Recently, I graduated with a bachelor's degree in computer science from Hong Kong. Even though I enjoy computer science, there was a field that I always loved and wanted to be a part of: astronomy (or physics in general).

I originally come from India, and due to a lack of guidance after the completion of High School, I decided to take Computer Science as a degree given that it was something I enjoyed as well, and I was brainwashed into thinking that there is far less scope in physics and astronomy. I was told that after a degree in Computer science, I might be able to change fields.

Now here comes the issue. I want to pursue a career in either Quantum Information or astronomy, and most of the master's program I am seeing require a Physics background. There are some professional degrees I can apply for, but I do not have the financial standing to bear the expenses of a professional program.

Right now, I am a research assistant in a lab at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I enjoy the job, but not as much as learning about quantum computing and astronomy.

What should I do? Redo the bachelor's in physics or mathematics? Is there a master's program in Astronomy, Quantum Information, or general Physics and Mathematics which does not require me to sell my soul to the devil (banks) for money? Is there any such program for a Computer Science major? I am ready to put in effort by taking extra courses to supplement the knowledge gap, but is there any physics or math department anywhere which is cost-effective and gives chances to CS Majors?


Should I just stay in Computer Science?

  • 1
    I think there is much more money available for quantum information than there is for astronomy. Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 12:30

2 Answers 2


Sounds like your interests fit well with the field of Computational Sciences/Scientific Computing. Here's a brief description taken from this paper:

Computational Sciences and Engineering (CSE) provides scientists and engineers of all persuasions with algorithmic inventions and software systems that transcend disciplines and scales. Carried on a wave of digital technology, CSE brings the power of parallelism to bear on troves of data. Mathematics-based advanced computing has become a prevalent means of discovery and innovation in essentially all areas of science, engineering, technology, and society; and the CSE community is at the core of this transformation.

I suggest finding a Master's program related to Computational Sciences. Try the search keywords Computational Sciences and Engineering; results should give you various universities offering such programs. Check their curriculums and see if they offer subjects you're interested in.

  • Thank you very much. I will look into it. :)
    – Srijan
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 8:24

Your possibilities will depend very much on the country in which you want to pursue further studies. Some places like India make it very difficult to switch fields. Switching fields is fairly easy in the US, though before you get accepted into a Ph.D. program in Physics, they might (might, not will) want you to prove yourself with an M.S. elsewhere.

However, going abroad to study Physics is not financially safe as jobs are more difficult to find in Physics than in CS. Also, finding support while studying will be more complicated. The balance between better job prospects and following your calling needs to be resolved on an individual base.

  • Thank you for your response. I do not have any country preference as of now. I just want to change fields. I know I will not get into PhD directly, so I want to look for affordable masters in either Mathematics or Physics. I understand the concerns of universities for not taking in CS majors as the student then has to put in a lot of effort to catch up to the current post graduate students. Nevertheless, if there is any university which will give me the opportunity, I will work for it. Thing is, I do not know if there is such university.
    – Srijan
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 2:05

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