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Hey.

First of all let me make a few things clear. Firstly, I didn't know weather to post this question here or in the "Academic Guidance" board since it my issue has elements of both careers and academia involved. Secondly, I understand that you probably get a lot of similar questions to mine on here and I HAVE read few quite a number of similar ones, but I thought that I would like to ask some slightly more specific questions where general answers had been given in the past. I have also read the following article:

http://physicspost.com/articles.php?articleId=205&page=1" [Broken]

Ok so let me explain my situation. I am 16 years old, and I am from the UK. I have just begun my preparation in college for my AS levels and will be continuing to my A levels. For GCSE last year I studied (amongst other things) maths, double award science (triple award was not available at my high school, but double award includes physics) and additional maths, achieving an A*, A and A respectively. I am studying physics, maths, economics and further maths at AS level and next year in my A levels I hope to (it will depend on my grades this year) to continue all 4. I predict this year that I will achieve at least 3 A and 1 B with the B in further maths (A is the highest grade achievable this year). Next year I am aiming for at least 4 A (A* is the highest grade achievable next year) provided I continue all 4 subjects.

I have always had a keen interest in anything maths and physics related, and I often enjoy reading more complex theorems that what we are taught in maths and physics classes, since at the moment I am not finding physics or maths (excluding further maths) challenging enough for me. I enjoy almost all topic in maths but in physics I like the more maths related topics. For example I prefer projectiles to optics or electricity.

Hence this brings me onto my questions. With my interests being maths and physics, I was wondering what jobs I would be best suited to. A few came up:

Engineering

This would somewhat satisfy my need for maths but I feel I would become easily bored in this job since from what I have heard from speaking to engineers who I know, the majority of the calculations are done completely by computers. One guy even said learning all the stuff in additional maths was a waste of time for him as an engineer, that is what I do not want.

Mathematician

I would without dought find this profession fun. However, it does come with some downsides. I understand that a lot of people who leave university with a maths qualification actually do not become a mathematician or maths teacher or the like, but instead become computer programmers or stock brokers or bankers. I can understand why these professions are liked to maths, but if I studied maths I would want to do something maths related. Also, there aren't exactly a huge number of mathematician jobs available here in Northern Ireland so it might mean me traveling abroad.

If I may I would like to stop at this point and ask some questions on this profession if I may, since there is so little information available on this career choice. First of all, would you say I am smart enough? I understand being a mathematician would require a huge amount of effort and smarts to even become one, never mind become a good one, but from what I have told you about myself, do you think I have what it takes? Second of all what sort of salary (in GBP preferably) do they earn? I obviously know that you don't go into this profession just to get rich, but rather you have an interest in it (that I hope I have demonstrated earlier), but I'm curious because it is obviously an important part of any job. Thirdly, what qualifications exactly would I need? Obviously a maths degree in university is a given, but should I continue for a masters and P.hd etc...? Where exactly are mathematicians employed, and by who? Say I leave university with whatever qualifications I needed, where would I go from there? Finally, what exactly do mathematicians do, I mean is it just the creation and testing of mathematical theorems, and doing the odd lecture and going to maths seminars?

Physicist

More specifically a Theoretical Physicist. I have much the same view on this as the job of a mathematician. Again, I feel I would find this profession really interesting. Also, there aren't a lot of theoretical physicist jobs here, so it may mean me traveling abroad.

I have basically the same questions on this as I do on a mathematician, and for more or less the same reasons:

- First of all, would you say I am smart enough?

- What sort of salary (in GBP preferably) do they earn?

- What qualifications exactly would I need? (I think from what I have researched doing applied maths will get you a theoretical physics degree, correct me if I'm wrong)

- Where exactly are theoretical physicists employed, and by who?

- Finally, what exactly do theoretical physicist do, I mean is it just the creation and testing of theorems, and doing the odd lecture and going to physics seminars?

Please excuse me for cutting and pasting but the questions really are the same for a mathematician and physicist. Also excuse the sweeping generalisations here . For example, I know there are a huge number of different types of engineers and so on, but since I don't know specifics yet, let's just simply say engineer.

Also, if you can think of any other profession which you fell I would be suited to, please feel free to suggest it.

It would be much appreciated if you could, since I stated above that I am from the UK, and since I have very little understanding of the education system in the USA or other countries, that if you do know how to answer my questions regarding the academic route that I should take, please make the answers either specific to the UK education system or at least refer to it (For example; in freshman year (that's first year of university) etc...).

If you have made it to the end of this speel of writing the I applaud you for you efforts and thank you for you precious time.

Any information you can give would be much appreciated.

