I don’t know how to start, honestly, but I have no drive to take up projects related to my undergrad for various reasons and my projects are all centered around optimization in my field and I don’t have any job experience considering I graduated from civil engineering in 2018.

My interests lie in statistics and machine learning and I am taking courses in programming for certifications. Someday, I want to develop software for my industry. how unconventional is it for a civil engineering graduate to change the field to stats?
I’d like to know some thoughts from more experienced students and researchers out there. Any advice is welcome.

I am a civil engineering graduate (graduated 2018) trying to break into the analytics field. I graduated from a tier 2 college in my country with an average GPA of 3.0/4.0 (7.5/10.0). I am looking for masters in applied statistics since I have always been interested in mathematics but didn’t have the opportunity to take it up.

I am taking a year off to improve my skill set as well as re-evaluate my options and I realize that I am not interested in Civil engineering and I don’t find it easy to break into this field either without contacts. I have done a project in construction management with AI, optimization techniques, etc. I am good with coding and trying to get certifications for that. But I want to know what skills can make me a strong applicant for a masters in applied statistics with my profile. what should I do?

I am really confused and I will really appreciate any direction I can get.

I don’t know if my question is relevant to this forum but I’ll try to ask it hopingly.

I’m a senior bachelor’s student in Computer Engineering. Before entering university I was so interested in Psychology and I still am. In fact, I’m so interested in cognitive sciences.

I do love my current field of study, but my background in mathematics is not that good to allow me to work on currently open challenges in Computer Science. I mostly consider Computer Engineering as part of my business career rather than research field, as I’m fairly good at professional skills a regular computer engineer should have to get a fairly good job.

But, I am very enthusiastic about management and mostly Human Resources Management. More precisely, I’d love to research around subjects like Talent Management, Productivity, Motivation, Organizational Structures, agility, learning organizations and HR training.

I guess I’d better studied Industrial Engineering and just learned software development on my own.

Now I’m applying for Master of Information Technology Engineering, which is a combination of Computer Engineering and IT management. The reason I’m choosing this is that there’s a better chance for me to be accepted in the entrance exam because the exam provisions are 90% from what I have studied in bachelor’s degree.

I always feel uncertain about my choices.

What do you recommend? please advise.


I am an engineering graduate who tries to change the field of study into Physics because of my interest towards the high energy physics (HEP) – Theory. I applied for about 15 universities for Fall 2018 (all USA universities) which have very good researches in HEP but got rejections from all these universities. According to the feedback from two of the 15 universities I applied, being my first and second degree in engineering has been the minus point of my application ( I am B.Sc. Engineering graduate and I have completed an M.Phil degree in Electronics Engineering). Due to my rejections, I applied for some middle-ranked universities later and got admitted to a PhD program in physics in one of those universities in the USA(800-1000 world rank) with a full financial support package. I am going to go there because I do not need to miss the oppertunity to start my career as a physist as early as possible. However, I am going to go to that university with the intention to change the university soon. I need to change that university due to two reasons. The primary reason is that HEP is not an area of research in that university. The second reason is that I need to go to a top-ranked physics graduate programme. So I am going to apply for Fall 2019 admission cycle again. When I apply for Fall 2019 I am applying as a physics graduate student. I believe that will strengthen my application as well.

What I need to know is that is it possible to change PhD programme within the first year as I intended and what should I consider when reapplying. I have second upper-class in my previous undergraduate and graduate studies and 850 physics GRE score. I hope to retake GRE and increase my score before applying again. If that matters I am from a South Asian country.

If someone can provide me with answers or share their experiences I am very grateful.

Thank you.

I will be completing my MSc in mathematics, in India; and have before completed my PUC (11 & 12th classes) in PCMC (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science), and BSc in PCM (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics). In the MSc Math here in India, the courses are pre-fixed, and involves uniform concentration of all the math.

If I want to switch to doing research in physics, how difficult would it be? Is it harder to change fields at the stage of a PhD or a postdoc (or later)?

I have done my bachelors in Electronics & Communications Engineering from India and I am currently working as a software developer with 1.5 years of experience.

I would like to do my masters from Europe but either in Computers or Software Engineering field. Is it possible to change from a field like electronics to software specifically in Europe ( preferably Germany or Netherlands).

