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62

First of all, jobhunting s u c k s. It sucks even more when you're trying to get into a field and it sucks further if you're not in a major metro area. It's a massive timesink with terrible ROI, but it needs to be done in order to get a job at all. The truth is that whether you get hired isn't going to just depend on your skills and experience, but also on ...


41

To add to the existing answers: Can you be a (relatively) “lazy” professor and still hold a position? Yes. Once you have a (tenured) position, you can probably be rather lazy and still hold onto it. So do you think that it is possible to have a healthy work-life balance as a professor or is that approach to a professorship, at least early on, not ...


23

I chime in with another answer for the German system (as the one from the user with the exact same user name 😉). I am a professor in Germany since some years and have been a junior professor in Germany. So I had to go through some evaluation of my research and my teaching to get tenure. I can assure you that it is possible to go through this with a good ...


18

You are presumably an adult, you should not do something so important to your life as studying only for your parents wishes. Guilt-tripping children is very bad parenting, you should not feel ashamed to do your own thing. However, before you start doing your own thing, think about what the consequences could be. Can you afford studying without your parents ...


18

Get a job. Don't do more studying - you already indicate that you 1) are not good at it and 2) don't have a good reason to do it (you would effectively be doing it because you're avoiding the job market). It doesn't matter how much you love the topic if you're terrible at it. In fact I would question that you actually love the stuff because if you do, how ...


14

I was in a comparable situation a few years back: I was stuck on a CS BSc thesis that wasn't going anywhere fast with an obscure and unmarketable topic. Also, I had no relevant work experience. I managed to improve my situation through a couple of different things. The best way to get a job is to have a job Finding a perfect job rightaway is hard. All the ...


14

In my experience, nonstandard paths like what you propose are initially viewed with surprise, and with varying degrees of suspicion. That includes admission committees, potential supervisors, fellow students, etc. However, that comes from uncertainty and unfamiliarity and can be shaped by the narrative you supply, and how you follow through. Basically, ...


10

Though possibly somewhat out of scope for this site, as I assume it relates to undergraduate studies, here are my two cents anyway, as I sympathize with your dilemma, and have, sadly, seen it time and time again. First of all, going into university studies without having your heart in it, is rarely a good idea. This is a common source of burn-out for ...


9

Get around people! A lot of people want to help you, you just have to find them. How do you do that? Go to meetups and groups. Heck, go to church, there are a lot of nice people there. Meet people and if they seem like someone who would give a care about you, tell them about your situation. They can help you much better in person. They can give you ...


9

Suggestion: stop learning ODEs and learn Data Science. Nothing against ODEs, but there are very few jobs in that area directly. but Data Science on the other hand is very hot, and likely to stay so. And you have the background to get it faster than those that struggle with the math (and there are a lot of those even in this field), and it is a highly ...


9

You need to get rid of one big misunderstanding which plagues many students who "went to college to learn interesting stuff" and then failed to get a job. Nobody in industry cares about the "stuff" that you learned in college (or what you are teaching yourself about ODEs and numerical methods from textbooks - most of the standard topics they cover were the ...


7

First thing: congratulations on starting to get your life together. Many good suggestions here. I have one more. While you search for a job, consider volunteering in a semitechnical capacity for some nonprofit or political organization whose goals you support. With your IT/compsci skills (even if rusty) and your ability to think mathematically you can be ...


7

I am in no hunt for accolades, awards, or praise. My impression (from the US job market, at a mid-tier research university) is that to get a professorship, one must seek out accolades, awards, and praise. This is probably true, to varying degrees, at any university anywhere: they will receive hundreds of job applications and yours will need to stand out ...


7

Well, being lazy and having work-life balance aren't the same thing. Being lazy, by the standards of your university isn't a path to success. At some places you do a lot of research and less teaching, advanced courses mostly. At some places you do a lot of teaching (and course prep) and need to spend a lot of time on it. It is a lot of work no matter what ...


