I have a bachelor's degree in Physics. I am currently doing my master's in Physics with a focus on machine learning. I want two thing for future:

  1. I want to gain coursework experience from different country - I am fascinated how coursework, be it undergraduate or graduate level, is done in different countries and I want to experience that.
  2. I want to be a veterinary professional. (I wanted to teach at one point and do research. Therefore, had a plan for PhD but I no longer want to be in academia). That could be a veterinary nurse or a doctor.

I didn't share this with anyone as I was afraid of being judged as immature or naive. I would really appreciate any advice on what I can do to achieve my goals. Are my goals justified?

  • 1
    Why 1? It seems to just get in the way of 2, for which you need some specific training other than physics Why machine learning? Vet Med need some pretty specific training as well as some bio and animal science? It seems an odd set of goals that don't fit together very well.
    – Buffy
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 20:26
  • 2
    What is a relationship between physics, machine learning and "a veterinary professional"?
    – user135405
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 20:28
  • 5
    I think that your final vet med training should be in the country that you want to practice in. Some things are hard to transfer across borders. Medicine is like that. Maybe vet med too.
    – Buffy
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 20:32
  • If you want a foreign adventure before you start your vet training, another degree might be a good way to go. But really your question does not have much to do with academia and may be closed. Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 20:33
  • @Buffy, Thanks for your comment. There is no specific reason for 1. It is just an experience I want to gain (I am probably sounding stupid!). Machine learning was not something I chose. I didn't had an option as there were no other labs available at that time. I know my goals are odd and I have doubts about it. But is it impossible? Have you seen anyone who had taken such odd career-paths.
    – Noob
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 20:58

3 Answers 3


You need to identify what specific courses are needed to enter into the fields you are interested in. Then determine what you are missing and what your options are for completion. For example, for many health professions in the US there are post-baccalaureate programs specifically for career changers to finish their prerequisites.

  • Thank you very much for the answer.
    – Noob
    Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 10:48

First: Don't care what people think about you or your decisions, as we often fail to make dreams come true for fear of what others will think of us.

Second: there is no problem with doing several degrees, but one thing is certain if you are not a well-defined person in your goals there will come a time when all this excitement will end and you will look back and think "I arrived here and the did I do for a living? Think about it!

  • 2
    "there is no problem with doing several degrees" Lost income is a huge expense. Most degrees cost money. Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 22:13
  • This too, that's why the importance of defining Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 0:22

I'm a skeptic about this plan, actually. It is good to learn a lot of stuff, actually. A bachelors in the US is intended to teach you lots of stuff and also get started on a specialty.

You may have unlimited money to support your student "habit", and you may think you have unlimited time. But the latter isn't really true. If you have no real goals and can support that habit without a career then fine. And the ride will be fun, I suppose, until at 50 (or 70) you are the oldest person in some elementary course and you don't really share interests with anyone anymore.

But an alternative plan, even with a multiplicity of goals, is to first choose the main goal (say vet med) and work to get that under your belt, rather than delaying it, possibly for years. Then, if you still want to you can use that base to do other things.

The one downside of an unfocused plan, several degrees in different areas, is that people might get to the idea that you aren't really serious about anything in particular and just refuse to work with you as it wouldn't seem to lead anywhere or matter much. They might, well, decide to work with someone who has real dedication to the current program.

However, Zonker Harris in Doonesbury has had a lot of fun with an unfocused life and a very long run as a student.

  • Thank you so much! I understand what you are saying.
    – Noob
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 22:24

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