Changing fields

No, I’m not about to announce I’m changing fields. Not sure it’s worth it and the amount of time I’ve already invested would just make it painful.

However, I’ve had a couple of conversations at the conference I was at where it came out that both of these individuals and myself have all pretty much come to the conclusion that we’re “done with computer science.”

Now, let me explain that a bit. None of us are saying that we’re never going to do anything remotely computer science-y again. Or that we’ll never code. Or that we’ll never do research/studying/work that involves computer science. In fact, we’ll probably all end up doing something that involves computer science. It’s more that we’re done with the specific isolated field of computer science, and that any further studying/research/work will be done in (and from) another area where we can combine computer science with something else.

What are some possible areas? Education Psychology. Digital Humanities/Humanities Computing. Information Library Sciences. BioInformatics. Computer science is pretty awesome in that it can be easily incorporated into pretty much any other field.

From the conversations I had, I got the impression that the three of us are all much more interested in how you can use computer science to look at and interact with information in different and meaningful ways. It’s not that we don’t want to use what we’ve learned. We’re just more interested in using it to advance other areas, instead of isolating ourselves within computer science.

Because it came out that there were more people then just me thinking this way, and that I had multiple very similar conversations on this topic within a 24 hour period, it does make me wonder how wide-spread this feeling is. And if it’s isolated to just computer science or do most people feel ready to leave their field (at least within academia)? I’d put it as a sign of being just completely burnt out from the PhD, but I was the only PhD among those I talked to. At the very least, it felt great to know that I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling.

So, do any of you feel this way? Or have you?



One thought on “Changing fields

  1. You are most definitely not alone! I’ve felt this way often during my own time in my Ph.D…and I’ve only been in my program for a little over a year! Although, I think most of my frustration has been directed towards the academic environment more so than my specific area of work. That’s why currently, I trying to work towards moving into industry or government work once I start looking for a job.

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