Money is not what is at issue here. What is at issue is independence and to make sure I will contribute by working at my field of expertise, tactfulness, and ensuring everyone's expectations are in-line.
Companies that are trying to develop new software products tell me they want me as an in-house employee, and not as a contractor.
After just finishing my PhD, I am an expert in a very specialized kind of data analysis, not in general programming. My programming skills were gained as a by-product of my academic research.
I believe I am called a 'domain expert' rather than a 'software engineer'. My coding is focused on implementing a specific class of data analysis algorithms, so I consider myself more of an a academic excelling at thinking of creative ways of developing tools to solve problems, who programs to test and implement these new ideas, rather then being a corporate programmer.
I am looking for work as a contractor in my field of expertise and would prefer to earn less money and have less benefits working as a short-term contractor helping people with what I am an expert in rather than being a in-house employee.
Some of the problems they have discussed seem perfectly suited for me to work with them for only a few months and then move on and let their real coders take over. I have helped academics in this manner.
I am in the USA.
Companies say I need to be an in-house employee for intellectual property reasons.
Wouldn't it be easy for them to just have me sign a contract saying all my work is owned by them?
If I work as a contractor, they can let me go when my value diminishes and save lots of money and I could just focus on what I think is a fun way to work--moving from problem to problem.
What am I missing here?