Does a datascience job help in applying for PhD or physics scholarship

In summary: PhD.2) Other than that, would taking this job help me in applying for PhD programs and potential scholarships? Will this boost my profile?This sounds like a bad plan.You should not be looking to this job as a stepping stone to getting a PhD. Pursuing a PhD is a big investment, and it is not guaranteed that this job will help you in that endeavor. Additionally, if you are looking for scholarships, a job doing data analysis may not be the best way to go about it.You should not be looking to this job as a stepping stone to getting a PhD. Pursuing a PhD is a big investment, and it is not guaranteed that this job will help you in that endeavor
  • #1
ricky33
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I have a math degree and currently pursuing a BS in physics, I've been offered a job as a data scientist with occasional machine learning stuff.

1) Would this be helpful for my career in physics? If yes then how? (I'm aware that machine learning is being used in various areas of physics, but would this experience be considered when I start a physics job after an MS or a PhD, or I will be considered as a fresh grad?)

2) Other than that, would taking this job help me in applying for PhD programs and potential scholarships? Will this boost my profile?
 
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  • #2
This sounds like a bad plan.
You have an applied math degree, not a physics degree. Doing more things that are not physics is not going to help you more than doing things that are physics.
 
  • #3
Vanadium 50 said:
This sounds like a bad plan.
You have an applied math degree, not a physics degree. Doing more things that are not physics is not going to help you more than doing things that are physics.
I am actually doing a physics degree as I said earlier. And I'm taking the job because I need it and won't find a physics job with my math degree. I'm not asking if this is the ideal plan, I have no other choice, I'm simply asking if this job will help me when applying for scholarships and PhD programs (after finishing my BS in physics)
 
  • #4
The biggest requirement for getting admitted to a graduate program in Physics, next to having the requisite academic background, is relevant research experience, so it depends on how much the job can sub in for that.
 
  • #5
No, Ricky, non-physics activities are not terribly helpful. Sure, it's more helpful than, say, prison, but if you want to be a physicist, spending your time not doing physics is less than helpful.
 
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  • #6
Vanadium 50 said:
No, Ricky, non-physics activities are not terribly helpful. Sure, it's more helpful than, say, prison, but if you want to be a physicist, spending your time not doing physics is less than helpful.
Okay, so what better plan do you suggest while I finish my physics degree?
 
  • #7
Not my problem. It's your life, take some responsibility for it. I'm just saying for someone who says they want to get a PhD in physics, it looks weird/bad to be spending your time not doing physics.
 
  • #8
Vanadium 50 said:
Not my problem. It's your life, take some responsibility for it. I'm just saying for someone who says they want to get a PhD in physics, it looks weird/bad to be spending your time not doing physics.
Have you not read that I AM doing a physics degree AND working at the same time?
 
  • #9
Yes I have READ read what YOU said (and AM wondering ABOUT the RANDOM capitalization).

But it's clear you don't want advice. You want validation on a course of action you already decided on.
 
  • #10
ricky33 said:
I am actually doing a physics degree as I said earlier. And I'm taking the job because I need it and won't find a physics job with my math degree. I'm not asking if this is the ideal plan, I have no other choice, I'm simply asking if this job will help me when applying for scholarships and PhD programs (after finishing my BS in physics)
And it sounds like it will not help you explicitly in your PhD applications. Are there really no other job opportunities that are more Physics-related?
 
  • #11
berkeman said:
And it sounds like it will not help you explicitly in your PhD applications. Are there really no other job opportunities that are more Physics-related?
Physics jobs are already hard to come by for non MS or PhD holders, so I don't if I would be considered as a math degree holder. So looking at "physics related" jobs I considered data analysis to be one of them, what jobs are considered more physics related? Maybe electronics or electrical engineering? What else
 
  • #12
ricky33 said:
1) Would this be helpful for my career in physics? If yes then how? (I'm aware that machine learning is being used in various areas of physics, but would this experience be considered when I start a physics job after an MS or a PhD, or I will be considered as a fresh grad?)
With respect to (1), you are considering a job after MS or PhD in physics. Are you planning to pursue grad school and a job in the US, or elsewhere? That affects the reply, particularly in regards to the MS.
 
  • #13
CrysPhys said:
With respect to (1), you are considering a job after MS or PhD in physics. Are you planning to pursue grad school and a job in the US, or elsewhere? That affects the reply, particularly in regards to the MS.
It would probably go like this: MS and PhD in europe and job in the US (or could be europe too). And my top priority would be a job in physics, but I may work in engineering too (sensors and detectors, electrical eng etc.)
 
