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Is a math degree worth it?

  1. Apr 13, 2015 #1
    I am an economics major with a minor in mathematics. I have three semesters left in college, but if I took an additional semester I could complete a double major in econ and math. If completed, I would be interested in pursuing a master's in applied mathematics. My hope is that this will be broad enough to help provide diversity in options. However, I could also be interested in a master's of engineering. Help me, are these good ideas, is the extra semester worth it, I'm looking for a cost benefit analysis. My school is expensive but have no student loans because I am very lucky.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2015 #2


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    Education Advisor

    If something is worth it or not is dependent on your end game. You talk about graduate degrees you may wish to get but you do not mention what careers you want to get into. Perhaps answering that would help us give you a better opinion?
  4. Apr 13, 2015 #3
    That is the thing, I am not positive yet. Preferably lucrative but I'm very open. Generally banking and financial application are among my interests but, if possible, potentially petroleum, electric, or nuclear engineering. I don't know, since I have limited work experience I'm unsure what my working passion would be but I do know I am interested in a good salary.
  5. Apr 14, 2015 #4


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    Gold Member

    I suggest to go after the Math degree too. It will allow you to stand out from the other candidates and may also broaden your possible career options as well as giving you a pathway for graduate studies. One semester of time and debt for a Math degree? That is your question. Only you can make that choice.
  6. Apr 14, 2015 #5
    one semester will be a tiny blip of time 5 years from now. A tiny blip for a double major? go for it.
  7. Apr 14, 2015 #6
    For what it's worth...

    I spent an extra semester in college to finish my second major in math. Four months after graduating I decided to go to grad school in physics, but before this I had been trying my luck applying to jobs. I must say the it was my math degree that got my foot in the door for interviews. I guess my PhD in physics kind of makes my undergrad work irrelevant, but if I'd gone straight to the job market I think my math degree would definitely be worth it. Nowadays at work, I sometimes see people applying to positions in my company with just a math BS, and they are quite good candidates. Your milage may vary, but I think that a math degree is quite valuable.
  8. Apr 16, 2015 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    My sister has a degree in business and math (not sure if that is a dual major, major/minor or what) and is a highly successful financial analyst (CFA).
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