannik Meyers.

“For me, it was always important to see directly that I had some influence and to see the effects of what I did,” said KLU alumnus Jannik Meyers. After completing his Ph.D. in a joint program at Universität Hamburg and KLU he chose a career in business, and worked for McKinsey & Company before joining Quantilope, where he now leads the data science department. “Basically, in my daily work, I feel more like I’m making a difference than back when I wrote papers as a Ph.D. student.”


Prof. Barrot presented a somewhat different perspective: “I would always recommend that students go where there is growth, and ideally where you have a small unit.” This could be a start-up, or perhaps a freshly founded university or a new research unit or department. “Then you will have a direct impact with your work and shape the direction of the unit, no matter if it’s a science or business setting.”

The panel discussed in depth how the different career paths can offer fulfillment, whether and how they can be reconciled with a family, and at what career stages changing course is possible. Other questions addressed aspects such as job security and plannability; career opportunities, particularly for women; and the global outlook on the job markets. You can watch the full discussion or selected highlights below.

In addition to Prof. Christian Barrot and Dr. Jannik Meyers, the panel included Dr. Silvia Kloster (Demand and Production Forecasting Manager at Vattenfall Energy Trading) and Prof. Petra Steinorth (Universität Hamburg). The discussion was moderated by Astrid Dose (Head of PR and Marketing at EEHH).

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