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What is the best route to go from IT to Science?

  1. Apr 25, 2009 #1
    What is the best route to go from IT to Science?

    I have an undergrad in Computer Science completed in 1997 and have over 12 years experience in programing, software design, technical writing, telecom, & Point-of-Sale software. I am willing to go into any area of science, and I would like to spend the least amount of time in school as possible due to financial issues.

    I am especially interested in the physical sciences & astronomy and have many skills in computation to offer the science world. I did well in math and science while in school.

    I am grateful to hear anyone's suggestions or know-how in the matter?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2009 #2
    Hey! What is your goal in attending science? Do you want to be a researcher or just work on science software?

    If you're good with computers, look for jobs at universities. Research groups often hire programmers on contract to work on various interesting problems, often with parallel supercomputing.

    Subversive Guide to Engineering
  4. Apr 26, 2009 #3
    Hi subSquall,
    My goal is to have a career involved in science whether it is in research or designing science software. I do not mind programming computers to get into science, but I want to get involved in the science and not just be a programmer taking orders from a scientists. I want to be involved in the scientific analysis/experimentation/theory and not be the "IT Guy" or "Code Monkey".
  5. Apr 26, 2009 #4
    Usually it works the other way around. People get a physics or chem degree and end up writing software.
  6. Apr 27, 2009 #5


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    If your only objection to going back to school is financial, note that you very rarely have to pay for graduate school in physics - typically you'll get a teaching assistantship or research assistantship which covers tuition and living expenses (but little else). Of course, given that your experience seems to be entirely in software, I suspect it would be difficult to get into grad school - usually they want people with the experience to be good researchers. But don't let me stop you ;-)

    For what it's worth, there are a number of open-source programs/libraries for scientists (Numpy/Scipy is a favorite of mine, but just one among many) that could always use good developers. That's something you might consider as a way to help the transition from software to science: it'll help you get exposure while still letting you apply the skills you have. (Also not a bad thing to put on a resume, if you're dedicated enough to it)
  7. Apr 27, 2009 #6
    In that case there's no substitute for going to school ... you'll need the courses to have a good background and get trained in thinking like a physicist. It might be quite fun :-)
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