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Math Mathematician or physicist?

  1. Dec 25, 2009 #1
    mathematician or physicist??

    Well i really love both, but living in a 3rd wolrd country, looks like mathematician have more fields to work, and i readed an article that say that mathematic degree help you a lot(finance to computers), What you say guys?? I dont want to be millionare or have a ferrari, but i would like to have a decent living and have time to family, hobbies etc. i have 8 months to decide.
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  3. Dec 25, 2009 #2


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    Re: mathematician or physicist??

    Pretty much any non-academic job that wants a mathematician will take a physicist.
  4. Dec 25, 2009 #3
    Re: mathematician or physicist??

    correction: Pretty much any non-academic job that wants a physicist will take a mathematician.

    Go with math, you will have many more doors opened for you this way.
  5. Dec 27, 2009 #4
    Re: mathematician or physicist??

    either way; what they utilize from both fields is essentially their problem solving skills
  6. Dec 27, 2009 #5
    Re: mathematician or physicist??

    I would think that mgb_phys is a bit more accurate. If you think about it, non-academia mathematics will probably consist of math that isn't totally specialized for the realm of academia and higher mathematics.. thus, a physicist will probably know this math as much as a mathematician might.

    On the other hand, physics concepts can be very specific to the field of physics - a mathematician (or person studying mathematics) not knowing concepts in physics is not a rare thing at all. But as I said before, people doing physics are knowledgeable in mathematics as much as they are in physics (to a certain extent, and that extent could be the same extent utilized in the non-academic industry)
  7. Dec 27, 2009 #6
    Re: mathematician or physicist??

    Tough question. The way I look at it is that mathematics straddles physics and computers. There is a three-way love affair here. It is true that a mathematician can do both, but the questions is to what extent? First question that I find easier to ask is: calculus? or algebra?

    As we both know, the mathematics involved in physics is primarily calculus based (aside from the higher-end physics, ie tensors, quantum notations, etc). Computer science favours algebra.

    This is a generalization, please keep this in mind. Any good physicist knows that you need to know both to be successful. In this regards, you can see that mathematics will open more doors for you. Keep in mind though that it's not all about money. You have eluded to the fact that you'd like to enjoy other things like family and hobbies. You also need to enjoy doing something.

    Personally I would say mathematics, but you have to consider what branch you'd like to get into. Math is as specialized as physics as well. Personally I have a mathematics degree but I just can't get involved in statistics or finance, I'd have to shoot myself (figuratively speaking).
  8. Dec 27, 2009 #7
    Re: mathematician or physicist??

    If I were you, I would consider an Engineering degree; in developing countries, they open a lot more doors and you still have the opportunity of studying mathematics and physics.
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