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Does this job exist? I mean is it even possible? Am I wasting my time?

  1. Nov 15, 2009 #1
    Say I get a Ph.D in Physics and hopefully Mathematics as well later. I want to know whether either of them are necessary for this "ideal" job.

    1. Very little (hopefully none) social contact whatsoever.
    2. Working with very very little people. So I am not really looking to teach
    3. Money isn't a big issue, but hopefully the $$$$ isn't too low
    4. I like to be my own boss.
    5. Hopefully I won't have to wake up early or sleep late.
    6. Best if I don't have to go out as much.

    If you don't understand what I have been talking about so far, my less-confusing question is, "Is it possible to get a job in both Mathematics and Physics and live as a recluse?"
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2009 #2
    Anything involving mathematical and physics research will require you to be extremely social.

    The terms "job" and "be your own boss" are mutually exclusive in any post-industrial society that I can think of. Even if you own your own business, you'll have to answer to creditors and clients.
  4. Nov 15, 2009 #3


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    Yes, the job does exist, you might be able to work like that at e.g Institute of Advanced Study and a few other places, at least if you've already won a Fields medal or a Nobel prize.
    But this of course means that you must have already done some really important work which in turn means that you still have to spend perhaps 10-20 years in the real world collaborating with people etc before they even consider you.

    So this is pretty much akin to asking if you can be an astronaut.
  5. Nov 15, 2009 #4
    But note that it's been said the IAS has ruined more good scientists than any other institution.
  6. Nov 15, 2009 #5


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    Sorry, I read criterion number 2 and thought: You want to be Gargamel?

    Seriously though, first point is that there's not much point in doing a second PhD. Find an area of specialization that you like in the first one and expand from there.

    Secondly, why do you not want to work with other people? Do you mean you don't want to do group projects? Or do you mean you don't want any interaction at all? Most academics have to present their work at conferences from time to time, solicit funding, teach or mentor, serve on committees etc.

    If you really want to be your own boss, I would suggest an entreprenurial venture. Then you can set your own schedule and contact onyl those you want to.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  7. Nov 16, 2009 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    This is the third thread you have started involving multiple PhD's.

    There are some common traits shared by successful people in the sciences. Having to be told the same thing over and over is not one of them.
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