Math majors: what are you doing now?

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apeman5291
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Math majors: what are you doing now?

Postby apeman5291 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:44 am UTC

I just started University and am going for a math degree, probably with an emphasis on statistics. I was just wondering if anyone here has a math degree and if so, what are you doing with it right now? If you're currently earning a degree, what do you plan to do?

Here are my personal questions: I'm going to a school known in the US for its engineering program. What benefits would I gain/forfeit if I switched into that? If I were to switch, would there be a time beyond which it wouldn't be worth it?

Anyway, feel free to discuss the math programs at universities you're familiar with, or post questions of your own if you're thinking about going into math. There's a slight chance I can answer some, too. :D
What you don't understand, you can make mean anything.

achan1058
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Re: Math majors: what are you doing now?

Postby achan1058 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:53 am UTC

I am doing a graduate degree in mathematics right now, though in theory I can switch to doing a programming job whenever I want. (I have good programming and contest experience to back me up on that.)

MidsizeBlowfish
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Re: Math majors: what are you doing now?

Postby MidsizeBlowfish » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:43 am UTC

I went on to math grad school.

Fuzzypickles
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Re: Math majors: what are you doing now?

Postby Fuzzypickles » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:47 pm UTC

I'm somewhat on the opposite side of the fence. I'm currently a Chemical Engineer and considering a switch into a double major of Chem/Math. I'm fairly sure an engineering degree is going to fetch you more money than anything math will provide for you, but it's really a question if you're the type of person that will be content with an engineering job. *shrug*

Ended
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Re: Math majors: what are you doing now?

Postby Ended » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:22 pm UTC

I'm just about to start a PhD in computational physics.

My two cents: if you want to make money with a maths degree, learn how to program. Virtually every technical field has a demand for computer-literate mathematicians. (It has also traditionally been the case that bright computer-literate mathematicians could demand vast sums of money working in finance, but of course this type of career has suffered of late.)
Generally I try to make myself do things I instinctively avoid, in case they are awesome.
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Ieatsoap6
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Re: Math majors: what are you doing now?

Postby Ieatsoap6 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:59 pm UTC

I'm currently in my third year of my undergrad math degree. After I'm done I will almost certainly be going to grad school for astronomy.

On how late is too late to switch, the sophomore/junior year split is a good time to have figured out what degree you're going to pursue. Of course, it's better to lose some credits and have to stay another year doing something you find rewarding than just finish out something less desirable.

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galuf
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Re: Math majors: what are you doing now?

Postby galuf » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:49 pm UTC

I'll start this monday my undergraduate program...on applied maths, I'm not sure about how it works in the USA, but in Mexico some schools tend to split pure maths from applied maths, pure mathematicians tend to study forever and get all degrees and then teach or do some research, however, it doesn't pay that much. That's what makes a lot of people think mathematicians are poor, but I think otherwise with applied mathematicians, since there aren't that many around, almost no one wants to study that, specially in Mexico where most of the people think about being bosses and study business careers and end up managing some walmart floor...yeah, back to maths, I've heard they make a decent income (at least for simple undergraduate students right out of school in Mexico) and most of the times better than the usual for other careers, and there is a good demand and low offer so it's unlikely that they don't get any jobs...however I don't know how it goes in your country, but I think the companies there might also prefer applied mathematicians with some little degree on finances than economists, but I'm not sure about insurance companies since actuaries are almost mathematicians...

There are many options for mathematicians and you still have some time, I wouldn't choose to an engineering program for the money, I think you get by just as well as long as you are specialized in something to apply your maths...I'm going to wait because I still don't know what part of maths I'll choose and what graduate degree I'd like to do...it's too early to really know it.

achan1058
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Re: Math majors: what are you doing now?

Postby achan1058 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:49 pm UTC

Applied math is sell-out of what real math is, real mathematicians needs to be locked up in the Ivory Tower being poor all life. That being said, what you said is similar to what I heard too. There are lots of modelling that needs to be done in business, science, logistics, etc.

Quenouille
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Re: Math majors: what are you doing now?

Postby Quenouille » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:43 am UTC

achan1058 wrote:There are lots of modelling that needs to be done in business, science, logistics, etc.


Can you get any sort of modelling job in science with a Baccalaureate or do you usually need at least an MS? Not that I don't plan to stick with academia, but it's good to know your other options.

ultrafilter
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Re: Math majors: what are you doing now?

Postby ultrafilter » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:55 am UTC

After programming for a while, I went back to school for a master's in computer science. Along the way, I found some interesting stuff to do, and now I'm working on a PhD in statistics.

Quenouille wrote:Can you get any sort of modelling job in science with a Baccalaureate or do you usually need at least an MS? Not that I don't plan to stick with academia, but it's good to know your other options.


It's not impossible to break into modeling with just the bachelor's, but you'll be competing with people who do have a graduate degree. You should definitely consider the master's.


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