Places to work like academia, but not
May 10, 2010 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Places to work in or around Boston that feel like an academic environment, without actually being in academia?

I'm thinking about making a job move in the greater Boston area, but could use some help. I started out my career working in higher ed, and loved the culture (relaxed environment, smart people, big thinking, etc.). I then went into corporate positions for a long while (loved the resources, the compensation, the stronger feelings of pressure around delivery and execution). I'd love to find somewhere to work that that mixes the two: a corporate position, but one that feels like it's in an academic environment. Any suggestions on places I should look?

(Kept intentionally vague as to career- or role-specific, as I want a wide range of responses. Also, I'm already looking at possible positions back in academia, so no need to be convinced of the potential to just go back!)
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (10 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
The company I work for is probably for you. Non-profit, "big thinking", lots of Ph.D.s running around. We're engineering-oriented. Feel free to mail me if you want details.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:14 AM on May 10, 2010

Boston has a lot of publishing houses.
posted by Ys at 10:27 AM on May 10, 2010

MIT has a lot of spinoffs doing research for dollars in software, robotics, medical, etc. fields.
posted by mkb at 10:45 AM on May 10, 2010

Consulting can do this, depending on what field you are coming from. My office (in Boston) has PhDs in Econ, Mechanical Engineering, and Biology. We do strategy consulting, so none of these (maybe Econ) are really that relevant to the work itself.

Consulting, in my experience, seems to have a great respect for educated, smart people in general. And there are lots of consulting firms in Boston, in all different areas (general strategy, health care, non-profit, technology, etc). And of all different sizes (large, structured companies where everyone is in suits to small laid back places where people wear jeans every day).

It is well compensated, deadline-driven work, where we often just sit around throwing back and forth grand ideas of ways to solve problems (everything from how to save the print publishing industry to how Nike can increase penetration in South East Asia).
posted by CharlieSue at 10:49 AM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Microsoft Research, Cambridge MA.
posted by jacalata at 11:37 AM on May 10, 2010

IBM Research has an office across the street from MSR (cited above) that might also be what you're looking for. Very much the part-academia-part-corporate you're talking about, at least for researchers.
posted by heresiarch at 12:55 PM on May 10, 2010

Boston has a good public radio station.
posted by ericc at 1:17 PM on May 10, 2010

Boston has a lot of publishing houses. (Ys)

Publishing does not feel like academia. At all.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:56 PM on May 10, 2010

MathWorks on Route 9 (Natick/Wellesley area). The corporate culture reminded me of both the best and worst of academic committee work.
posted by catlet at 5:55 PM on May 10, 2010

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