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Programs PhD Title and job opportunities

  1. Feb 10, 2012 #1
    Hey Guys.
    Long time lurker here :P
    I have a question about PhD titles.

    I am a mathematician. I did my undergraduate degree (BSc) in Mathematics and my postgraduate degree (MSc) in Applied Mathematics, i am now looking at doing a PhD. I found an interesting PhD in next generation data-assimilation methods, and am interested in doing it. Originally I wanted to go into applied differential geometry or something on nonlinear waves, but I cant seem to get a place anywhere. This data-assimilation topic does seem cool, so I am not fussed about that instead. The thing I am curious about, I wanted a PhD in Mathematics, but this PhD would be in "Atmosphere, Oceans and Climate". For some reason, this bugs me.

    If I were to go for a post-doc or a job in mathematics (where you need a PhD), would I still be able to apply with that PhD? I am a bit worried. I know it is only a title, and I am probably being a little *****, but I always imagined I would do a PhD in Mathematics. Obviously I shouldn't not do a PhD just because of the title, but if it will stop me going into post-doc in Mathematics, I may think about it.

    Let me know what you think.
    What would you do if you were in the same situation?

    Thanks guys.

    PS, someone told me that lecturers at Universities and researchers tend to have more then one area of interest. Could I research data-assimilation, applied differential geometry, nonlinear waves and quantum mechanics at a later date? (If everything goes to plan that is. I really love the latter three, but the first one (my PhD topic) is brand new to me, but does sound like something I would really like).

    PPS, I have actually been offered the PhD in "AOC", to start in March. I have 6 applications still not back to me which start in October and is fully funded.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2012 #2


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    It might be a problem. It won't be a problem if for sure you will do math research, publish in math journals, and so on.
  4. Feb 11, 2012 #3
    Ah ok. That is a bit annoying lol.
    If I take it and miss out on a better offer, then I will be glum.
    If I don't take it and don't get another offer, I will be extra glum lol.
    I would love to do math research to be honest. I heard a lot of people get a PhD then dislike the subject so move into different areas. I know a few post-docs who do a different topic from their PhD topic. So I suppose it might not be that big an issue.
  5. Feb 11, 2012 #4


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    For example, Ph.D in Economics do math research and at time may become faculty in applied math departments. It does depend on the quality of the math research (and thus publications in top journals).
  6. Feb 12, 2012 #5
    Depends on how many other people are applying. If you have 2 spots and 100 applicants, getting rid of everyone that doesn't have the right credentials is a quick way of narrowing the field. If you have 10 spots and 12 (or even 20) applicants, then it's different.

    Post-docs (at least in physics) tend toward the previous situation. Industry jobs in finance tend toward the latter situation.
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