In general, if I need to choose something over some other thing I enlist the positive and negative facts about options and have a basic summation to find out the correct one.
Here I itemize my subjective pros and cons list. Maybe you might find it skewed or ridiculous but these are based on my 3 years of hard core academic effort and 2 years in industry (sum of my partial efforts). I think they present at least some of the obstacles you would see in the both worlds.
First, I start with the academy;
- Academic life is the best in terms of freedom at work. You choose your study topic, at least to some extent, you team-up and follow the boundaries of human knowledge so as to extend it a bit. This is a very respectful and curious search. For sure, it is better than having a boss choosing your way to go. However , even this freedom is limited as in the below comic
- Dresscode. Yes, academy is not so certain to define a particular dresscode for you, in most cases. You are free to put on your comfortable shorts and flip-flops and go to your office to work. However, it should be pointed out that present industry also realized the idiocy of strict dresscodes and it provides better conditions for the employees as well. Yet, business is still not comparable with the academy.
- Travel around the world with conferences, summer-schools, meetings, internships at low-cost. Meet people around the globe and feel the international sense.
- Respectful job. It urges the sense of respect as you say you are an academic and people usually assume you are more intelligent than the most, thanks to great scientist ancestors.
- Set your schedule. Schedule of an academic is more flexible and you have a bit of freedom to define your work time.
- Teaching. It is really great to envision young people with your knowledge and experience. Even-more, it is a vital role in a society since you are able to shape the future with the young people you touch.
- Elegant social circle. Being an academic chains you with a social circle of people with a similar education level and supposedly similar level of cultivation. That of course does not mean that the industry consists of the ignorant but living in corporate life is more susceptible to facing unfortunate minds.