Jobs/Careers with Bachelors in Math Physics

  • #1
I'm finishing up my bachelors in Mathematical Physics in april, and haven't done much planning beyond that. I was hoping some people here might have some suggestions for what sorts of jobs might be appropriate for someone in my situation? The only thing I know is that I won't be going to grad school (for personal and financial reasons) at the moment. I might go back sometime in the future, when I'm a little more financially established.

All suggestions are welcome.

Also, I've always wanted to open my own business of some sort. How feasible is this with a bachelors degree? Though I have no idea what sort of business it would be.

Answers and Replies

  • #2

I will be going into my 3rd year as an undergraduate student in Applied Math with a concentration in Mathematical Finance and Risk Management at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. I know after my degree I could pursue a Masters but I'd love to get some experience first. Does anyone here have any idea where this may lead as a career? Where and how should I go about getting into the finance sector?

From what I've noticed, many companies are looking for people with experience and their masters degree's. If I can get into a career in finance I was also thinking about going back and getting either my masters in Math or perhaps a Masters in Business Administration. Any guidance would be really appreciated.
  • #3
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Currently, I tutor Calculus. I tutor Calculus I and II.

Surely I can do Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebra and so on, but the demand is low.

I currently have no problem getting 5 hours a week. In fact, I've done 3 hours yesterday and another 3 today, and have 3 hours tomorrow. It's not always like this. Depends on the term, and time of term (midterm friday).

I want to expand my course list. I will be doing Statistics next year (1st year class) so I can tutor that. I will review it during the summer. Term 1 is a hot time for Statistics.

I was also wondering how Physics does for tutoring. Is it good? Busy?
  • #4
I'm a pure math major (finishing up my sophomore year; the only math courses I've taken so far are "pure" ones), and I do want to go to grad school (in the pure math track) and academia after that.

I'm also kind of nervous and doubtful about the prospect. I'm leaning heavily towards it, but I feel like I should also explore other options before committing myself to the ideal of academia.

I'm just wondering what kind of courses/activities I should do in the event that I should eventually go into industry (if I do, it will probably be after grad school, although who knows, I might even give grad school a pass, or go for the applied track in grad school?)

There is also something else on my mind - the possibility of taking fall semester off senior year to expand my math horizons (and for a change of environment) although I'm not sure what form this will/should take. Does anyone have suggestions? Internships in industry; or just math research opportunities at other universities (how would I secure them?!); etc.

Thanks a lot.

P.S. I don't know if this is the best section to get lots of (good) advice, but I certainly hope for it.
P.S. I also posted this in the academic subforum.
  • #5
Hello everyone!
I recently was admitted into a Masters program for Mathematics and I begin next semester full time.

My question is two fold:

First, I'm not sure I want to continue forward for a Ph.D in Mathematics after I finish my Masters degree... My question is this: What kind of jobs are there out there for individuals who have only a Masters degree in Mathematics.

Second, If I decide to pursue this route, I recognize I'd probably have to go more along the lines of applied mathematics. The problem with this is that, as an undergraduate, I didn't take a single physics or computer science course. Any suggestions?
  • #6
Hello everyone,

A few years back I finished M.A. in Biology. Since then I have identified quantitative reasoning as an area of strength and I am currently pursuing B.S. in Computational Mathematics. I work as data analyst (Access, Excel, SQL, VBA, etc.)

I came across many references to Statistics as a field of study for those willing to apply their skills in the industry. My question is: how significant is opportunity potential for those with degree in Computational Mathematics vs Statistics? If you have relevant experience, how different are the day-to-day tasks of people who received training in these areas? What would you recommend to pursue as part of advancing career in data analysis?

Thanks for your input.
  • #7

I am going to be a college freshman this fall. Right now I'm listed as a computer science major but I am going through a lot of thinking as to what kind of major/career I want. I wanted to ask you all how you guys realized a math-related career (computer science, physics, engineering, accounting, actuary, etc) was right for you?

