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A very unconventional life plan

  1. Jun 26, 2010 #1
    I'm doing well in undergrad, taking it easy w/ a below average courseload. But i'll actually graduate early due to AP credits. I'll get at least an MS (in statistics maybe?), but my plan sounds unconventional after that.

    I'm a prty quite person and love my peace of mind more than anything else. I figure I'll be very happy w/ 40K or so. So Why don't I just work part time w/ my MS all my life? Then I'd have tons of free time to relax and do cheap fun things like I do now in college. My parents keep telling me to get a PHD but I don't think i'm dedicated enough to work to do it... As far as work goes, I like interesting and meaningful projects; I figure an MS can prolly get on research jobs but prolly working under PHDs, but thats OK for me..

    nobody really thinks like me. I go to a top school and the ppl there are all quite ambitious.

    Anything flawed w/ my plan? Can i get meaningful part time jobs? Anyone else w/ similar plans? I'm slightly worried that i'll regret not doing a PHD and not living up to my full potential, but I dont want to stress out for 5 years when i don't plan on working full time afterwards anyways. I like research, but not as a fulltime job (i guess same goes for many other things). thanks all :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2010 #2
    The only flaw is that you don't really sound like an attractive candidate for *any* job. Interviewers like to see a bit of ambition, and at the risk of judging you by a single post, that seems to be lacking.

    But assuming that your field is in demand enough that there *are* part-time jobs available, you should be able to slack off indefinitely.
  4. Jun 27, 2010 #3
    Do you plan on raising a family on your part time job wages?
  5. Jun 27, 2010 #4


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    I figure that the one true freedom we have in this life is how we spend the precious time we are allotted. It's your life - nobody can answer these questions for you.
  6. Jun 27, 2010 #5
    Because most professional jobs are full time or nothing. I'd be more than happy to work part time with a part time salary and spend half my time doing something else (like astrophysics), but my employer won't let me do that, and as far as I can tell, no employer that I can find will let you do that.

    I do know of some contractors that work full time for a few months and then take a break between contracts, but this is very hard to do, because you are spending a lot of your time looking for new contracts, and you get in a lot of trouble if the economy goes bad.

    Don't get a Ph.D. because your parents want you to get it. Also, you can get decent enough jobs with Masters in Statistics, so there is no real reason to get a Ph.D. if your heart isn't in it.

    See above.

    I'd much rather do investment banking as a part time job, and if anyone has any ideas for how to do it, I'm game. The basic problem is that hiring an employee takes a certain fixed cost, so hiring two part-time employees is much more expensive than one full time one. The other issue is that most professional jobs are salaried work, in which the employer tries to squeeze as much work out of you as they can. I don't punch a time clock, but the fact that I don't punch a time clock is a bad thing in some ways because the concept of "overtime" doesn't exist.
  7. Jun 27, 2010 #6
    At the risk of encouraging the OP, I've actually found a few. When I wanted to start pursuing physics a few years ago, I managed to find a part-time job that enabled me to devote 2-3 days per week to the job and the remainder to my MS studies.

    However, I am far from being fresh-out in CS, and I've had years of *exactly* the experience this employer needed, so they were willing to accept me part-time rather than look for a full-time employee who would be less of a fit.

    So it's not totally impossible... but going back to my point about ambition, I don't think I showed a lack of drive to them. A lack of sense, perhaps... :smile:
  8. Jun 28, 2010 #7


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    You can try to become a scientific programmer. i know a few at my university. They don't need to be paid much and they don't need to be on a tight schedule or anything.
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