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Other Applied Math Job Help

  1. Jul 18, 2016 #1
    I've been looking for a while, however I have not had much luck in finding many "Math" jobs. I was wondering what my options would be with a masters in Applied Math, with a Bachelors in Biochemistry?
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  3. Jul 18, 2016 #2


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    You need to be a bit more specific. When you say "math" job, what exactly are you looking to do? How narrow is your search (in terms of type of work and geographical location)? What is your background(education and work experience)? When you say looking, does that mean you are looking but haven't found a job to apply to or applying to jobs but not getting responses?
  4. Jul 18, 2016 #3
    My main problem is that I do not really have an idea of what is out there. As far as type of work goes, I am not picky. I am also open to moving, but I live in the Greater Cincinnati area. I am really trying to figure out what are options that I can work toward being a good candidate for in a year or two. As far as experience goes, I mostly specialized in modeling dynamic systems, with a little bit of work in basic probability, and education in Biochemistry. I also have mostly beginners knowledge of programming, mostly with Python, I have worked with MATLAB and EXCEL VBA a bit as well.
  5. Jul 18, 2016 #4


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    I'm unclear, have you graduated with your Masters yet or will you graduate with it in a year or two?
  6. Jul 18, 2016 #5
    My apologies, yes I have graduated. I am working at a pipe and tube contracting company for the time being.
  7. Jul 18, 2016 #6


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    This is not really a strong suggestion, but could you search for and find a job in Biochemistry, or in any Chemistry, and apply your current mathematical skill to writing computer programs? Much numerical and quantitative work should be necessary in what you could find. You may find many things to computerize.
  8. Jul 18, 2016 #7


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    Gotcha. Well, the issue is that there are a lot of jobs that you could possibly do, but these jobs typically require additional experience than you may have. Here's a short list of math related jobs to help with your search:

    1. Statistician
    2. Data Scientist
    3. Operational Research
    4. Linear Programmer
    5. Quantitive Analysis
    6. Bioinformatics
    7. Logistician
    8. Market Research
    9. You may also find that you can qualify for entry IT jobs.
  9. Jul 18, 2016 #8


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    To the OP:

    Most of the "math" jobs that are currently in the demand fall into one of 3 categories:

    a. jobs involving a significant amount of programming or software development

    b. statistics or data science type of jobs

    c. jobs involving some aspect of economics or finance (including actuarial work -- please note that this category also includes jobs in categories 1 & 2).

    It seems to me that your academic background and experience is lacking in any of categories a-c, hence the difficulty in finding employment. Which means that to be competitive you need to do the following:

    1. Build up your programming skills -- learn languages like C, C++, Python, etc. You can do this either by taking college courses, online courses like Coursera and edX, or through self-teaching. I would also suggest you post whatever code you develop in open source platforms like Github, so that you can demonstrate your skills.

    2. If you are interested in statistics or data science, see if you can take more courses in statistics or machine learning (either through college courses or through places like Coursera and edX, as suggested in advice #1 earlier). You did state that you have a basic understanding of probability, which is good, but you need to build on this. If you are especially considering data science, participate in Kaggle competitions (www.kaggle.com) and build or incorporate your own machine learning/statistics algorithms to problems identified -- again, having something like this out there will help you out. Become familiar with the basic tools used (like SQL, R, SAS, Pig, Hadoop, Mapreduce, etc.). MarneMath can give you more specific suggestions on data science.

    3. Related to #2, since you state you have a BA in biochemistry and a masters in applied math, you would be a prime candidate for biostatistics positions (i.e. the application of statistics in the biomedical field). Consider applying for a second masters in biostatistics.

    4. Network, network, network!!! Attend conferences in your local area, meet and talk to people, set up a LinkedIn profile (if you haven't done so already).
  10. Jul 18, 2016 #9
    Thank you for the advice!

    Do you think a second masters in Biostatistics would actually be necessary to get into that field, or would there be other ways to get into that. I would prefer to not to have to go into more debt due to education.
  11. Jul 18, 2016 #10


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    In the specific case of getting into the biostatistics field, a second masters in statistics or biostatistics is highly recommended if not necessary, because most such positions would usually explicitly state that a minimum of a masters degree is required. Not to mention that most graduate programs in statistics or biostatistics would provide students with direct experience in statistical consulting, working on projects related to the design and analysis of clinical trials or observational studies related to health care.

    Of course, there are many other positions related to statistics which will not specifically involve pursuing a second degree -- in these cases, my other advice that I've provided will be applicable.
  12. Jul 18, 2016 #11
    Here is another question. Would it be a plausible goal to go into Simulation work, and if so, what sort of things should i add? obviously some statistics and programming but what else?
  13. Jul 18, 2016 #12


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    Finding an entry level job and getting some work experience?

    Not sure I agree with continuing school if your focus is to find work. The opportunity costs and dwindling return on investment of another masters seems to make that a poor choice, at least in my opinion. I think your best bet is submit resumes and intern at positions you think you might like and feel qualified for and go from there.
  14. Jul 19, 2016 #13


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    Student100, I'm assuming you are referring to my advice #3 about pursuing a second masters in biostatistics. While in general, I do agree with you that pursuing additional study may not bring much benefit, in the specific case of pursuing a biostatistics career, I disagree with you, for the following reasons:

    1. The biostatistics program covers very specific course material related to the application of statistics in the biomedical realm -- material which the OP does not have, but nonetheless has the overall requisite knowledge to pick up without much difficulty.

    2. Most biostatistics masters programs have a statistical consulting course offered to their students, the goal of which is to offer students practical experience in consulting with clients (typically those from within the medical school) on the design & analysis of clinical trials, observational studies, or other medical studies. This can be counted as practical or work experience.

    3. In nearly all biostatistics positions that are listed on job boards, there is a very specific requirement listed where someone is required to have a minimum of a MS degree in statistics or biostatistics.

    Now keep in mind, this advice only applies to biostatistics positions. If the OP is interested in pursuing a career in say, software development, simulation, or even other (non-medical) statistics or data science positions, I don't see a need to earn a 2nd masters degree -- self-study through Coursera or edX, submitting resumes, internships, etc. (along with my earlier advice on networking) will be his/her best bet.
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