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I am soon finishing my master's program in theoretical physics. Half of the courses I took were in pure mathematics (from algebraic topology to category theory), and my thesis is between physics and mathematics (it is about some categorical aspects of string theory).

I realized I do not want to do a career in academia, and actually I am very interested in working in Artificial intelligence, in a company, and in teams. I had plenty of experience with Python, but not with Artificial intelligence itself. I am unsure how to proceed towards this end: should I do a PhD mixing physics and AI for example and then try to enter the corporate world, or go directly to the market and get educated on the job? Or something else?

closed as off-topic by user34587, gnat, motosubatsu, IDrinkandIKnowThings, sf02 Apr 25 at 13:37

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  • Does AI stand for Artificial Intelligence? In that case: Have you had some programming lectures? And some about AI especially? – elPolloLoco Apr 25 at 10:25
  • @elPolloLoco I edited the question. – Soap Apr 25 at 10:25
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    Congrats. When you have a garage full or Porches please send me one! – Fattie Apr 25 at 12:19
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Its a very personal choice. Doing PhD means investing more years in education. If you are interested in PhD, by all means go for it as it becomes very difficult at a later point in time to start studying again for most of us. PhD should also open doors for higher paying research jobs in the field. If you have an inclination on working on next gen algorithms for AI, you should go for that option in this field.

If you solely want to do PhD to start a career in AI, there are better options. You could try to get an entry level job, though they are not easy to come by. You can try to do a course in AI which is of lesser duration (a certificate course kind of thing which does not take as much time as a PhD), and then try your luck in the job market.

Eventually, the most difficult thing is to get your first break. Once you have it, its easier to learn on the job. The first year may be a little hard but eventually you should be able to pull it through if you are determined.

  • I would not even recommend getting a certificate etc. to try to get the "foot in the door". Just jump in. – Fattie Apr 25 at 12:30
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I realized I do not want to do a career in academia,

If that's the case, don't waste years of your life getting a PhD.

Regarding your coming career in AI:

  1. It is true that at the very high end it can be advantageous to have a PhD but that sort of "world" only applies to folks who are anyway name authors, technical-media-personality types.

  2. If you merely want to make the odd 2 or 3 105, nobody cares if you have a PhD.

To repeat...

A PhD will not help you get that all-important "foot in the door." To get the "foot in the door" job you just have to jump in, be a badass, and spend time making sure you know how to spin up an instance on AWS.

I had plenty of experience with Python

You're golden, you can get a job as a Programmer, leaning towards the financial/AI field.

I simply clicked "Jobs" above

enter image description here

typed "Python". hit the Enter key on my awesome gaming keyboard and instantly found 4? 5? perfect roles for you. Good luck.

To repeat...

A PhD will not help you get that all-important "foot in the door." To get the "foot in the door" job you just have to jump in, be a badass, and spend time making sure you know how to spin up an instance on AWS.

  • I see. I was finding loads of jobs online where they said they preferred people with PhD, though... Also, you said you clicked "Jobs" above. What do you mean by "above"? Is there any cool job search engine I am not aware of? – Soap Apr 25 at 12:45
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    @Soap (1) On the actual stackoverflow site simply click to their famous "Jobs" listing! That is where most jobs are found. – Fattie Apr 25 at 13:08
  • (2) I can only give you my impression of the market (I've had about, say 8? sundry data science / AI folks on teams last couplee years, some with some without doc's.) it will not help you get that critical first job. – Fattie Apr 25 at 13:09

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