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Is it wise to major in mathematics if I want to pursue a masters in economics?

  1. Mar 28, 2012 #1
    Let me provide a little background information:

    I've always found math challenging for a number of reasons. It's the only subject that I had a hard time learning on my own. I even developed some kind of "math anxiety" in high school. However, I feel like it would be incredibly liberating to master the subject.

    I'm having a difficult time deciding on a major. I'm interested in investment (work at a holding company of some sort) and I also want to learn how to program in college.

    Here is my current plan:

    B.S Mathematics
    Minor Computer Science

    MS Economics/MBA

    P.S I know for a fact that I want to go back to school and pursue a masters/PhD in physics at some point in my life (I know, a bit overly ambitious).
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2012 #2


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    Yes BS Math -> MS/MA Economics

    I am not sure you can then -> PhD Physics. Probably not.
  4. Mar 28, 2012 #3
    Thanks. Definitely something to think about.
  5. Mar 28, 2012 #4


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    Physics is not only the math. They want to make sure you have taken the proper physics courses.

    Maybe Double major in Math and Physics -> MS/MA Economics -> PhD Physics. However, I think you definitely not clear of anything at all. You don't know what you want to do. I don't see the point of a master's in economics if you want a PhD in Physics. If you want to do physics then do physics, if you want to do Econ then do Econ.

    I think a huge problem these days is that people are asking to study Physics to move to Wall Street careers. I don't think that is wise. How are you going to survive a PhD? A PhD is one of the most important commitments you may make in your life. Realize that NOT EVERYONE that starts a PhD finishes with a PhD. Also, you may STRUGGLE, scratch that, you will STRUGGLE. Is it really worth it?
  6. Mar 28, 2012 #5
    You're probably right. There are very few subjects that I dislike. I lack focus.

    I don't really want to work on Wall Street (I'll probably have to start there). I've always loved physics and I'd like to teach it some day. It's something that I want to do towards the later half of my career. At the moment I want to work in asset management.
  7. Mar 28, 2012 #6
    Realistically you won't be able to move from finance to teaching physics unless you're content teaching at a high school or community college level. People who teach physics at universities have nearly dedicated their entire lives to the subject, making it impossible to walk in and get a job as a professor. You need publications and one hell of a work ethic to get a job as a professor.
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