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I think "potentially permanent" is just a historical oddity. They used the same term 25 years ago when I was in school, and there was still an expectation of people going into tenure track position.

The phrase was misleading twenty-five years ago when applied to private sector positions, most of which were software development back then as well. There were few private sector positions analogous to a "tenure track" position even then, possibly a few at corporate research laboratories like HP Labs and Xerox PARC.

In any case, with the closure or heavy cutbacks at corporate research labs, AIP should update its language to reflect current realities.

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