http://www.nytimes.com/external/rea...writeweb-the-coming-data-explosion-13154.html An interesting book: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/collaboration/fourthparadigm/ So basically, the two main paradigms used to be experiment and theory. Then in the 1950s came simulations, and now we have data-intensive scientific discovery. Some people have recently written programs that can derive physical formulas from massive amounts of data. Such methods can produce true results without an a priori basis for scientific discovery, which runs counter to the scientific method. == Anyways, so I'm seeing that there are several skillsets that will become valuable quite soon. (a) working with better sensors that have additional dimensions of physical data, (b) data mining/pattern recognition, (c) finding ways to efficiently analyze mass amounts of physical data, (d) intuition with respect to finding patterns out of massive datasets (or finding algorithms that find the best patterns out of them) So the question here, is, do you see these skillsets as extremely employable in the near future (perhaps more employable than many other skillsets)? And what would people look for if they look for people with such skillsets? For instance, I would like to go for a PhD in astrophysics. Astrophysics, of course, is one beneficiary of this revolution, as we get better sensors (telescopes/CCDs) and massive amounts of data to analyze. But I have many scientific interests, and I'm especially interested in other applications of this upcoming revolution (especially as it applies to the biological sciences, which are also in the process of an upcoming revolution - this revolution may depend on training different from the types of training biologists have traditionally received). Anyways, would people in other fields be convinced that astrophysics would provide me with the skills to go into this?