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PhD in astro to become a data scientist?

  1. Sep 9, 2015 #1
    I'm planning to start grad school for astrophysics next year, but am kind of put off by reading about the lack of jobs in science after graduation. It looks like data science is the current hot field to go into, even for PhDs in other fields. Would it make sense to start a PhD program fully planning on taking the data analysis skills you learn and running with them after graduating? Would it be that hard to learn the additional necessary skills on the side as I go?
    I'm planning on going into astro because it really is something where I feel like my life would be incomplete if I didn't do it. I'd like to learn the data analysis skills working on something I already know I love.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2015 #2
    This plan will likely work. Since earning my PhD, I've been offered several jobs in unrelated data science fields.

    Those jobs can pay a lot and be rewarding in the short term, but I found that they tend to get stale and boring after a few years doing the same thing. I've gotten to work for some great companies and with some great people, though.
  4. Sep 10, 2015 #3
    Thanks for the reply. That's encouraging. Mind if I ask what kinds of projects you've gotten to work on?
  5. Sep 10, 2015 #4
    I've turned down most of the purer data science jobs. I was an RF test engineer for Cisco Systems for 7 years. This was a data intensive job, because the test results for each and every unit manufactured had to be recorded, stored, and analyzed to retain records and to determine how new parts were impacting performance. The data mining skill has been useful in a number of science projects since those days.
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