1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Messed Up

  1. Oct 12, 2014 #1
    :mad: I can't stand physics anymore, I'll change my major to Mathematics. Anyone knows the careers for Mathematics major?:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2014 #2
    What makes you think Math will be any better? Want to explain your situation a bit more?
     
  4. Oct 12, 2014 #3

    Choppy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    If your primary concern is a career, then it would seem a wiser path to select careers that interest you first, and select your major based on what's most likely to get you there second.
     
  5. Oct 12, 2014 #4
    That's good advice in so far as you interpret it to mean beware of fields for which you will like studying in school, but will not like the jobs for. That's the trap I fell into when I studied math. I liked studying it, but as soon as I got to the stuff they pay you for (research and teaching), I strongly disliked it. That's the scenario you want to avoid. The trouble was that I thought I would like it, and it's not always that simple to figure out that you won't like it until you try it.

    A math major is not a very good choice for someone concerned about their ability to get a job. It is a good choice for someone who is particularly confident in their job-search abilities and/or back-up or follow-up plans. Not many people are looking specifically for a BS in math. There are people who will take it, but in most cases, they are going to want additional skills to go along with it. If you combine it with something else, like following up with a masters in statistics or something, then it gets a bit better.
     
  6. Oct 13, 2014 #5
    Thanks homeomorphic, this is very true and also the reason why I don't like job ads that state they are looking for candidates with "passion or true love for the work", which to me are all lies that are formally metaphorized or expressed to lure young minds. Those companies seem to operate like slave-driven systems instead; 9/10 of them would never pay you overtime work (extra hours of work beside the regular 7-8 hours per day) by blaming it on the *nature* of the work itself. I don't know how much an math mojor can earn in the US but might not be higher than the rate by which an engineer of the same educational level is evaluated.
    I don't know about those who accepted jobs of little pay 1/3 as lower than the market rate self claiming it is for the love of work but I know their sincerity is or should be seriously skeptical to many of us all. Other than that the work may only help earn them extra bits of incomes.
    To the OP, a pure physics major is usually hard for one to find a job but an additional study up into other areas that use math much more such as computational physics, which is to deal with mathematical models in physical systems using computers, would lighten up his career path a little better.
     
  7. Oct 13, 2014 #6
    UUCCO! Before making such abrupt decision do you mind sharing why you cannot stand physics anymore? What level of physics are you taking currently? If you cannot stand it, dig a little deeper to ask yourself what aspect of physics bothers you...1) Is it a class which you do not find intriguing enough? 2) Could be a case of a bad professor. 3) Maybe you haven't been keeping up with homework and classes, hence the difficulty in comprehension, resulting in less than stellar grades. 4) Perhaps your mathematics foundation isn't as strong as what you think it is, showing discrepancies in your physics class.

    Once you find out what is that factor which made you have a disdain for that subject, take the necessary steps to rectify that issue. Also what is it about physics which excited you to major it in the first place?Normally, people won't major in physics or mathematics without a strong liking for that subject. If you plan on majoring in mathematics just from a perspective of career options then you have a tough road ahead of you. The beauty of math is that you can get into any field with a strong mathematical background, but as homeomorphic said, you need to have a plan about what sector would you like to get into and how can you tailor your resume to become a strong candidate for that field.. Good luck.
     
  8. Oct 13, 2014 #7
    Well, I'd be happy just to have a job that's not in the service sector or driving a truck or something. Something at least superficially mathematical. I was a grad student for many years, so if someone pays me 1/3 the market rate, I would feel like I'm rolling in dough. The problem is that most jobs that use any significant math tend to want background knowledge, specifically tailored to their particular, very tiny pigeon hole that they want you to fit into. I know signal processing at a basic level, for example. You'd think maybe I could get a job doing DSP programming or something. But no. You have to already know the software and stuff like that. That's what I'm talking about. Basic specialized knowledge doesn't cut it. More often than not, they basically want you to already know how to do your job, not just know about the general subject matter and be able to learn to do it. There are, of course, exceptions, but this is the tendency out there in the job market. I have more or less abandoned any requirement of using much math and am now looking for a job in software development, but I'm having to retrain myself for that, even with my computer science minor from undergrad.

    I got a PhD, so I was studying to be a professor of topology. You get a trial run of being a professor as a grad student, normally, which is when I found out I didn't like the academic life style or the current research in math.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
  9. Oct 13, 2014 #8
    Job market is too complex today.
    When I was a student I was eager to learn stuff thinking that they would help me in research and later jobs. They do now but not quite enough. Whenever I went out to talk with people in other departments I always enjoyed their attitudes to show off how much they knew about their own fields. Many of them were certainly competitive and aggressive and acted as if others from different areas of expertise were kind of bad invaders. I truly felt sorry for them because I was and am sure in that way they just tried to uglify themselves. I was still too young to think critically about different options I could choose to learn in one way or the other to more or less negate things or make them totally positive. I once wished I could be as knowledgeable as them. But to be like them wasn't my dream. Therefore choosing a subject to major in I think is not easy to me since I change my mind quite often. But at the undergraduate level, I never think it's that much of importance to negate all the outcomes since subjects of natural sciences somewhat have their mainstream ideas related together.
    Also training yourself and experiencing yourself with jobs in companies are two different things. You may train yourself hard but without experience you would only end up being a fresh developer position. And because you weren't majoring in CS, it'd be tough for you to code business applications. Even when you know the software, how to do your job, your competency level is still probably lower compared to those of main CS majors.
    Plus I find that actual knowledge and experience for a job in a business company aren't required too much from candidates. It depends on the jobs and positions.
     
  10. Oct 13, 2014 #9
    I got a couple interviews, months ago, back when I was still getting back into programming, but from those interviews, I learned that I wasn't going to be able to get through a standard programming interview, so I needed to study more. I may be ready to go, now, though. I have an interview tomorrow with a company that's willing to provide some training and wants people with more math/problem-solving ability than your standard CS major. I'm hoping this will be my lucky break, since I've already gotten through a couple interviews, but it's possible I may still have to go back to the drawing board. At any rate, I'm much more prepared for technical interviews, now.
     
  11. Oct 14, 2014 #10
    You may have misunderstood my point about one's specialization in a particular area. Different from those attitudes as I said in my previous post, I love to be acquainted with knowledgeable people. They would always have things or ideas that would complete me. Since I am accepting of life diversity and dynamic adaptable changes incurable as always in human mind, I find study fields to connect previously distinct subjects such as computational biology (math & biology), computational chemistry (math & chemistry), etc are best established protocols to transfer or exchange knowledge between areas for general social and educational development purposes. So even though students graduated from them are minor -majoring in both of the fields, they still have equal chances to get hired for appropriate positions the companies need.
    I used to work in a team of 4 members coding web applications with Rails and a couple of weeks later, the new requirements asked us to retrieve JSON objects sent from the said site to display their data in a more viewable format on another site written in C#/ASP.NET. None of us knew a thing about C# and ASP.NET. But you know it took us only 5 days to finish the whole ASP.NET thingies beautifully. We have only 0.5-2 years of programming experience and seriously we aren't smart at all and are limited still in several aspects especially in decision-making and management.
    I hope your interviewers are older and understandable of how people love to treat others in real life. If you come across some very young managers who immediately negate or deny your talents or skills right after only a few minutes of talk (I ran into them often and was always lost :DD ) even though they actually don't know about you at all, you would still know how to turn it upside down and play back nicely; your answers on this board sound fully decisive, determined and strong; I believe you'll be able to slap them with your fish. I wish you good luck on your coming interviews.
    BTW, I have never meant to do anything with drawing board myself in my own free time, true!
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook