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Does it look bad if you're not going to graduate school right away after college and you don't have a job in the meantime? Do academia actually care about relevant job experience?

Let's say I want to go to graduate school for machine learning/deep learning to find/invent methods that can beat regression analysis and classical statistics and I'm working in biostats/pharmaceuticals where no one really uses machine learning/AI/classification,just look at Epidemiology programs, they don't study neural networks and understand the math behind it actually. Since it's not directly relevant to what I want to do in graduate school, does it help to have a job before going to graduate school since I didn't get in right after college?

I might be a bit biased against biostatisticians and pharma people but I seriously don't know any biostatistician who can invent neural networks, mess with real analysis theory, and backpropogation and gradients and do fancy matrix analysis manipulations or win kaggle competitions with ensemble models to classify things.

Financially having a job is nice. but to a certain extent getting paid doesn't feel worth the tedious work I have to do. So in some way I don't want a job if I don't need it. But I agree it's bad and uncommon that. a college graduate doesn't have a job. Maybe I should have majored in something else?

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    So what happens after your graduate degree when you have a job with tedious work to do? Or during your degree when there is tedious work to do? And you seem to have a pretty rigid stereotype about biostatisticians (and/or other people). – Jon Custer Jun 28 at 17:36
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    There are certainly machine learning applications in the fields you mention. Half an hour with a search engine might give you a more accurate picture than the seemingly unjustified biases you mention. – Anyon Jun 28 at 17:38
  • I think the existence of tedious work in the future is uncertain. Maybe going to graduate school would expose me to biostatisticians who can win kaggle competitions? – Germania Jun 28 at 17:39
  • Is going to graduate school to learn how to make your job less tedious, painful, and time-consuming kind of pathetic or maybe widespread? Because automating your job so it can be done faster or better may or may not be financially beneficial. Yeah but if I'm going to graduate school to learn how to do a specialized skill, it better be a very highly demanded skill, because If I'm learning how to do 1 thing very well for thousands of dollars, that one thing better be in demand or i just wasted a ton of time. The nature of my job isn't inventive or innovative. It's routine based. – Germania Jun 28 at 17:46
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Dealiing only with the main issue, I'd say that people won't care a lot what you do in the interim if the period is reasonably short and you can give some explanation about why the delay. Being in jail is probably a bad explanation.

But if the gap is long, people will begin to be concerned whether you have kept the "edge" and are ready to go deep, or if you have forgotten much of what you knew.

Spending half a year in the south of France writing poetry is probably fine - I needed a break to recharge. Two years, not so much.

But a job unrelated to your field has just about as much relevance as the six months in Cannes. Barcelona is nice too, actually.

The main message here is that people are generally reasonable and, for the most part, expect others to be human as well..

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