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Programs BS Applied Math+CS Minor+MFE vs. BS Applied Math+PhD Applied Math

  1. Feb 9, 2012 #1
    I'm still debating my paths of

    1) a B. S. in Applied Mathematics with a minor in something computer related (heavily programming-focused, but I don't think I can take something like software engineering as a minor and I don't think I can handle a double major of mathematics and engineering simultaneously) and a Master's in Financial Engineering

    in comparison to

    2) a B. S. in Applied Mathematics and then going on to a PhD in Applied Mathematics as well, and I'm not sure minors are too relevant when going down this long road.

    If I have any misconceptions, please correct them so I can more feasibly choose my direction (or make it even more difficult), or feel free to add to the list:

    a) Compressing all 3 of my required fields: math, programming, and finance
    b) Getting my foot in the career door more quickly

    a) Limited opportunities (say if I want to perform research on statistical arbitrage algorithms for black-box trading, I don't think I can without the credentials of a PhD)
    b) Possibly lower salary potential

    a) Higher earning potential
    b) The programming/finance related education nor experience isn't there, but having a PhD may tell employers that I have the drive and dedication to learn these subjects rather quickly; plus I'll probably be doing plenty of programming not only in my free time, but as I'm working on my PhD in mathematics as well, and maybe working with computational mathematicians too
    c) Title of Dr. (as lame and vain as this may sound, I think this has a social advantage just by having the title of "Dr." in that you may be able to win over the favor/respect of others)

    a) Takes much longer
    b) No programming/finance education/experience

    I'm unsure of what I want past my education and initial job, but I have vague visions of starting my own company and seeing how far I can go. Again I'm not certain of this yet, but if I do then it'd be nice to have a larger start up capital and I don't know if one of these paths will suit/prepare me better for this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2012 #2
    Both options look somewhat similar, at least, as far as undergraduate study is concerned they do. Why not just focus on doing well on your courses and then make a decision? You can plan all you want beforehand but that's not too useful because it could so happen that when you actually start doing some programming, you end up hating it. Or something like that. More doing, less thinking.
  4. Feb 9, 2012 #3
    I guess it can't hurt declaring a minor either way...I'm just going to do it.

    I already have about 10 years of personal programming experience, but no projects to show for it (I don't want to disclose the stuff I worked on) so once I start legitimate projects later on I think I'd do well.
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