From what I've observed, there are several skills that many people with a physics background tend to have. Many of them can program in languages such as; c/c++, python, fortran, idl, matlab, maple, or mathematica, maybe MPI or OpenMP. Most of them can find their way from one end of a mathematical derivation to the other. Although I've also noticed that the skills tend to be biased towards one specific problem set. An acoustic physicist rarely cares about chemistry, for instance. An astrophysicist rarely cares about the specifics of economics (unless she desires to become a quant/actuary or somesuch). Could this be a mistake? How much would it hurt one's career prospects if they were to attempt to branch out into realms of study that are distant or unusual for the standard track of physics? For instance, learning the skills that are traditionally the realm of computer graphics may be beneficial for the plasma physicist in visualizing experimental results in a more useful way. Perhaps a a condensed matter physicist with an unusual interest in cellular automata might find a completely new method of predicting superconductivity in materials. Each subject has brilliant approaches to solving problems that hyper-specialists confined to their areas may never see. Should we leave fluid mechanics to be studied only by the mechanical engineers? I understand that it's not really possible for people to study everything that they find interesting in life, and that this is the reason we must specialize. But there seems to be an incentive for people in academia to not look beyond their immediate field of view. Even worse, in some cases; you find some people which believe that their little focus of study is superior to many others using arbitrary methods of currency to make their judgement. Would it be career suicide to study something that's outside of your immediate realm of expertise?