Money vs. Studying something I want

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galuf
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Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby galuf » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:33 pm UTC

Hi, here's the thing, I applied to the best economics school in my country last year, and I had to do a course there a month before starting the serious stuff (to level the new students), and I noticed I was lacking the abilities I needed and that I couldn't live alone, mostly, I wasn't ready and decided to take a year off and prepare.

So the year has passed, I got a diplomma in some school, a math diplomma, and now that I'm back in the course I could get to see things clearly (I couldn't do that last year) and I just sort of noticed right from the beginning that I wasn't in my place, that Economics isn't what I really love, it's just something I can study and pays very well, and basically I chose to study economics from the beginning because of that, because I could get rich if I tried my hardest...By the way, you have to pay some money at that school and the only way I could get there was with scholarships, which I got...

So I've been going through this over a week or so and realized all the wrong ways I took such decisions, and started questioning myself, as in what do I really want? And given the stuff that happened during this year, I could finally let my mind rest from all the crap I saw in school, and just revised maths from the start to what I needed and somewhat further, and I fell in love with maths, I won't say I'm a genius, but I do notice the difference in the skill with the people from the diplomma and the people from the course in the economics school. So now I'm planning on going back home to study Applied Mathematics; I know it's not that well-played for everyone, but I also realized I've been greedy all these years, and now I keep wondering what's best, to make money with regrets, or to study something for myself, so I can enjoy it, and with effort get a decent salary later on, it's not like there are sucky jobs for this career.

I think this is a good place to post this, and ask people for some advice, I've gotten a lot already, and my parents support me, but some people think it's kind of rushed and it could be wrong (I know it seems that way), and maybe this is a normal issue among students so if you'd like to, give some advice, thanks.

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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:43 pm UTC

Studies show that people are happier with more money, up to a point. Once you have the funds to keep yourself and your family alive and comfortable, every dollar counts for less. Fact is, people are happy because they enjoy life, not because they spend their time doing something they hate but have a bigger number on the bank's database.
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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby vector » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:11 am UTC

There's also the question of increased productivity due to doing something one enjoys. You might actually be able to get more money with your math major than you would with your economics major, due to this phenomenon. Of course, that only works up to a point, so be careful if you put a high value on money.
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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby Tyrankh » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:04 am UTC

Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.
-David Frost



Hope it helps.

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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby achan1058 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:19 am UTC

Math major doesn't mean you are going broke...... No Such Agency hires mathematicians, and I am quite sure they pay well.

Also, if you have some programming background, you can probably pass for a programmer in some software company.

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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby Tofer » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:39 am UTC

I started out at university feeling the same way. I switched out of Finance/Accounting because I didn't think I could ever be properly motivated by money.

Three years later, I feel much different. I've realized that having money is quite wonderful, as it allows you to enjoy so many of the nicer things in life (vacations, sporting events, cars, condos). It makes raising a family much easier and less stressful and also gives you more freedom to live wherever you want in the world.

I'm not telling you to reconsider; I'm merely suggesting that you might feel differently one day.

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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby Quenouille » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:23 am UTC

Well, first things first: can you double-major, or take econ as a minor? Is there a mathematical finance degree? Is econ something you like (regardless of the money), or that you just couldn't see yourself doing ever were it not for the paycheck?

I can't provide sources, but I think applied mathematicians still have a good shot at working in economics-related jobs.

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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby Ulc » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:17 am UTC

Tofer: yes, money allows you to do a lot of very nice things. However, no amount of money (and believe me, no matter the field it's gonna takes quite a few years to earn enough that you can do whatever you want) allows you to wake up in the morning and think "hey, im going to work today, pretty cool"

Personally, im think that the fact that I will be working (when im done with my masters in two years) fo the next 30-40 years, around 300 days per year.. Hving a job I dont feel excited* about makes me shudder. If we look at life from a viewpoint of "maximising happiness" Im pretty sure that no amount of money can make up for having a job that you every morning wakes up thinking "Shit, I suppose I have to go work... not again :("



* I am well aware that all jobs WILL have bad parts, sometimes there is just gonna be days that you dont enjoy, but even getting to enjoy *some* of it is a big step up
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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby galuf » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:10 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Studies show that people are happier with more money, up to a point. Once you have the funds to keep yourself and your family alive and comfortable, every dollar counts for less. Fact is, people are happy because they enjoy life, not because they spend their time doing something they hate but have a bigger number on the bank's database.

vector wrote:There's also the question of increased productivity due to doing something one enjoys. You might actually be able to get more money with your math major than you would with your economics major, due to this phenomenon. Of course, that only works up to a point, so be careful if you put a high value on money.

Tyrankh wrote:Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.
-David Frost
Hope it helps.

