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Double major in physics and math vs physics degree?

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  • Thread starter db30
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  • #1
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Hi,

I'm just 2 semesters short of graduating and I'm currently in specialization in physics program (Bsc). Over the years I have taken more math courses than physics (due to interest) and as a result, I can change my program to double major in physics and math. From employability point of view, should I change my program? because I'll have to put either Physics Bsc or Math and Physics Bsc on my resume and I was wondering which one sounds better due to HR filters? I dont plan on going to grad school as of now, even if I was, it'll have to be in math rather than pure physics. Credits wise, physics specialization has more physics courses and less arts courses and in double major program, there are a bit more room for arts courses.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I should think its the courses you took more the Physics BsC that will influence a company. THe fact that you have a lot of math and physics is good and these should be listed to catch their attention.
 
  • #3
CrysPhys
Education Advisor
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Hi,

I'm just 2 semesters short of graduating and I'm currently in specialization in physics program (Bsc). Over the years I have taken more math courses than physics (due to interest) and as a result, I can change my program to double major in physics and math. From employability point of view, should I change my program? because I'll have to put either Physics Bsc or Math and Physics Bsc on my resume and I was wondering which one sounds better due to HR filters? I dont plan on going to grad school as of now, even if I was, it'll have to be in math rather than pure physics. Credits wise, physics specialization has more physics courses and less arts courses and in double major program, there are a bit more room for arts courses.
<<Emphasis added>>

(a) In most instances these days, initial screening of resumes by HR is done by a computer program rather than by a human. So a lot depends on whether you are interested only in physics-related jobs or are also open to math-related jobs. The job posting typically will list the degrees that are eligible. The computer program screens for the presence of these degrees on your resume. If you want to keep the broadest range of opportunities open, ideally you would want to be able to list "BS Physics" and "BS Math". This would pass selective filters that screen for the presence of "BS Physics" or "BS Math". For example: If the job posting specifies BS Math required, and you have a BS Physics only, you won't get pass an initial filter that screens for the presence of BS Math; so, even though you have a ton of math courses, your resume gets chucked, and you never get the opportunity to persuade a human that you have a strong math background.

If you have a single degree listed as "BS Math and Physics" or "BS Physics and Math", I don't know how the filters would handle that. Do you have a choice of the order on your diploma? That is, I don't know whether the filters search for the strings "BS Math" and "BS Physics", or use a more flexible search syntax. Perhaps someone familiar with details of HR filters will chime in.

(b) Could you clarify some points? (1) By "arts" courses, do you mean subjects such as history and literature (often referred to as humanities), or are math courses listed under arts in your school? (2) It sounds like a double major in physics and math does not satisfy (all the physics requirements of a single physics major) and (all the math requirements of a single math major) combined would? Is that correct? I'm puzzled by how a double major gives you more room for arts courses. I would think you'd be tied up so much with physics and math, you woudn't have time for much else (that is, unless math is counted under arts). Will the double major require extra time (another semester or year) over a single major?
 
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