I am about to finish my Ph.D. in civil engineering, I would finish it by the age of 28. I don't like my field that much and was pushed to pursue it from the beginning (at that time, was very confused and did not know what I want / I need and that is a huge problem in my personality, so my father pushed me to pursue it even though I did not like it at all !).

(one could ask why did you pursue a PhD in a field you don't like; the answer is pretty simple; it was the only way to get out of a third-world country :D)

seeing the big-fat salaries of data scientists/machine learning engineers around the world makes me jealous sometimes and makes me super unsatisfied with the work/research and the field I am pursuing.

I am really considering getting some undergraduate courses once I finish my current Ph.D. and start applying for CS masters. I will try to apply for double grants also, don't know if my current Ph.D. could help get those grants which will make me financially comfortable pursuing research in other fields again.

Also, I want to pursue a Ph.D. in machine learning cause I see the salaries are fatter for those dudes; I don't like academia and I don't like research and I really do hate teaching but I am used to doing a lot of things I don't like.

What are your perspectives?

  • 2
    Normally a second PhD is a waste of time and effort. The first one should have given you experience in research. And if you hate research, why do something that is fundamentally research?
    – Buffy
    May 13, 2021 at 15:45
  • I hate doing academic research as a PhD student because I think it's a new form of slavery (that is a very personal opinion); I don't hate industrial research/ or doing research while you are well paid; and that is the case for PhDs in data science / machine learning
    – M_1993
    May 13, 2021 at 15:50
  • "Big fat salaries" are being earned by people in AI without PhDs too. The market continues to be flooded at the low to moderate talent levels and sparse at the higher. It's probably the latter you're hearing about. Best of luck to you in your endeavors. May 13, 2021 at 17:09
  • 5
    A lot of my cosmologist friends have gone into data science. You don't need a PhD in the subject, having a numerate PhD with some programming experience is probably sufficient. May 13, 2021 at 17:28
  • 1
    @M_1993, In the US, I've seen people with Ph.D in Electrical Engineering or Physics, and they work as programmers (software engineers) in unrelated areas such as the financial industry, etc... I guess you only need to have some strong programming skills and then network with some company or someone who is willing give you a chance to work as a programmer, then you will excel. (As other people said, 1 Ph.D degree is great enough, you don't need to spend another 4 years to earn the second Ph.D in Computer Science.) May 14, 2021 at 4:23

1 Answer 1


I will agree with the commentators who say that one PhD is enough. I am sure you can start applying ideas from machine learning in your field (civil engineering) and perhaps after a while even move to a completely different field. PhD is essentially a qualification that demonstrates your ability to engage in abstract learning and research. You don't need two of these degrees to doubly-certify yourself. If you feel that you are lacking in certain aspects of knowledge related to machine learning or data science, find collaborators in these fields -- that's way more efficient than taking classes (and more productive in terms of research output).

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