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Math Degree: Where Does it Get You?

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Old
12-13-2012, 10:19 PM
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Kane One
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Math Degree: Where Does it Get You?

I tend to keep switching my college major all the damn time, and since I just recently took pre-cal, I happen to love it. I'm wondering if I happen to switch my major to mathematics, what could I do with that degree?

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12-13-2012, 10:22 PM
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12-13-2012, 10:22 PM
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You could take courses that are a lot harder than pre-calc.

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12-13-2012, 10:26 PM
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I hate to be the guy who says it, but regardless of how much you enjoy pre-calc you better be really, really good at it if you want to major in math.

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12-13-2012, 10:26 PM
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Gibson Les Palms
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Statistician, actuary, financial analyst, teacher, and of course Mathematician

I though I wanted to be a math major too, but it became far too abstract for me. Oh and hard.

edit: If you really like math, do it. It is a very, very respected degree.


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12-13-2012, 10:46 PM
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Kane One
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StringerBell View Post
I hate to be the guy who says it, but regardless of how much you enjoy pre-calc you better be really, really good at it if you want to major in math.
I was always good at math, but this class just showed me how much I love it.

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12-13-2012, 10:58 PM
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njdevscup30
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Pre-calc is not going to give you a good idea of what it's like being a math major.

Having a math degree allows you to do everything but won't be the most desired degree for most.

Are you interested in theoretical (professor) or applied (actuary)?

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12-13-2012, 11:36 PM
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Kane One
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Originally Posted by njdevscup30 View Post
Pre-calc is not going to give you a good idea of what it's like being a math major.

Having a math degree allows you to do everything but won't be the most desired degree for most.

Are you interested in theoretical (professor) or applied (actuary)?
Uh.. is there anything else?

If I had to choose one, I'd say actuary. At least in my current major, I still have to take actual calculus, so maybe that will help me make my mind if I want to switch.

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12-13-2012, 11:41 PM
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Financial engineering for one. You probably want to get through differential calculus with ease before you commit yourself to a degree in mathematics.

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12-13-2012, 11:49 PM
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Gibson Les Palms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneone View Post
Uh.. is there anything else?

If I had to choose one, I'd say actuary. At least in my current major, I still have to take actual calculus, so maybe that will help me make my mind if I want to switch.
Economist, epidemiologist are a couple more.

Also, even if you don't want to do one of those careers, but would rather go into the military or something, having a math major is very useful. I've heard the canadian air force loves people with 'technical' degrees which include math, physics, comp sci etc. Would expect it to be the same in the states too.

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12-13-2012, 11:49 PM
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12-14-2012, 12:02 AM
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Ex-girlfriend got a math degree. Apparently it gets you into a math grad program, and no longer talking to me.

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12-14-2012, 12:31 AM
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If I was really good in math, I'd major in something like computer engineering. You are basically guaranteed a great job right out of college..of course you also have to be interested in computers.

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12-14-2012, 12:34 AM
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You should definitely take a college level calculus course before saying you'd like to major in calc.

What is pre-calc by the way? Is it just learning about what functions are?

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12-14-2012, 12:35 AM
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vBurmi
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Advanced math courses are nothing like what you're doing now. If you like grinding through step after step of algebra, you'll miss that. They're extremely abstract. Read the wiki page on topology and as many related/linked articles as possible. You'll quickly get an idea of what I mean by abstract.

If you want something more practical but still math-centric, try electrical engineering.

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12-14-2012, 12:35 AM
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Or any engineering really^

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12-14-2012, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Finnish your Czech View Post
Or any engineering really^
Truth, I just thought of comp engineering since I have interest in computers but didn't have the math ability to try to major in it. Plus, my buddy graduated from Cornell and got a job with Intel right out of college making $90,000 with a $15,000 signing bonus

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12-14-2012, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by vBurmi View Post
Advanced math courses are nothing like what you're doing now. If you like grinding through step after step of algebra, you'll miss that. They're extremely abstract. Read the wiki page on topology and as many related/linked articles as possible. You'll quickly get an idea of what I mean by abstract.