You see, I don't hate math, but I don't love it either. I am taking calc 3 at a CC right now and its not too bad but a lot of times, I have absolutely no idea what the professor is talking about. I am afraid that I'm going to grunt through first and second year core subjects, only to find out that I don't really like the junior/senior coursework.

thank you for the advice
  • #8
Hello, I am currently a physics major just about to start my 4th semester of study. Right now I am finding myself in a dilemma. As far as classes go, last semester I took Calculus II and the 2nd semester of university physics (electricity,circuits,magnetism,optics). I really enjoyed certain aspects of Calc 2, such as more advanced integration and series, but I found myself not enjoying the physics class as much as I enjoyed mechanics.So I hope that doesn't mean I won't enjoy my future physics courses, even though the classes look quite interesting. Right now I can see myself going either one of two ways, continue with my current education, or switch to applied math. I'm quite good in both fields (by no means a prodigy), but I am even better at relating this information to others and interpersonal skills.
My other issue is I want the most marketable degree after graduation. I can see myself pursueing a graduate degree, but I also have a feeling I will want to start paying off some loans and start building a career. From what I understand physics or applied physics I want have an easy time whatsoever at finding a job. Thanks very much for the help.
  • #9
Hey guys,

I did a joint major (physiology/math), which is like a major and a half and therefore not as in-depth as a full major in either subject, with a minor in CS. I'm wrapping up this term and I was hoping to see what working is like before strapping in for a PhD or something in neurophysiology.

I was wondering if people have any thoughts regarding...

1) Will the math and cs stuff be good enough to get interesting employment in something computer-related? I'm obviously not as well-versed as someone who did a full major in math, and the math side of my degree was my weaker point (although my CS and physiol. grades are pretty good). So I wonder if in the eyes of an employer I might be able to fill the spot ordinarily taken by a math/cs person.

2) This is a long shot, but does anyone know if the physiology component is going to be useful to employers? Right now in terms of getting a "relevant" employment the only path I see is trying to edge into what is traditionally taken by cs majors. Does anyone have any tips for using what I have to break into some other field?

I realize these questions might seem general, but figured I'd throw them out there and see what happens. Cheers.
  • #10
Hi everyone. I'm new here, so please forgive me for asking about stuff that everyone may be already too familiar about...
I'm a college freshmen and I can get my math and phy B.S. by the end of sophomore year, with probably an extra summer quarter maybe? In any case, I want to go to phy grad school, so I want to get some research and solid foundation instead of graduating too early. My school offers a B.S/M.S program in math and phy independently, and I was wondering whether I can take both of them to graduate in 3-4 years instead.
On the other hand, I'm concerned whether getting a B.S/M.S will be considered a terminal degree thing and make me less competitive for getting into a good grad school.
Any advice is appreciated. Thanks a lot.
  • #11
I'm a senior in high school, and I'm strongly thinking about obtaining a Computer Science degree. I'm already taking IB Computer Science, have a job doing Android Programming, and see college lectures on the time I have left.

I have seen that Computer Scientist should be proficient in math. I'm not a very big fan of math but sometimes I do like some subjects such as synthetic divison, square roots, and some other topics. I'm currently in Algebra 2 (Failed Geometry my sophomore year). I would like to learn some advance/intermediate or usseful math on my own.

I'm currently learning IB Physics on my own (asking the teachers for worksheets) and take a very very very basic physics class.

So, in conclusion, what should I learn on my own and what resources besides Khan Academy which I already know about and use allot will be usseful.

Pardon my grammar, I'm not a native english speaker.
  • #12
Hi everyone, I am currently a first year college student in my university in australia. I am doing Double major in Physics and Applied Maths.

I'm worrying about my career path for this double major. I looked up on the internet about people with applied maths and/or physics. Many of them invented fascinating things. I can't list them all because there are so many of them.

