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Masters degree, Pure Math

  1. Aug 20, 2012 #1
    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.
  2. jcsd
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