Ryan Mckeown

First of all let me make a few things clear. Firstly, I didn't know weather to post this question here or in the "Academic Guidance" board since it my issue has elements of both careers and academia involved. Secondly, I understand that you probably get a lot of similar questions to mine on here and I HAVE read few quite a number of similar ones, but I thought that I would like to ask some slightly more specific questions where general answers had been given in the past. I have also read the following article:

http://physicspost.com/articles.php?articleId=205&page=1" [Broken]

Ok so let me explain my situation. I am 16 years old, and I am from the UK. I have just begun my preparation in college for my AS levels and will be continuing to my A levels. For GCSE last year I studied (amongst other things) maths, double award science (triple award was not available at my high school, but double award includes physics) and additional maths, achieving an A*, A and A respectively. I am studying physics, maths, economics and further maths at AS level and next year in my A levels I hope to (it will depend on my grades this year) to continue all 4. I predict this year that I will achieve at least 3 A and 1 B with the B in further maths (A is the highest grade achievable this year). Next year I am aiming for at least 4 A (A* is the highest grade achievable next year) provided I continue all 4 subjects.

I have always had a keen interest in anything maths and physics related, and I often enjoy reading more complex theorems that what we are taught in maths and physics classes, since at the moment I am not finding physics or maths (excluding further maths) challenging enough for me. I enjoy almost all topic in maths but in physics I like the more maths related topics. For example I prefer projectiles to optics or electricity.

Hence this brings me onto my questions. With my interests being maths and physics, I was wondering what jobs I would be best suited to. A few came up:

Engineering

This would somewhat satisfy my need for maths but I feel I would become easily bored in this job since from what I have heard from speaking to engineers who I know, the majority of the calculations are done completely by computers. One guy even said learning all the stuff in additional maths was a waste of time for him as an engineer, that is what I do not want.

Mathematician

I would without dought find this profession fun. However, it does come with some downsides. I understand that a lot of people who leave university with a maths qualification actually do not become a mathematician or maths teacher or the like, but instead become computer programmers or stock brokers or bankers. I can understand why these professions are liked to maths, but if I studied maths I would want to do something maths related. Also, there aren't exactly a huge number of mathematician jobs available here in Northern Ireland so it might mean me traveling abroad.

If I may I would like to stop at this point and ask some questions on this profession if I may, since there is so little information available on this career choice. First of all, would you say I am smart enough? I understand being a mathematician would require a huge amount of effort and smarts to even become one, never mind become a good one, but from what I have told you about myself, do you think I have what it takes? Second of all what sort of salary (in GBP preferably) do they earn? I obviously know that you don't go into this profession just to get rich, but rather you have an interest in it (that I hope I have demonstrated earlier), but I'm curious because it is obviously an important part of any job. Thirdly, what qualifications exactly would I need? Obviously a maths degree in university is a given, but should I continue for a masters and P.hd etc...? Where exactly are mathematicians employed, and by who? Say I leave university with whatever qualifications I needed, where would I go from there? Finally, what exactly do mathematicians do, I mean is it just the creation and testing of mathematical theorems, and doing the odd lecture and going to maths seminars?

Physicist

More specifically a Theoretical Physicist. I have much the same view on this as the job of a mathematician. Again, I feel I would find this profession really interesting. Also, there aren't a lot of theoretical physicist jobs here, so it may mean me traveling abroad.

I have basically the same questions on this as I do on a mathematician, and for more or less the same reasons:

- First of all, would you say I am smart enough?

- What sort of salary (in GBP preferably) do they earn?

- What qualifications exactly would I need? (I think from what I have researched doing applied maths will get you a theoretical physics degree, correct me if I'm wrong)

- Where exactly are theoretical physicists employed, and by who?

- Finally, what exactly do theoretical physicist do, I mean is it just the creation and testing of theorems, and doing the odd lecture and going to physics seminars?

Please excuse me for cutting and pasting but the questions really are the same for a mathematician and physicist. Also excuse the sweeping generalisations here . For example, I know there are a huge number of different types of engineers and so on, but since I don't know specifics yet, let's just simply say engineer.

Also, if you can think of any other profession which you fell I would be suited to, please feel free to suggest it.

It would be much appreciated if you could, since I stated above that I am from the UK, and since I have very little understanding of the education system in the USA or other countries, that if you do know how to answer my questions regarding the academic route that I should take, please make the answers either specific to the UK education system or at least refer to it (For example; in freshman year (that's first year of university) etc...).

If you have made it to the end of this speel of writing the I applaud you for you efforts and thank you for you precious time.

Any information you can give would be much appreciated.

Ryan Mckeown

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