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Jobs for math majors tha do not require (much) computer work

  • Math
  • Thread starter ghelman
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I am currently a sophomore engineering major thinking of switching to a math major. Math is my favorite subject, and I would like nothing more than to switch majors. However, I am a hesitant to switch because of the nature of most math careers that I know of. It seems like most math majors end up spending most of their time writing algorithms or programming on computers. I was born with carpal tunnel syndrome, so I am very worried that switching to a math major would put me on a dead end track to a painful career. I am willing to put up with it a little bit to do something I love, but anything requiring beyond 3-4 hours a day of computer work would probably be too much. Can anyone make any suggestions to careers in mathematics that would not require too much computer work besides being a professor (I wish I was smart enough to do that!). Thanks for the help.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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You pretty much said it. The only way to avoid computers is to become a research mathematician preferably in pure math (because applied mathematicians still use computer a lot. Other than that any non-research job will probably require programming. At the very least all industry related jobs require computer modeling and simulation. But why on earth do you think you have to be "smart enough" to become a professor? maybe you have to be smart to win a Fields Medal but anyone with enough dedication and hard working can become a professor.
 
  • #3
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It was always my understanding that math professor positions are extremely competitive, and that there were many more phds looking for these jobs than there are positions. I would not be that confident in my ability to get a position if that were true. Are math professor jobs not as competitive as I make them out to be?
 
  • #4
1,086
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I wouldn't say they're not competitive, our university was looking for a couple of new Maths professors, and ours told us they received around 300 applications for a spot (or two, I can't quite remember exactly).
 
  • #5
chiro
Science Advisor
4,790
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I am currently a sophomore engineering major thinking of switching to a math major. Math is my favorite subject, and I would like nothing more than to switch majors. However, I am a hesitant to switch because of the nature of most math careers that I know of. It seems like most math majors end up spending most of their time writing algorithms or programming on computers. I was born with carpal tunnel syndrome, so I am very worried that switching to a math major would put me on a dead end track to a painful career. I am willing to put up with it a little bit to do something I love, but anything requiring beyond 3-4 hours a day of computer work would probably be too much. Can anyone make any suggestions to careers in mathematics that would not require too much computer work besides being a professor (I wish I was smart enough to do that!). Thanks for the help.
Dude even pure mathematicians have to write up their papers in TeX!

I think you'd find it hard for any kind of profession that works in an office to avoid computer work!
 
  • #6
Unless mathematics just comes naturally to you, I would imagine you have to put in a fair share of effort in your math courses. Why not just learn the programming too? They say if you can study math successfully, you can study anything. I'm a math major, and I will be taking programming classes, not because I necessarily want to, but because I DON'T want to be a math teacher. I'm not sure what I want to do, but I'm not interested in dealing with apathetic students that hate my existence because I'm making them learn math LOL.
 
  • #7
1,654
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Unless mathematics just comes naturally to you, I would imagine you have to put in a fair share of effort in your math courses. Why not just learn the programming too? They say if you can study math successfully, you can study anything. I'm a math major, and I will be taking programming classes, not because I necessarily want to, but because I DON'T want to be a math teacher. I'm not sure what I want to do, but I'm not interested in dealing with apathetic students that hate my existence because I'm making them learn math LOL.
I'm in the same boat as you. I don't want to learn programming but realize I'll probably have to learn some kind. I also don't want to be a teacher. lol.
 

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