Unfortunately, in practice, academia and industry tend to fork shortly after graduation, pursuing tangential goals with limited communication between them. This is a huge shame. There is significant value in maintaining close relations between research and industry: Commercial developers can benefit from strengthening their theoretical foundations, and researchers can draw lessons from successful applications of research methodologies to industrial problems. Ultimately, this combination works to the benefit of all.
I offer my own thesis as a concrete example. The examiners summarized it as “a very satisfying, inspiring, carefully laid out, meticulously planned and executed thesis.” So something like this should stand you in good stead.
Richard Kennard is an independent consultant with more than 15 years of industry experience. He is an active member of the open-source community, the founder of Metawidget, and a speaker at conferences, including JavaOne and Red Hat Summit. He holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the University of Technology, Sydney.