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Changing fields fresh out of grad school

  1. Aug 6, 2009 #1


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    Sorry, I just realized that this should be in the Career Guidance forum.

    I find the topic of my recent dissertation uninspiring, and I want to go into something completely different for my career. My dissertation was on very specialized and superficial analysis techniques, but I would much rather get my hands dirty, and at a much deeper level. I want to actually see the entire scientific process at work at the cutting edge. I thought that I would realize what I wanted to do with my life by the time I graduated, but now I seem to have less of a clue than ever; I just know what I don't want to do.

    I have also developed a dangerously negative attitude towards theoretical physics.

    Any advice? I certainly hope that I don't need to go back to school.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2009 #2


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    There's no reason why you can't aim for a post-doc in a different field. To my knowledge it's reasonably common for people to get jobs in fields that are different from that of their graduate studies.

    The trick at this point is figuring out what skills you have to market and how you can use them to get your foot in the door. The only way I know how to figure out what you really like is by trial and error, unfortunately. So you may have to try a few new fields before you settle on something you really like.
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