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Math Math Ph.D., physics masters, don't want to do academia. Suggestions?

  1. Aug 21, 2012 #1
    It seems that being an academic requires you to be able to come up with interesting and unique ideas for attacking interesting problems, and I simply don't think that's a skill I possess. But I'll soon have a math Ph.D. in mathematical physics (and a physics masters' degree) from a large state technical university, and I was wondering...what other options do I have?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2012 #2
    Investment banking
  4. Aug 21, 2012 #3
    Cool. Sounds exciting. Does anyone have any advice for how I should proceed with that? I mean...I don't know a damn thing about finance...
  5. Aug 21, 2012 #4
    You being from a heavily mathematical background would find finance easy. I took one semester of it when I was an Econ major and it was mind numbing. However I believe it gets much more interesting as you become a professional. I would recommend that you take the financial mathematics exams (pretty easy for you because of your background, you'd just need to learn basic finance concepts). http://www.soa.org/education/exam-req/edu-exam-fm-detail.aspx

    After that it's really just a matter of finding a job. From what I've heard there are plenty of people in finance/investments that did science and technical degree programs in college. Although, it might require you to relocate to a financial center like New York or London.
  6. Aug 22, 2012 #5


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    Education Advisor

    To the OP:

    How much programming or software experience do you have? Because one option you could pursue with a math PhD is work in software development, particularly in those areas related to scientific computing/numerical analysis.

    Another option you can consider is pursuing a career in statistics. There is an increasing demand in various different businesses (including pharmaceuticals, marketing firms, insurance, etc.) for someone with skills in statistical analysis or data analytics, and your background in math can put you in good stead for such roles.
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