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Best Minor for a Physics Major with these goals

  1. Apr 9, 2015 #1
    So I am majoring in Physics due to its flexibility (and my love of the subject), but I never intended on going into research. I finally think I've decided what I want to do. I either want to go into some sort of economics/finance (a graduate student I knew got an offer from a major bank), or I want to be some sort of analyst (I love analyzing data. At this point the data I analyze is simple stuff). Or a combination of both.

    I only need 2 more courses I think to get a minor in statistics, I am wondering if there is anything else that I should consider minoring in. I thought about a minor in economics/finance, but I read someone else post that undergrad courses in those subjects are worthless, that if I would be better off taking grad level, or teaching myself from books.

    any thoughts? I am scheduled to take computational physics and one of the two statistics courses I need over the summer.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2015 #2
    You tell us, whats your dream job, something that you would like to wake up to every morning? and study for that?
  4. Apr 10, 2015 #3
    I told you what my dream job would be... finance/economics, data analyst, or both.
    is that not specific enough?
  5. Apr 10, 2015 #4
    Analyst would be a cool job for my opinion, if you take computational physics and other statistical studys it would be great because analysts are in high demand which could be a bonus (More money) rather then being in finance and economics cause there is less demand i guess
  6. Apr 10, 2015 #5
    cool. That is what I think too. most people think it is boring work, but I love collecting data from everyday things that I do and analyzing it.

    so is that something I would need a master's for, or is that something I can attempt with a bachelor's degree. I am taking a course called computational physics during the summer. but it is just one course. are there typically other courses, or a progression that I would do to build my skillset in this area. like a "computational physics II". I noticed that the math department at the University of New Orleans, offers a course called Data Analytics. I am sure it will also be valuable. Can you tell me what other names these courses might typically go by that might be useful?
  7. Apr 10, 2015 #6
    analyst can be a fun (if your into it) job with great pay. plus for people with majors in finance banks hire a lot of entry level grads with finance degrees to churn through paperwork. Don't expect much money at all. banks pay poverty wages for the new hires.

    Analysts on the other hand are more in high demand so more cash and if you like the job its perfect. To be honest i dont know alot about the subject but computational physics is a good one
    "Data analysts compile and analyze data contained in a computer database or elsewhere to identify problems and possible solutions. They might also design and build databases to house the information they need, ensure data accuracy and make recommendations to business managers about how to improve efficiency or quality based on their findings. Many work hours might be spent sitting at a desk in front of a computer."
    Common Requirements

    Degree Level
    Bachelor's degree, though some jobs require a master's degree

    Degree Field Information technology, computer science, management information systems or statistics

    I was studying some computer sciences not too long ago and there was some lectures about machine learning and how you can use a sort of artificial intelligence to easily do data analyzing it was pretty cool as the computer could sort information and create visual graphs and databases
  8. Apr 10, 2015 #7
    the way you worded this is confusing me when you say "plus for..."
    I think I understand what you are saying, but correct me if I am wrong. I want to make sure I understand everything you are telling me.

    You are saying that analyst can be a fun job with great pay.

    In Contrast,
    While a finance degree will easily get you a job with a bank, it will most likely be an entry level position where you churn through paperwork making poverty wages.

    so the type of analyst you are speaking of being high demand and paying well is a "Data Analyst", and is a computer science field. I will probably never be very strong in the computer sciences department. I took C++ and Java and I was happy when they were over. I imagined I would be using and mastering software like excel, matlab, etc. is this a field I should not consider unless I know how to program in a real programming language.
  9. Apr 10, 2015 #8
    Yes i did word it wrong you are correct

    Well not necessarily, you wont need to be good at programming as there are other people that can do that side of the job but just basic is fine. Excel and matlab are something that you would need to learn and practically master if you wanted to become a good data analyst.