5

Having a PhD or other Research Doctorate will definitely help you with many large companies. At some companies there is a fairly large gap between what someone with a degree can do and earn and someone without. "Senior Scientist" may only be open to PhD holders for example. Moreover, some companies really need people on the cutting edge of research. Think ...


5

To my eyes, your examples fall into two very different categories. When researchers are in conflict about who did something first, that is typically known as a priority dispute. When the stakes are high, these can be extremely bitter: see, for example, the fight over the discovery of Haumea or the fight over CRISPR patents. The problem here is that it's ...


4

I'm going to approach this from a different angle. Why do you parents think the family business is a guaranteed success, and what do they think a finance degree will contribute? There is a long, long list of well-established businesses which fail because the person (or people) in charge don't run it well. Presumably it is currently successful because your ...


4

It is not true that there are no research only academic posts. There are post-doctoral researchers, research assistants and research only professors in many places within the UK academic system. There are also research institutes outside universities and affiliated with universities who wholly perform research. It's just that there are fewer advertisements ...


4

If you understand math to a decent level, I think you're more than fit for a career in machine learning. Since you can also program, that's another advantage for you. The nice thing is that ML is a tool, rather than a "destination". You can use it to solve a lot of problems, from many different domains, which will interest you beyond just doing what the boss ...


4

Is it wise to just ignore and do my research independently and forget about her? I mean just considering having no advisor and do my own PhD by myself since she clearly stated that I should define my problem and I think I can solve a problem as long as she leaves me free and give me some time. This is probably the worst thing you could do. In order to ...


3

I think there is only a small chance of this happening. Educational resources are limited in general and people like to spread the opportunities. Many people reading your application might wonder if you are just wasting everyone's time, including your own. Some universities will consider you, but others will immediately reject you. A post-doc somewhere ...


3

This is going to be very field dependent. What follows will be applicable in the life sciences: There are positions at research institutes that offer the chance to do independent research without teaching duties, but they are few and far between. They are most people's dream position and competition is particularly fierce. However, I wouldn't feel to ...


3

As an undergraduate, you will likely have to take prerequisites. You can buy yourself time on the issue by taking the prerequisites common to both majors. As an example, Calculus is needed for most finance/science related majors. Would have commented, but I don’t have enough rep.


3

Akademischer Oberrat is typically tenured (in the sense of a lifelong position), so this is something between assistant professor and associate professor in the US system. If he or she also got their Habilitation they are Privadozent/Privatdozentin, which would then compare to associate professor. The Wikipedia article cited by Bryan is misleading in this ...


3

This is a classic example of what’s been dubbed the “XY problem.” You have some actual problem to which you’ve decided that emailing this professor is the solution and you’re asking about your solution. But I’m quite confident that getting a professor at another school to read a draft of an essay is not the correct solution to any problem. You should not ...


3

Many of the answers respond from a Western perspective. Western culture (generally speaking) values individual freedom and personal autonomy. As you can see, many Western people here are horrified at the thought that your parents would have any say in your life, once you turn 18. (Indeed, if you're coming from a Western culture, I'd be inclined to agree with ...


3

If you have programming skills and some passion for programming, consider contributing to some existing open source project on your spare time. There are many of them, e.g. on http://github.com/ or http://gitlab.com/ If you work with others, you will learn those soft skills (communicating, working in a team on software development). And you'll increase your ...


2

If you're interested in research, whether in academia or in industry, then getting a PhD is definitely worth the effort. The time when a PhD was only for people who want an academic career finished a long time ago, there's plenty of people who do a PhD without even considering academia as a career, and even more people who eventually decide to go to industry ...


2

It's very difficult to give a general answer, since so many things depend on the specifics of the field, the location, and various other factors. Chances of being accepted: that completely depends on where you apply and whether your background matches the requirements for a particular PhD programme and/or a particular supervisor/topic. Already having a PhD ...


2

It's hugely competitive--just look at the numbers. I don't think you will do going well into an academia career without a LOT of youthful "burn the candle at both ends and with a blowtorch in the middle" energy. It's just not the right choice if you already have a measured approach to work. And I'm not making a value judgment...just saying the situation. ...


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