But I can give at least 3 example:
Seamus Blackley - Physics degree - Inventor of xbox
Dennis Ritchie - Physics and Applied maths degrees - Inventor of C programming language and Unix
Joseph engelberger - physics degree - invented the first industrial robot
(many math graduates invented programming language)

So my question(s) are:
  • List any career paths that are possible with applied math and physics
  • Do you think employer from an electronics company hire me as a physics graduate?
  • Im interested in gaming and stuff, so do you think I can work on building any gaming device/console? and programming games?
  • #13
I am starting my undergraduate studies this autumn in mathematics. I wish to pursue mathematics further and land on an academic position, but since I do realize the fact that these positions are extremely competitive to get, I am considering to become a software engineer. I won't have concerns in getting a job if I choose to rather get a masters degree in computer science, but if I do get a doctorate in mathematics, I won't have the foundation for computer science, (OS, data structures, algorithms, etc) and if I were to take those courses, our school makes me to pay extra tuition that is twice as expensive as a regular course. But I have heard of some people who got a software engineering job with a degree in mathematics and seen job postings that accept a degree in mathematics.

If that is the case, if I have a decade of experience in c++ programming, (since it will take more than 10 years to get a doctorate) but know next to nothing about operating systems, data structures, or algorithms, do I still can get a decent software engineering job?

Or what else should I know?
What skills will behoove me to get a software engineering job?
  • #14

I'm a math and physics double major with a minor in computer science. I'm a junior now (starting in the fall). After graduating, I plan to go to graduate school for math (hopefully UCLA, and then I will take a few physics courses during the first two years of the program as well) when I am done with my undergrad. I would like to follow all the way through and get my Ph.D. Right now, I'm considering studying Analysis.

After that, the idea of working in academia is very appealing, but not right away. Before that, I want to have a job working for some place like Google, or Intel. Some sort of cool engineering job with a big tech company.

I was wondering if going all the way through with a Ph.D. program in pure math would be a bad thing if I want to do this first? Would it ever hurt my chances of getting this sort of job? Are there other things I could do to help my chances?
  • #15
I'm 30 years old and have been taking undergraduate courses in mathematics, part time, for the last couple of years trying to prepare for a higher level degree in math. ( I already have a bachelors degree in Economics from Villanova University and have worked for Merrill Lynch right out of college, then for the last few years in Real Estate development with a family business.) I really love topics in pure math such as combinatorics/graph theory, topology, analysis, etc and I am not enthusiastic about pursuing a degree in applied mathematics.

After this upcoming semester I will be prepared to start my masters degree at Stony Brook University in New York. When friends and family ask me, "Why?" or "What are you going to do with that degree?" I honestly can't answer them. They all assume I'll teach, but I do not want to be a high school teacher. I would love the life of a mathematician like described in Marcus Du Satoy's book "Symmetry", i.e. teaching at the college level, proving theorems and publishing, traveling the world to give lectures and attend conferences.

But I am realistic. I do not think I'm going to be the next great mathematician. I do not intend to pursue a phd. I simply love the subject matter, and have found a masters program is a better suit for me at this stage of life (wedding on the way, want to start a family in a few years, can't take off too much time because of finances).

Of course I've done my research on this, but I would like to reach out to the members and administrators of this forum, which has helped me so much in the past, by asking them, what are the career options for someone with a masters degree in pure math?

One note: I do not want to work in the financial industry again.

If I had to decide my fate now I would imagine it would be to get my degree because that's what I enjoy doing, continue working with my family and try to get a teaching position at a college as an adjunct professor (a professor of mine did that, and she had a masters, not a phd).

Any remarks would be helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
  • #16
Hi, I posted this question for discussion before but without success, so I will try again. I am unsure of the undergrad route to pursue, mostly because of an ever unstable job market, as well as my indecision between engineer or teacher. I am currently an undergrad in mechanical engineering with math minor. Ultimately a teaching job at my local community college would be appealing due to hours, stress level, and good pay. But there is not a guarantee I will get in, or even be good at public speaking/teaching, although I am good at tutoring small groups.

