Finding A Career Path After Graduating with Math & Physics Degrees

In summary, the individual is seeking guidance on potential career paths or further academic progression after graduating with a BS in Applied Mathematics and Physics and a minor in computer science. Their interests lie in higher level problems, classical mechanics, differential equations, statistics, and data processing. They are currently taking undergraduate courses in statistics with the intention of pursuing a degree in data science. They also have a interest in being outdoors, but are open to careers that may not involve being outside all the time. They are unsure of what direction to take and are seeking suggestions and advice from others.
  • #1
transmini
81
1
This may be better suited in the academic forum, or possibly not even the normal type of question asked, but I was just judging based on other similar posts.

I just graduated from college this past spring with a BS in Applied Mathematics and a BS in Physics, as well as a minor in computer science. That being said, I'm not entirely sure what I want to do with that and was hoping for some guidance on places to look or suggestions (as far as careers and/or further academic progression in graduate school).

Part of my issue is that, while liking physics and the higher level problems it brings, I haven't really found a field that sounds particularly interesting to me (astrophysics sounds really interesting but its one of the fields I could never really wrap my head around when taking the course(s)). Out of all the courses I took, I would say classical mechanics was actually my most enjoyable. It's similar with math. I'm not terribly interested in proof based mathematics. It's enjoyable when you can actually figure out proofs on your own, but more often than not I was finding myself stuck with no clue where to go. My favorite courses I took through the math department would probably be the set of differential equations courses that I took, as I really enjoyed working with them and the applications they have. Though I have also recently been trying my hand at statistics, as I enjoy working with statistical data. This was actually my favorite part of any of the labs I took (physics or chemistry): working with the data after the labs were over rather than doing the experiments themselves.

This is where I find myself stuck at. I haven't been able to think or find anything that combines the enjoyment from working with differential equations (or similar topics), statistics, data processing. I'm currently still taking courses at the undergraduate level (since I wasn't confident in making a grad school decision at the time) in the statistics field, with the current intent on being going to grad school somewhere for a degree in data science.

So what I am hoping people can help with is mentioning some areas I could look into further that encompass as many of the things I've mentioned as possible (higher level and meaningful problems such as in physics, high math such as differential equations, statistics, meaningful data processing, etc).

And though its an extreme long shot, I also like being outdoors. I'm not asking for something that is outdoors 100% of the time, since I'd probably even get sick of it with inclement weather, but if it all possible, something that gets to go outside every now and again would be great. (I get this probably isn't possible in conjunction with what I've mentioned.)

Thank you to anyone who can help direct me into places to look for more information or fields to look into!
 
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  • #2
Quantum computers ?
 
  • #3
You seem to use how much you liked/enjoyed/were interested in the classwork as an indicator for whether it's something you want to do. Unfortunately, undergraduate classwork is a terrible indicator of how much you will enjoy an actual career in something.

So I think both of us have pretty much no idea what you want to do for a living.

We do know what kind of schoolwork you like to do, so if you go to grad school, I would strongly recommend a good statistics program with studies in computer science and machine/deep learning.

There's a lot of physicists, a good number of engineers and a few data scientists on this board. Myself I've worked both as an actuary and as a technical manager in a data science group. If you have any questions about our experiences we can answer, I'm sure people would be happy to try.

(Also, where are you located?)
 
  • #4
I agree with @Locrian courses or not particularly good gauge for what you should spend your future in. Your indecision about your interests e.g. double major or continuing to take undergraduate courses sort of fishing for some idea shows at least to me that you do not appreciate the value of your courses. The world is full of interesting problems and you education should be seen as a spring board. Ask yourself what can I do with my knowledge. Choose a direction that makes use of your knowledge. You may discover that you really like it. If not at least you know what you do not want to do. In the meantime you are getting along in your life. Sitting around accomplishes nothing Did you consider the possibility that math and physics are not really for you?

transmini said:
I also like being outdoors. I'm not asking for something that is outdoors 100% of the time, since I'd probably even get sick of it with inclement weather,

The world and life are not perfect and some rain will fall in your life literally and figuratively.
 

Related to Finding A Career Path After Graduating with Math & Physics Degrees

1. What types of careers can I pursue with a math and physics degree?

There are many career options available for those with math and physics degrees. Some common industries that hire individuals with these degrees include engineering, finance, data analysis, and research. You can also pursue careers in academia, teaching, or government positions.

2. Are there any specific skills or qualifications that are necessary for these careers?

In addition to strong mathematical and analytical abilities, many employers look for candidates with skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and attention to detail. Depending on the specific career path, you may also need to have experience with programming languages, data analysis software, or specific mathematical concepts.

3. How can I gain experience and build my resume while still in school?

There are many ways to gain experience and enhance your resume while still in school. You can participate in internships, research projects, or volunteer opportunities related to your field of study. Additionally, you can join clubs or organizations that align with your career interests and attend networking events to make connections with professionals in your desired industry.

4. Is it necessary to pursue a graduate degree after obtaining a math and physics undergraduate degree?

While a graduate degree may be beneficial for certain career paths or industries, it is not a requirement for all math and physics careers. In some cases, relevant work experience and professional certifications may be just as valuable as a graduate degree. It is important to research the specific requirements and expectations of your desired career path to determine if a graduate degree is necessary for your goals.

5. How can I stay current and continue learning in my field after graduation?

Continuing education and professional development are crucial for staying current in any field, especially in rapidly evolving fields such as math and physics. You can attend conferences, workshops, and seminars, or pursue certifications and advanced degrees to continue learning and expanding your knowledge and skills. Additionally, staying connected with professional organizations, reading industry publications, and networking with colleagues can also help you stay informed and up-to-date in your field.

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