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Question of value B.S. Applied Mathematics to Engineering?

  1. Mar 28, 2013 #1
    Due to personal life issues and limitations, I've been seeking other options for my B.S. and came upon Applied Mathematics. What I've been on the fence about for a while now has been which Engineering degree to pursue be it Material Science, Mechanical, or Aerospace.

    However, it has been brought to my attention that it is better for me, a person who will be well into their 30's by the completion of their first B.S., to go for a M.S. too for better marketability. However, since I can only attend school part time, choosing a B.S. path in Engineering would take farm longer than a B.S. in Applied Mathematics.

    The school I'm attending has a minimum requirement for the Masters of Engineering program for non B.S. of Engineering graduates. The requirements would already be covered by completing my minor during my B.S.

    I've not gotten much in the way of "supportive" feed back from either my currently Calculus Professor nor my Engineering Professor where this path is concerned. So I propose to the people here if they have any pro/con opinions on this specific degree combination?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2013 #2
    I'm not sure how to reply to what you've written here because I get the impression that you're leaving out some important details. Still, I'm compelled to reply since I empathize with your situation since I am also in my 30s getting an engineering degree.

    For what it's worth, one of my professors did his BS in math before going on to do his PhD in TAM. He then worked as a civil engineer for many years before coming to our school to lecture in mechanical engineering and materials science. I suppose he is proof that it is possible to go from math into engineering. Yet, if you want to do engineering then why not just do engineering?

    I'm a student so I've yet to look for a job but I haven't seen anything that suggests ageism in terms of employment. If anything I'd say it's the opposite. I'm constantly being courted for internships and research and I haven't even worked that hard for those sorts of opportunities. People appreciate the maturity and focus that age can bring. Besides, given how long the average life span is now, 30-something is still fairly young. You could go on to work for another 30 years or more. My point is, I'd question the advice that says you must go to grad school for marketability because of your age. Obviously a Master's opens up new opportunities but that's inherent to the degree itself no matter the age of the recipient.

    I feel I should mention that I plan to go to grad school so I'm not saying this to make myself feel better :)
  4. Mar 28, 2013 #3
    I am interested in the answer to this question at the PhD level. Oddly enough, I have found a university mathematics department in the UK which does research into laser-induced nuclear fusion and vortices!, generally subjects in aerospace or nuclear engineering departments. I wonder if a graduate of such a program would have a viable shot at engineering jobs, because of the research experience in a very applied field, or if he/she would be dismissed on the basis of the nominal "mathematician" title.
  5. Mar 31, 2013 #4
    Would probably be dismissed from most engineering roles on the basis of not having an engineering degree. The research performed isn't likely particularly relevant to the vast majority of jobs in said fields.
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