But my current plan at this point, mostly for it's backup reasons, are to get an undergrad in mech. eng. and then pursue a masters in mathematics, with the masters allowing me to teach at college level. I've had some second opinions and thoughts though of just doing a math undergrad and then math masters because it is faster, but I'm not sure if this is best strategy.

I would like some advice regarding which is a better all around life decision, undergrad engineering with math masters, or math undergrad and masters? Thanks for all the help!
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  • #17
This is something which has been on my mind for a while now after considerable exploration (online) of the job market.

I see a lot of postings for various math jobs in industry requiring a masters in applied math. So let's say the focus of my degree was on discrete math and I did my thesis in I don't know graph theory algorithms or something, and then I wanted to get a job in numerical modeling say, which required a masters in applied math. If I've obtained a competitive level knowledge on my own in this area, am I probably good to go given that I've got a masters in applied math?

You might say well if you wanted to do numerical modeling you should have done your degree in numerical modeling, but what I mean is over the course of my career as interests shift and certain prospects open up while others shrink etc. you know what I mean, thanks.
  • #18
Hey guys, I'm a student from Ontario applying for university. I have come to a fork in the road and i need some guidance as to which course would more appropriately suit me. I am 23 years old, and i recently went back to an adult high school and took accelerated courses. I had not previously taken these courses when i was actually in high school, i was simply a troublemaker when i was younger.. ^.^ I started with a math grade 12 college course, and realized i had more potential so i continued forward, and took GR11 and GR12 of the following courses. Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Functions, and advanced functions, and calculus. My mark in physics was only an 84, however my mathematical skill level during this point was very weak, i took gr11 functions and advanced functions and calculus after Physics. So therefore in my mind, my Physics grade was much lower due to this weakness in maths. My grade 12 marks are as follows.

BIO: 86
CHEM: 88
Advanced Functions: 91
( I'm revealing my marks only to show that i believe i have the competency to do the physics or mathematical physics program, i am not proud that i am so late with doing these high school courses, but i am proud that i did do them in the end.)

Leaving my overall at 88%

Here is a program description for Mathematical Physics and the initial courses

Now my fork in the road is a choice between Mathematical Physics, and Physics. I personally love math, but i also love physics. So i figured what better choice of a course could there be for me where more maths is integrated into the physics course.

What i really love is how the math can help you make sense of the physical problem, and it gives a solid proof to look at which you can relate to the physical problem.

So my question is really, will i miss out on a lot of physics if take the mathematical physics program, or would it still cover all of the fields of physics in a way which is more heavily oriented around maths?

Also i am curious, if it is possible to put a difficulty level on each program, which program would be more difficult?

  • #19
I am curious if anyone knows of interesting/less well known sources of funding for an American student to study at Cambridge for a Part III. I am currently a math and physics junior who fell in love with the place on a recent visit and, from what i can tell, the main difficulty people have with going is getting funding.

I have found one place that claims that NSF can fund you (link), does anyone else know about this/can confirm this?

I know of the, the Gates Fellowship, the Marshall Scholarship, and the

Obviously though, all these are fairly to very prestigious, and would love to know of any other options.
  • #20
I'm a student pursuing a mathematics major, but have pretty significant experience with computer science and various technologies. I'm looking to do something this summer which would give me the freedom to do or learn math. One way this can occur is if there is lots of downtime (idleness) on the job. I actually need a salary though. I don't really care about the pay, as long I can take care of necessities ($900 per month?).

What are my options? Do I have any options? The best thing I could come up with is tutoring calculus. The problem here is that it has been a very long time since I have taken the "lower division" sequence. I also thought about doing freelance software related work, but that would probably not be able to provide a consistent income.
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