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How liberal are institutions with regard to doing research in a different (unrelated) field than the person's diploma?

For example, if a person with a diploma in pure mathematics wants also to do research and programming in IT (specifically in XML), can he do it in his work time?

Does it makes sense to obtain a second diploma (Is Bachelor enough?) in order to be able to refresh the brain by switching between two different jobs during work time?

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    To me it is not quite clear in what position you are. You are a postdoc at a university? A PhD student? What is it that you are getting payed for? The answer to the second question is pretty clear to me: No, there is no reason to obtain a second Bachelor's degree, either you can learn the things you need to learn while working in your original field or you have to switch to IT (and maybe obtain a PhD in IT or, if possible, get a job in that area). – The Almighty Bob Jun 5 '14 at 13:43
  • @TheAlmightyBob: I hope to obtain PhD in math soon. Now I work as a part-time programmer but am going to try to find a full-time research job instead – porton Jun 5 '14 at 15:15
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    As a researcher it mostly depends it depends on the job you have. At most positions at universities it should be possible (but probably not a good idea if you want to get tenure, but I am no mathematician, it may be different there). However, there are research groups in which people are hired to do research in a certain area. There is would not be advisable. Another idea: If you want to do research in IT, maybe you can look for a (theoretical) IT research position? At least in economics many of the top researchers have a PhD in mathematics (and not economics). – The Almighty Bob Jun 5 '14 at 16:39
  • @TheAlmightyBob: It seems you haven't understood my question. It is entire about working on MORE THAN ONE project from different disciplines: one in math and one in IT, it is not about switching from math to IT entirely – porton Jun 5 '14 at 17:22
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    That was perfectly clear to me. However, if the math project is in some way related to IT it might be the better way. And (at least in economics) it is quite common that people publish in math journals. It was just an idea though. – The Almighty Bob Jun 5 '14 at 17:33
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I'm doing my diploma as an electrical engineer and I will start a phd in operations research. So that's possible.

I think it is a lot about what skills you bring. At first, which skills can be useful for the institution where you gonna start. Also the question is, if your skills are enough for your special phd topic...

If you are a pure mathematican with no skills whatsoever in XML that would be hard. But if you attained some skills in XML on your "pure mathematics" path, it may be possible.

  • I don't downvote only by a pity to an 1-point user. Your answer is not to my question! Please next time when writing a comment or an answer make it relevant to the exact question – porton Jun 4 '14 at 19:45
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    Sorry that I misread your question. Maybe you could specify your question more: The reasearch interests of your institution are more important than your diploma, imho. – JaBe Jun 4 '14 at 19:49
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How liberal are institutions with regard to doing research in a different (unrelated) field than the person's diploma?

You can do research in whatever field you are qualified to do research in, regardless of what it says on your diploma.

Certainly it may be more difficult to convince someone to hire you in a field other than the one your degree is in; but it is possible, if you can show that you are qualified to do research in that field.

For example, if a person with diploma in pure mathematics wants also to do research and programming in IT (specifically in XML), can he do it in his work time?

You are not necessarily restricted to research jobs in the same department as your diploma.

However, research jobs are typically offered for a single area (which may be a multidisciplinary area, but won't be two completely unrelated areas).

You could theoretically (if you are qualified to work in both areas) have a part-time research position in a mathematics department and a part-time research position in an IT department. (Though I would not necessarily advise this.) You cannot, however, have a full-time job doing mathematics research, but do mathematics research part-time and IT research part-time.

Does it makes sense to obtain a second diploma (Is Bachelor enough?) in order to be able to refresh the brain by switching between two different jobs during work time?

Splitting your time between unrelated areas means that you are spending half as much time on research as others in your field (for each field). This makes it more difficult to develop deep expertise/experience in either field.

You can "refresh the brain" by switching between different kinds of tasks within one job - e.g., between creative research, writing research results, dealing with administrative stuff, reading papers, etc. - or by working on multiple projects in the same field.

However, if you are sure you want two different jobs, and you are not qualified to work in the second field without a diploma in that field, then go ahead and get one. The idea of having two unrelated research jobs makes no sense to me, though.

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