Thanks, I'm glad I'm not alone on these ideas...and yes, I think I used to put a really high value on money, well it does, but it was too high, a higher value than my happiness I guess.

achan1058 wrote:Math major doesn't mean you are going broke...... No Such Agency hires mathematicians, and I am quite sure they pay well.

Also, if you have some programming background, you can probably pass for a programmer in some software company.

I don't have programming skills but I'll probably get to learn them in my career, in case I get interested I might develope them; and yes, I doubt there are no good payments for mathematicians, it's not like an easy job, the only problem is computers are the competition sometimes...

Tofer wrote:I started out at university feeling the same way. I switched out of Finance/Accounting because I didn't think I could ever be properly motivated by money.

Three years later, I feel much different. I've realized that having money is quite wonderful, as it allows you to enjoy so many of the nicer things in life (vacations, sporting events, cars, condos). It makes raising a family much easier and less stressful and also gives you more freedom to live wherever you want in the world.

I'm not telling you to reconsider; I'm merely suggesting that you might feel differently one day.

I know this can happen, but I think that as long as I'm doing something I enjoy I wouldn't give up on improving it, and I do want to have a family, so I'd make sure I make a good living from it, but I think the priority now is doing what I enjoy the most, I think even that affects your children...they shouldn't have an example of someone doing something unenjoyable for a lot of years. It'd be a good lesson for them, to do what they want and make the most of it, instead of looking out for the best ways to make easy cash.

Quenouille wrote:Well, first things first: can you double-major, or take econ as a minor? Is there a mathematical finance degree? Is econ something you like (regardless of the money), or that you just couldn't see yourself doing ever were it not for the paycheck?

I can't provide sources, but I think applied mathematicians still have a good shot at working in economics-related jobs.

Well, I'm 19, and yes there are good programmes for both as majors, I live in Mexico, and I guess what you would call a minor is the first thing we study here, the 'undergraduate' programme. I do like econ but not enough, I guess I'd have to wait to plan it, once i'm studying applied mathematics I think I'll get a good idea of all the possible roads and I'll know what I like the most. I think I'll be more sure about doing a PhD (is that what you call major? if not then I'm confused and probably my Major would be the 'undergraduate programme' (maths) and I think there are no Minors) after the first years, or maybe a master.

Ulc wrote:I can't provide sources, but I think applied mathematicians still have a good shot at working in economics-related jobs.

I agree.

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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:17 am UTC

A major is your area of focus in undergraduate. As a math major, your first four years of college would consist of mostly math.

A minor is a sub-focus, which is a group of classes that would be part of another major. You take enough of these and get a minor, which is not a major but shows that you have some education in the area.
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galuf
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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby galuf » Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:26 am UTC

Then I guess I could do a minor on econ, but I'm not sure about that, I could prefer other stuff, what are usually the options? It works differently in Mexico, I think the options where I'll study are financial areas, physics, programming, stadistics, and probably others I'm missing here. I might go for the financial stuff, but I wouldn't say it's safe, maybe I could fall in love with physics again like when I was young, although it's unlikely. Some info on this would help me a lot, I still have to put a lot of thought into this, I'm sure I want to study this, but I do want to know all the possibilities for specialization (sp?).

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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby Ulc » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:47 am UTC

Wile the system fo college is fairly different here (first three years is you bachelor degree, next two years your masters degree, then a phd of three years), some things never change

Keep in mind that mathematics are the basis of all the natural sciences and computer science, taking a major in applied mathematics with a minor in any of the natural sciences is highly relevant.

But honestly, don't plan too much. Throughout college the subjects changes greatly, before starting on college all I knew was that I liked both biology and chemistry, so biochemistry seemed an obvious choice.. now? I'm working with biophysics. My point is, get a rough plan and then modify it as you go along, you're bound to find ome subjects that you thought you knew what was to be hugely different, and some subjects you thought you hated to be very interesting.
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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby fenrir_darkwolf » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:04 pm UTC

I decided the do what you love approach. I was considering computer science before (although everyone thought I should go engineering) as a good in between of what I want and a pay cheque.. but I ended up going into applied math and physics, and face it, applied math is just plain cool :D.
"You're gonna have to learn everything anyway, so which is first is not essential."
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Re: Money vs. Studying something I want

Postby Zamfir » Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:35 am UTC

Galuf, what is it about money that you are attracted to? Security, status, luxury, something else? Those are all good reasons, but they are not the same. Status especially is tricky. Driving an expensive car is a nice way to show success to people you do not know, but you hardly care about those people, and if the people you do know know that you bought that car by doing work you dislike, it won't give you a lot of succesful feeling at all.

Luxury is always nice, but it is very, very easy to get used to. After being 'rich' for a few years, you just take things for granted and they don't feel luxurious at all anymore. Plus, it is easy to feel you need luxuries to compensate for some part of your job you don't like (this true even when you do like a lot of your work).

Security is important, but the fields with the most secure incomes are not necessarily the best paying ones.


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