I know it is quite common in US but I am not able to figure this out about European universities.

Background: I started my undergraduate career in computer science and transitioned to mathematics leaving computer science as a minor. I have just recently completed my Bachelors in Mathematics with a research project in Galois theory, algebraic geometry, and additive number theory. For the next academic year, I am pursuing a Masters in Mathematics which I will complete in a year through a 5-year (BS/MS) program.

Although I did not complete more than a minor in computer science, I have been interested in having it play a vital role in my career goals in academia.

My goal after finishing my masters is to transition into a Ph.D. program in mathematics, but I have not yet decided what I want to focus my research on.

I would like to learn about what Theoretical Computer Science is for academia and what background someone needs to become a theoretical computer scientist.

Do most theoretical computer science professors have their Ph.D. in mathematics?

How much formal background does one need from computer science itself? Can this be achieved outside of a school setting?

What fields of mathematics play an important role in theoretical cs?

I started a PhD programme 6 months ago. During the selection process you were asked which areas would u like to work in. My studies specialization is in microbiology and molecular biology, I clearly stated that i wanted to carry on my research in food microbiology because I carry out my master thesis in this area. What is more, after the interview I was contacted by a professor working in this area because my profile was totally fitting the PhD they were looking for.

However, a big professor was also interested in me (the rector of the university) and directly contacted me to work with him in biosensors applied to food. I tried to go back to my interest but I found the door closed (some matter of power around…). Despite of this, I though biosensors sounded very interesting and I would enjoy it.

After the PhD kick-off I found out that we did not share the same definition of a biosensor.. they were meaning just sensors made with organic polymers. I was told to do a PhD proposal in a short time of a topic I had no knowledge in.

Nowadays, my supervisor does not follow me and they group is so new that there is only a postdoc researcher who is an engineer, we have nobody from biotech,food science or a chemist who works with sensors in the “bio” part. I am totally alone in my research in a field I do not know. I told my supervisor and he told me to look for somebody who help me in the literature to help me. what the …..?? I really fear i do not manage to finish this PhD successfully.

I started looking for another PhD opportunities and I found one which I totally felt in love with. I would like to write the professor in advance but I am not sure whether I should mention that I am already a PhD student.

What would you do? In the applications I am doing I am commenting I am a PhD student that does not have interest nor the background in the area I was assigned..

Thank you,

I am in a very confused situation as to how to decide my career pathway. First of all, a brief intro of myself.

My Background
I have completed my BEng in Software Engineering with an ordinary degree. Apart from my Bachelors degree, I do not have any other educational qualifications. Though I have a degree in software engineering, I do not find it interesting to work as a software developer, neither Back-end nor Front-end. I was working for a Software development company but resigned within 1 month.

Now I have decided to change my track completely drifting away from Software Engineering. I have thought of starting a Psychology degree and proceed with it. Meanwhile, am following an on line course in edX, Animal Behavior, since it is from one of my passion. I like to be with environment, nature and studying the behaviors of every animal. I also have a deep interest in documenting and researching about lifestyle of people from various culture and religious backgrounds.

Since my family doesn’t know any of these, they think that I am just working as a software engineer and should continue it. I haven’t told them about my resignation as well.

I love reading books, doing researches (I tried searching for research projects which I could be a part of it), reading and watching documentaries on various subjects, observing animals and going hiking and trekking to involve with the nature and sometimes cooking. I want to be an entrepreneur, which I have started my business very recently to generate my income for these fun activities.

I need some advices and recommendations from people around me, or people who share my common interests and those think alike. It would be a great help, thanks in advance.

Can I be admitted to graduate school in a different field from my degree? Specific cases include:

  1. If I’ve taken plenty of advanced courses in field X in the process of completing a degree in another field, can I apply to graduate school in X?

  2. What if I haven’t taken many courses in X, but I have acquired a good grasp of X through self-study or working in a related field?

  3. What if I’ve never studied X, but I have done very well in an unrelated field? Could I be admitted to graduate school in X on the basis of general intellectual promise, and then make up the missing background after enrollment?

Note that this question is an attempt to provide a comprehensive answer, to avoid the need for a profusion of field-specific questions on this topic (see the associated meta question). Please feel free to edit the question or answer to improve them.