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Is Math Grad School Right for Me?

  1. Apr 2, 2013 #1
    I can't decide if I want to pursue a PhD in math or not.

    I like the idea because it would let me keep studying math (interesting), and the challenge would help show me what I am capable of (intellectual potential).

    But I can't help but wonder if I would be happier if I changed my major to engineering and get a 70k job at age 23 with weekends off?

    Any advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2013 #2


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    I'm not really sure what you want people to tell you. We don't have any idea if you will be happier doing a PhD in Math or working as an engineer.
  4. Apr 9, 2013 #3
    Personally, I will be opting for the PhD path because the marginal benefit of working for a PhD out weighs the marginal benefit of working as an actuary. You need to decide what you want and go for it.
  5. Apr 9, 2013 #4


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    I myself found grad school to be so difficult and tiring that I would not have lasted through it without a real love for the subject that made thinking about the material enjoyable. Even so, I hardly smiled or laughed until it was over.

    I sort of question whether your attitude would carry you through this process. There is something to be said for making more money. but not all engineers I know do so. Engineers suffer from a challenge that pure math types do not, i.e. their stuff has to actually work.

    I second the idea that you will probably be better off doing whatever you enjoy more and find more interesting.
  6. Apr 9, 2013 #5
    Can you expound?
  7. Apr 9, 2013 #6
    As mathwonk has already stated, you should just do what you find interests you more.

    I have passed the P, FM and MFE exams but I only plan on becoming an actuary if something goes horribly wrong and I cannot go to graduate school. I love math more than the money I can make as an actuary and so, as long as I have the choice I will choose going to graduate school over going into industry after getting my bachelors.
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