If you want something more practical but still math-centric, try electrical engineering.
I'm an electrical engineering graduate student. The reason I went into the program was because I liked applied maths and physics. Turns out, there wasn't a lot of either in the undergraduate program. Some of my classmates graduated without really knowing how to solve analytically very, very basic partial derivative equations. On the other hand, I have to admit that my undergraduate school is known to be very applied. I pretty much had to go into graduate school to get my fix of maths, which I did by taking classes outside my department (namely, numerical computation classes from the computer science department). Even then, I look like an oddity in my research group because I'm taking these classes by my own choice...

I think an applied mathematics degree could be interesting for OP, if he doesn't mind a lot of programming. There's a lot of interest in competent numerical "computationists" in many fields (finance, engineering, physics, and so on). Obviously, I don't think applied mathematics undergraduate degrees are too common.

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12-14-2012, 02:01 AM
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Once you start doing calc/proofs/equations with no numbers, math starts to suck imo.

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12-14-2012, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G51 K81 View Post
Once you start doing calc/proofs/equations with no numbers, math starts to suck imo.
I disagree calculus is pretty fun if you enjoy math. It has some cool applications to it.

Proofs on the other hand are extremely abstract from what I know, and it requires someone to have a very strange love of math to enjoy.

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12-14-2012, 02:32 AM
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vBurmi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnish your Czech View Post
Or any engineering really^
Not true. Civil engineering hardly requires any advanced math and I'm sure there are other disciplines with even less. Electrical and Computer are definitely the most mathematically intense engineering programs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faute View Post
I'm an electrical engineering graduate student. The reason I went into the program was because I liked applied maths and physics. Turns out, there wasn't a lot of either in the undergraduate program. Some of my classmates graduated without really knowing how to solve analytically very, very basic partial derivative equations. On the other hand, I have to admit that my undergraduate school is known to be very applied. I pretty much had to go into graduate school to get my fix of maths, which I did by taking classes outside my department (namely, numerical computation classes from the computer science department). Even then, I look like an oddity in my research group because I'm taking these classes by my own choice...

I think an applied mathematics degree could be interesting for OP, if he doesn't mind a lot of programming. There's a lot of interest in competent numerical "computationists" in many fields (finance, engineering, physics, and so on). Obviously, I don't think applied mathematics undergraduate degrees are too common.
I guess it depends on the school since my undergrad in EE required 6 math classes, plus Signal Processing (x2), Control Systems (x2), Communications (x2), Filter Design, and Electromagnetics, the majority of which were basically math classes. So really it depends on the kind of math he likes. If he wants to solve a ton of integrals by hand, that was my undergrad EE in a nutshell. I didn't see anything like topology until the graduate level and even then not enough of it that it could be a motivating factor.

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12-14-2012, 08:10 AM
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I started out in Mechanical Engineering and quickly figured out that it was something I was not interested in. I then changed to Mathematics because it was something that came natural and was interesting.

The school I went to made you select an "area of interest" in addition to your Math degree. This was essentially a minor. I cant remember them all but Actuary, IST, Statistics were a few of them.

The first year and a half to two years weren't too bad but it really begins to challenge you when you get into the theory and proof parts of it. You really have to dedicate yourself when it comes to certain areas like Game Theory and Calc2/Calc3 proofs.

I ended up getting into Reliability Engineering after college and have been doing it for 6 years now and love it. There are a lot of math majors in my field so that could possibly be another option.

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12-14-2012, 08:44 AM
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I have a BSc. in Pure Math, im doing education right now

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12-14-2012, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneone View Post
I tend to keep switching my college major all the damn time, and since I just recently took pre-cal, I happen to love it. I'm wondering if I happen to switch my major to mathematics, what could I do with that degree?
Wall Street.

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12-14-2012, 09:04 AM
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