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Engineering or Applied Math in graduate School

  1. Dec 14, 2008 #1
    Greetings from Ca. brothers and sisters of the scientific ilk. I seek your guidance out of the fog that is the many choices of life. First, the bio: I am a 30 year old math teacher that hates teaching high school. I've decided to go to graduate school to pursue my calling--what ever it is. I am certain it is Applied Mathematics or Engineering.

    I have a degree in mathematics (not mathematics education but proof based math) and think applied math might fit my needs. My needs are to be marketable to one of the domestic intelligence agencies (CIA, NSA, GIA, etc.) and engineering firms (Boeing). I like optimization and think data mining is interesting. My concern is that I will not be desirable to desired employers with a degree in applied math. Looking at the research areas of prospective graduate institutions, I find the material they are studying boring; this might be because they are using math jargon that goes over my head to describe their research topics. Maybe I have not found the right institution. If you can point me to an institution that is doing research coupling applied math and engineering, I would be grateful.

    Civil engineering is tempting. I think I would be happy helping the nation make repairs on its dying bridges. The strikes against engineering are: 1) Since I have no undergraduate degree in engineering, I think I will have to spend 2 years taking foundation courses before I am allowed to start graduate work; this means I would spend atleast 4 years getting masters in civil engineering. 2) I've read since I lack an under-grad. in engineering, I will not be able to get the professional engineering license--isn't this important to employers?

    Are my concerns valid? I guess I want your help finding a program that offers a degree that would give me a skill that would be desired by the Intelligence Directorate of the CIA and the Phantom Works division of Boeing. Respond quickly--the application deadline for a lot of graduate programs is fast approaching. Thank you all.
  2. jcsd
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