  • #14
ricky33 said:
It would probably go like this: MS and PhD in europe and job in the US (or could be europe too). And my top priority would be a job in physics, but I may work in engineering too (sensors and detectors, electrical eng etc.)
You will likely complete your PhD Physics 5 - 7 yrs after you complete your BS Physics. If you are working in data science concurrently while earning your BS, your work experience will be 5 - 7 yrs out of date by the time you complete your PhD and look for a job. Also, after you complete your PhD Physics, you will be seeking a job requiring a PhD Physics, rather than a fallback position requiring only a bachelor's degree in math or physics (with the added plus of work experience in data science). So your outdated work experience in data science in most instances will not help land you your targeted job. If the hiring manager has to choose between you and another otherwise equally qualified candidate, if the position could benefit from some experience in data science, and if the other candidate has none, then your work experience could tip the scales your way. But that's a lot of if's.
 
  • #15
ricky33 said:
Physics jobs are already hard to come by for non MS or PhD holders, so I don't if I would be considered as a math degree holder. So looking at "physics related" jobs I considered data analysis to be one of them, what jobs are considered more physics related? Maybe electronics or electrical engineering? What else
No one has said that the requirement for you to get admitted to graduate studies in Physics is to have a self-supporting job in Physics. Students applying to graduate programs from undergrad certainly don't typically have that kind of a background. What has been said is that requirement for admission graduate Physics programs is relevant research experience. You're currently undergoing a BSc in Physics so I would be looking to get involved, even if as a volunteer, with research at your institution. While I realize that it may be difficult to juggle this on top of your course load and your full-time job, this will be what is necessary. You may want to consider if extending your time to graduate by spreading out your courses more in order accommodate this will be necessary. Also if your program allows for doing a senior year thesis course I would highly recommend that you do that as well.
 
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  • #16
I got a physics degree, and then subsequently changed careers twice. I currently work as a data scientist.

I agree with answers in this thread to your second question: this job is unlikely to be much help getting into your PhD program.

However whether it's beneficial to your career (your first question) is a very different subject, and I feel that the answer might well be yes, it could help - just indirectly. It could do so by shaping the way you think about work, about the way you work with people, and by exposing you to tools, processes, and ideas you wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise. Having the job on your CV isn't going to get you a position at a university, but having that experience under your belt may help you be as successful as you need to be as a graduate student to get that success you need.

I recently finished reading Range by David Epstein and I think it makes the case for this well - diversity of experiences has value. As you already seem to understand, the questions "will taking this job maximize my chance of getting into the PhD program of my choosing" and "is taking this job best for my physics career" may not have the same answer.
 
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Related to Does a datascience job help in applying for PhD or physics scholarship

1. What is the connection between a data science job and applying for PhD or physics scholarship?

A data science job can be beneficial for individuals who are interested in pursuing a PhD or physics scholarship. This is because data science involves analyzing and interpreting large amounts of data, a skill that is highly valued in the fields of research and academia. Additionally, working in a data science job can also provide individuals with valuable research experience and knowledge of statistical and computational methods, which are essential for success in a PhD or physics scholarship.

2. Can a data science job increase my chances of getting accepted into a PhD program or receiving a physics scholarship?

While a data science job can certainly enhance your application, it is not a guarantee for acceptance into a PhD program or receiving a physics scholarship. Admissions committees and scholarship reviewers consider a variety of factors, including academic achievements, research experience, and personal statements. However, having a background in data science can make your application stand out and demonstrate your proficiency in skills that are highly sought after in these fields.

3. Is it necessary to have a data science job before applying for a PhD or physics scholarship?

No, it is not necessary to have a data science job before applying for a PhD program or physics scholarship. While it can be beneficial, there are other ways to gain relevant experience and skills, such as through internships, research projects, and coursework. What matters most is demonstrating a strong interest and aptitude in the field of study, as well as the ability to think critically and conduct independent research.

4. Can a data science job be relevant for all areas of physics or only certain specializations?

A data science job can be relevant for all areas of physics, as data analysis and computational skills are important in various subfields, such as astrophysics, particle physics, and condensed matter physics. Additionally, data science is a rapidly growing field that is being applied to many different industries, making it a valuable skill set to have in any area of physics.

5. Are there any specific data science skills that are particularly useful for PhD or physics scholarship applicants?

Some specific data science skills that can be useful for PhD or physics scholarship applicants include proficiency in programming languages, such as Python or R, knowledge of statistical analysis and machine learning techniques, experience with data visualization tools, and familiarity with databases and data management. These skills can be gained through coursework, online courses, or practical experience in a data science job or research project.

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