I have a PhD in applied mathematics from a top university. I didn't realise it at the time because I was so focussed on my research, but it seems my research area (numerical analysis of PDEs) is actually very niche in terms of real-world problems in industry.
All the job listings I see are looking for people with a probability/statistics/machine learning background. There are literally hundreds of listings for these types of jobs for every one job in my area. I am currently a postdoc but I plan to leave academia for industry (probably finance) in the near future.
As the need for people with statistical skills is so clear, I have started considering the possibility of doing a second PhD, this time in a statistical area.
It would have to be part-time as I will be working full-time in industry. However, I currently work 7 days a week and very long hours on research as a postdoc, it is my hobby as much as my job. So when I begin working in industry, which is a standard 40 hour Mon-Fri working week, from my perspective I will have a huge amount of free time, i.e. eveninings and weekends, that I could dedicate to statistical research.
So I have several motivating factors for considering doing a second PhD:
- Statistical skills are very much in demand and are of far more use in real-world applications than my own niche skillset. I would like to work on important real-world problems and it would be ideal to have a qualification for this.
- I absolutely love research and having a goal to work towards to motivate me to get really deep into a topic. I will have alot of free time when I move to industry soon, and I would like to dedicate that time to something constructive.
- I am interested in probability and statistics from a theoretical perspective and I would like to make a contribution to this field. Originally I applied for PhDs in this area, along with applied math PhDs; I went with the math PhD as I was also very interested in that area and it was a great opportunity to work with an excellent supervisor and university.
So a second PhD in a statistical area seems to make alot of sense to me.
- Would any professor even be interested in working with me considering that I already a PhD and that I plan to work on the second PhD during evenings and weekends?
- If you think there are professors that might be interested, how should I go about approaching them? I would not like to appear unprofessional.
- I don't need any funding as I will be working full-time. Will this help me in finding a professor for a second PhD or is it largely irrelevant?