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Phd jokes scare me. are those really true?

  1. Jan 2, 2012 #1
    As a matter of fact, at this moment, pursuing phd is way far-fetched plan for me since I am a high school student. But those phd jokes really discourage me to go to undergrad in pure math and rather force me to get a degree in like acturial science or engineering. I was planning to study well-rounded, taking courses like fine arts, philosophy, a foreign language, then go to graduate school in pure math and then eventually land on a quant job. But after reading those jokes, I am really disconcerted of my future about getting BSc in pure math.

    Is phd really 'please help desperately'? Can't a phd candidate feed his family unlike a pizza?

    I also have considered going to graduate school in actuairal science or computer science, but in that case I have to compromise with those fine arts courses. :(
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2012 #2
    PhD is hard work like anything worth pursuing, but if you choose something you enjoy you won't be miserable.
  4. Jan 2, 2012 #3
    Also keep in mind that comedian/writer types like to feel sorry for themselves.
  5. Jan 2, 2012 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    I wouldn't worry about this for another couple of years. As my grandmother used to say, "Don't go borrowing trouble".
  6. Jan 2, 2012 #5
    It's too early to think about this. But when in undergrad you should ask questions like how much money you have and how much time you are willing to spend in school.

    I didn't go into physics because I believed it would be hard to pay for myself and my parents aren't rich either.

    If you only want to be a quant in the end, look for more practical paths also.
  7. Jan 2, 2012 #6
    I hear a lot of blonde jokes. You know what? It doesn't make me want to avoid them.
  8. Jan 2, 2012 #7
    By 'undergrad', you specifically mean the junior and senior years of undergrad, right? If not, is it still to early for a high school senior who will be attending at university this fall?

    Well, I did an extensive career research during this winter break. There are so many things I can do with a BSc in math such as MBA, MSc in Operation Research. Also it seems like these business-related masters don't require specific courses, but MSc in electrical engineering or computer science, and acturial science require specfic preresiquite of which I have to give up some philosophy courses I want to take. But with these degrees, job prospects are larger as opposed to MSc in OR or MBA. (as twofish-quant compard job spots for MBAs vs. annual MBA graduates and job spots for quants vs. annual phd graduates.) That's my dillema.

    The best way is to get a phd and get a quant job, get compensated for 5 years of my time during the phd with 250k salary. Of course, I will not do phd for money. If I am so concerned with money, I'd rather get a degree in petroleum engineering. But nobody knows if quant jobs are still in existence in the next 20 years, right? It is too risky to get a phd considering the volatility of the quant jobs. Well, quant jobs are not the only jobs that a math phd can get, but a master's degree is sufficient for the other jobs that a math phd can get, right?

    I am definitly not the Perelman-type. I enjoy and am passionate about math, but I do not want to dedicate my whole lifetime doing math. I want to raise my family, go to a concert, go on a vacation, and such. So phd in math and get a quant job is the most ideal plan for me, but considering the current economy and insecurity of quant jobs, I don't know where to make a compromise.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  9. Jan 2, 2012 #8


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  12. Jan 4, 2012 #11
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