I've read various post on this matter here actually. However I'll do some rant on my story: I'm currently a masters student (quantum physics, with maybe 60-70% programming content). I always had an interest in how computer works but I did not got into the CS degree. Now, I am planning for my phd studies. I've engaged into astrophysics which requires very intensive programming - modelling solar systems. This should include a big chuck of numerical and computational stuffs (which I am familiar of). Yesterday, I had a chance to talk to some technopreneuer, which one of them are doing data analytics from social network. It involves big data analysis and I found it very interesting. In fact, I may not be able to imagine a future in astrophysics (what is the significance of my research?) but I can imagine a world where analysing big data can be useful for decision making. I understand that I sounds completely crazy now, but: 0. I've imagine big data analysis to use AI or statistical method to process information. But beyond that I am yet to have any idea what I'm saying. 1. Do I have a shot on continuing my PhD in CS? especially in big data analysis. 2. If yes, where should I start? I might be able to get a GRE in CS to prove my competencies after self studying on most important subjects: database, Data structure, OS etc. Anyway, I'm comfortable with programming but I do not have background in CS. I'm mainly a C programmer with experience in Perl/Python/Matlab/PHP/SQL. I've took 600x in www.edx.org, and passed with 99%.