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Math Math MS vs PhD for industry job

  1. Jan 25, 2013 #1
    I'm currently in a Math PhD program (in the US), and I have the option of mastering out soon. I initially thought I might do pure math and go into academia, but have since changed my mind. So now I'm trying to figure out whether I should get the MS or continue on for the PhD.

    My intentions are to get a job in the private sector, to be competitive in the job market, and to have a well-paying job (is 6 figures feasible?). I am quite comfortable writing code, so a job involving programming would be ideal. My school has a lot of people studying applied maths, particularly mathematical biology, physics, and imaging, and I'm pretty sure I could find an adviser in any of those fields.

    So my question is this: Would it behoove me to stop at the Masters, or should I continue to the PhD, if job market competitiveness and paygrade are my primary concerns? If there is other information I should be providing when asking this question, do please ask.

    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2013 #2
    From the previous advice I've seen on here, it is a bad idea to do a PhD for salary advancement.
  4. Jan 25, 2013 #3


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    Education Advisor

    I believe that depends primarily on what field you intend to pursue your PhD in and whether you are already in a PhD program.

    To the OP:

    In a number of fields like applied math or statistics, having a PhD is often seen as an asset in terms of working in industry (many job listings for statisticians often state as their requirement either a PhD or a MS with several extra years of work experience). But pursuing a MS alone is not necessarily a disadvantage either.
  5. Jan 29, 2013 #4
    Thank you both for your responses. It sounds like I could go either PhD or MS and still have good options.
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