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About to receive my doctorate but have no interest in continuing my current line of work


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So I finally made it. I am writing my dissertation and planning to defend shortly, and should finish my program this semester, receiving my degree either this semester or the next. Problem is, I have no interest in continuing my current line of research which is essentially Physics: Optics. There is good news, I happen to hold an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and I am really want to get back into Aerospace Engineering. Basically, I want to continue my career through my masters degree, not my Ph.D., and definitely not anything related to the research I conducted to earn my Ph.D.

I am hoping that I might be able to post-doc conducting some Aerospace research I enjoy. In particular, I am looking towards micro-air vehicle and aerial robotics labs, and wishing I had just stayed with my Aerospace engineering program all along so I would have a better chance at entering that kind of research.

Any idea how hard it is to change fields? Because I really do not want to continue doing what I am currently doing for a living.

Thanks for the advice.

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Your PhD really just shows that you have the ability to conduct independent research. Many folks change their research focus with their first postdoc. Your course adjustment will just be a little larger than some. Best of luck.

Edited by Usmivka
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks. You're advice is encouraging. My advisor sometimes lays it on thick with his with his advice that I need to convince them I am worth investing a quarter of a million dollars to have me in the post-doc programs. It is good that some people see such changes as more natural and reasonable.

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