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Not sure if I should go with a mathematics major

  1. Jun 2, 2013 #1
    Hi, everyone!

    Well, I'm currently a math major at university, planning on going BS -> MS -> PhD, and then being a professor. The problem is, I'm not sure if this is a good career path.

    Can anyone give me some insight or advice into this? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2013 #2
    Becoming a professor is really difficult. It is very competitive, and many talented people don't end up making it. This isn't supposed to discourage you. If you want to be a professor, then go for it. But you should absolutely have a plan B. This could consist out of taking other applicable courses in your undergrad. For example, taking a few programming courses is very beneficial.
  4. Jun 2, 2013 #3
    Yep, plan B type things are part of why I posted this.

    I did take a CS class in the spring, and I may take another next spring. I'm just going into my sophomore year, so I've got plenty of time. I'm also considering a double major with physics or possibly with accounting/finance (to be more financially feasible and have a more lucrative career). Can anyone advise about that?
  5. Jun 2, 2013 #4
    At my school the math majors choose from 4 different tracks, general math, applied math, math education, and then risk assessment and finance. I would personally go with applied mathematics and a computer science double major or applied math and finance. It's probably going to be very difficult to find a job with just a math degree
  6. Jun 3, 2013 #5
    Yeah, I was thinking about applied mathematics as well.

    What do you guys think about applied math/finance? And thanks for replying!
  7. Jun 3, 2013 #6
    Applied Math and finance is a great option. One option you have is an actuary (which is my plan B), it has great pay and good job prospects.

    An actuary requires good math skills, especially in probability and statistics, and a basic understanding of micro and macro economics. There are official "actuary tests" that you can take to certify yourself, and corporations take those tests seriously. You can get more info from google if you're interested.
  8. Jun 3, 2013 #7
    Alright, thanks.
  9. Jun 24, 2013 #8
    Well to start,
    I don't think we really know enough about you to tell you what the best option is. Do you really enjoy the work in math you are doing? are you passionate about it? Do you enjoy it?
    If yes to all, then I think you should absolutely pursue further studies. You wouldn't want to kick yourself later for not giving it a shot.

    That being said, as mentioned above, sometimes things don't work out and it is often beneficial to have a plan B. It couldn't hurt to look at alternatives.
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