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[D] Full time consulting/remote/contractor work as a PhD?

There’s a lot of posts here about getting research jobs at one of the top labs in industry after PhD, but I’m curious if anyone else has the ultimate goal of living in a nice low CoL area and working remotely. My area is machine learning, broadly applied to computer vision and robotics.

I think I’ll almost certainly have to work a number of years after graduating in one of the large industry clusters (i.e. the Bay Area) but I would love to be able to transition into a remote/consulting/contracting role after that and buy a house somewhere else. My wife is a physician so she can work pretty much anywhere there’s a hospital (in fact for her the pay is better the more remote the location).

Has anyone gone down this route? What kinds of companies in the field are open to remote or hire contractors (and how do you go about getting gigs?) How do I plan for this now if it’s my ultimate goal, or is this area so specialized/niche that almost all of the opportunities are onsite only?

submitted by /u/moduluus
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Toronto AI is a social and collaborative hub to unite AI innovators of Toronto and surrounding areas. We explore AI technologies in digital art and music, healthcare, marketing, fintech, vr, robotics and more. Toronto AI was founded by Dave MacDonald and Patrick O'Mara.