    But overall i don't have a lot of background knowledge about data analysts and you could research more as i did, because I'm not a great source
    As i said those artificial intelligence are only being tested and could be a help to you in the future, i only recommend researching about data analysts and etc
  10. Apr 10, 2015 #9
    To have success as a data analyst, you should be familiar with Five cores: programming(computer sciences), statistics(your data), machine learning(computer sciences), data crunching(brain), and data visualization (excel etc).
  11. Apr 10, 2015 #10
    I don't like the way you bolded those 3 words. I hope I am not trying your patience :). I will research now that you have given me enough to get started. thanks :)
  12. Apr 10, 2015 #11
    great, but what you what do you mean by "I don't like the way you bolded those 3 words."
  13. Apr 10, 2015 #12
    just something i read
  14. Apr 10, 2015 #13
    I mean it makes me nervous. like I am getting worried. You know how you see rain clouds and you say, "I don't like the look of those clouds". the impending doom. I see those bolded words and I think, this person is getting frustrated with me.
  15. Apr 10, 2015 #14
    hahaha nah, i just like to make things clearer to understand. I'm rarely busy or anything. i have a high tolerance to frustration so its fine
  16. Apr 10, 2015 #15
    What about Data Architect?

    Data architects define how the data will be stored, consumed, integrated and managed by different data entities and IT systems, as well as any applications using or processing that data in some way

    is that considered an analyst? or do the just program the databases and stuff for analysts to use?
  17. Apr 10, 2015 #16
    "The average Data Architect salary is $100,118"

    Well look at data architects and data analysts
    remove the word data now
  18. Apr 10, 2015 #17
    well the more I read the definition, the more I think they just define how data will be stored, consumed, integrated and managed by analysts. :)
  19. Apr 10, 2015 #18
    yeah something like a data manager
  20. Apr 10, 2015 #19
    well that's a good sign. because I found a job posting by Popeye's for a Data Architect and the requirements/duties are just out of my league. lol
  21. Apr 10, 2015 #20


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    With these goals, I think a minor in computer programming/computer science would be very beneficial. It would complement the background in both physics and statistics very nicely. Finance and data analysis requires a great deal of...well...analysis of data. This is a type of task that is made much easier with a solid grounding in programming. A minor in computer science is basically a universally good thing regardless of major though.
  22. Apr 10, 2015 #21
    ugh. I hate programming and computer science.

    An undergraduate majoring in a department other than Computer Science may earn a minor in Computer Science by completing the following computer science courses each with a grade of C or better: Computer Science 1581, 1583, 2120, 2121, 2125, 2450, 3301, and one three-credit 4000-level course selected from an approved list. (It should be noted that Mathematics 2721 is a prerequisite for Computer Science 2125.) A transfer student must complete a minimum of nine credit hours in required computer science courses at UNO, and these must include Computer Science 2125 and a three credit 4000-level course from the approved list.
  23. Apr 10, 2015 #22
    1581 Software Design and Development I Laboratory
    1583 Software Design and Development I

    2120 Software Design and Development II
    2121 Software Design and Development II Laboratory
    2125 Data Structures (requires: MATH 3721 Introduction to Discrete Structures)
    2450 Machine Structure and Assembly Language Programming
    3301 Computer Organization

    of the 4000 level classes offered, these seem most applicable
    Data Models and Database Systems
    Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

    I only have the first two. I am not sure I could finish all of these before I graduate. It could take another 1 or 2 to get these.

    I'm gonna build a flow chart of these courses and figure out what the minimum time it would take to to complete this minor along side my major. : )
    Charts and graphs make me feel good. lol. They give me a sense of security to have the information organized.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  24. Apr 10, 2015 #23
    OK. so I have made a map of the courses left for me to take in order to finish with a minor in computer science and statistics. I have 54 hours to go.
    if I went full-time that would be 4.5 semesters. so 2 years and a semester at half-time.
  25. Apr 10, 2015 #24


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    It sounds like that could be doable, but it's not necessarily worth it to pick up a minor if it means sticking around longer. It may be better to simply take a few selected courses. If you really don't enjoy programming though, there are certainly other options.
  26. Apr 10, 2015 #25
    well it might not be so bad to stick around longer. taking 2 physics classes a semester might be better for me than taking 3. I was thinking I would rather take the biology courses necessary to apply to Physician Assistant school rather than a minor in computer science if I was going to take that much. but at the same time, while I would love to be a Physician Assistant (all the fun of working with patients without the burden of being an M.D.), if I don't get accepted into PA school (or D.O. school if I choose to apply there as well), all of those Bio classes aren't going to do me any good in my employability with the physics degree. of course I could just apply to my school's graduate program and get a Master's in Applied Physics...
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