What are the challenges faced by disillusioned math majors in finding a job?

In summary: I am looking for-feel like I do not have the right skills-have looked into online courses but they are very expensive and I do not know if it is worth it-I am open to learning new things but I also do not want to spend a lot of money on something I am not sure will help meIn summary, the author has a mathematics degree from a top-ranked university, but has been unsuccessful in finding a job in the field. He has applied to a variety of positions, but has not had any success. He has given up on finding a job and is considering doing a PhD in parallel computing.
  • #106
You can still look for jobs/internships while you're at it. I noticed that physics majors like to help each other out. This is likely true for math majors. I was interviewed today by someone who also had a physics degree. I suspect that a significant factor for the existence of that interview was because we both happen to have physics degrees. Something to think about. Lots of ways to network virtually. I recommend reaching out to as many people as you can. No one wants to hear this, but one method of doing that is via mass resume spamming.

In my experience, professors weren't super helpful to me in the job hunt, but they will help you find an internship, and they will help you find funding for your grad studies. Generally, PhD students are first in line for grad funding via scholarships, TAships and RAships. I happened to have a good relationship with two department heads, so I was able to receive funding for my masters. If I wanted a TAship, I could get one. RA funding is a little more tricky, but doable if you can make yourself useful for some research project.
 
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  • #107
I am from Ireland and I am currently waiting on my Leaving Cert results (exam results that are used by colleges when making offers to prospective students). I want to study mathematics. Today I decided to take a look at the modules that the college offers (the college I am hoping to be accepted to) and I basically chose all the ones I would want to study during the the first four years as an undergraduate. However, I just need a second opinion (or multiple) from people such as yourselves who have experience in the field of mathematics as I am keen to know what modules would best aid me in finding a lucrative career i.e. highly desirable skills that would be of benefit in today's world and that are sought after by governments and other institutions. I have a list of all the modules and I have no problem making them available here. I am thinking about getting a PhD in either Mathematics or Physics but that is so far down the road so I just want to focus on the undergraduate aspect of college for now. Any help from an accredited user will be appreciated,

thanks.
 
  • #108
NikolaTesla_69 said:
I am from Ireland and I am currently waiting on my Leaving Cert results (exam results that are used by colleges when making offers to prospective students). I want to study mathematics. Today I decided to take a look at the modules that the college offers (the college I am hoping to be accepted to) and I basically chose all the ones I would want to study during the the first four years as an undergraduate. However, I just need a second opinion (or multiple) from people such as yourselves who have experience in the field of mathematics as I am keen to know what modules would best aid me in finding a lucrative career i.e. highly desirable skills that would be of benefit in today's world and that are sought after by governments and other institutions. I have a list of all the modules and I have no problem making them available here. I am thinking about getting a PhD in either Mathematics or Physics but that is so far down the road so I just want to focus on the undergraduate aspect of college for now. Any help from an accredited user will be appreciated,

thanks.
If you want your personal scenario addressed, I highly recommend that you launch a separate thread. Tacking your scenario onto the end of an existing extra...ordinarily convoluted thread with 107 posts isn't probably going to get you the appropriate attention.
 
  • #109
CrysPhys said:
If you want your personal scenario addressed, I highly recommend that you launch a separate thread. Tacking your scenario onto the end of an existing extra...ordinarily convoluted thread with 107 posts isn't probably going to get you the appropriate attention.
I did that right after I posted this
 
  • #110
I thought I would make an update.
I started my MS Industrial Degree. I been having mixed feelings. I am about halfway through but I been working full time and working on this degree part time. Recently I got a full time paid industrial engineer internship.

But now I am having mixed thoughts. As I mentioned I have 2 other degrees and it took me 2018-2021 to get this industrial engineer internship and I do not think they will give me a job offer.

I feel kind of sad because after this intern I will have to return to crappy jobs. And the college I go to charges higher tuition for online classes like 3600 compared to in person 2000 dollars. Working for 15 an hour at crappy jobs it takes a lot of effort to earn $3600.

I do know what to do its been 3 years since I graduated I done about close to half another master and I got so little to show for it and I am in my late 20s now.

I do not if college is even worth it, I got 6 more classes to graduate so that is 6*3600 almost 24000 dollar for online classes and I cannot do in person because my parents want me to work to pay the bills around the house and If I have to go in person it is tough to do a work schedule.

I really feel I made a huge mistake majoring in math and not doing engineering or comp sci.
 
  • #111
I do not know what to do even I feel like sure I could take out 30,000 of student loans to finish the degree but then there is no chance of anyone hiring you. Everyone want 5+ of experience and no all sort of skills that you need an iq of 120 to learn that is why I am so skeptical about college. I have like 2 and 1/2 college degrees and next year I will probably have to work in nothing related to my degrees. There no entry level math job or stat job you either have a 120 iq and tons of skills in programming or you are doomed in this society. And silicon vally will probably replace a lot of low skills job soon with robots, the future just seems grim unless you are programming god who can code in python,c++, can sovlve complex problem in less than 5 minutes, has an iq of 120. I tried to improve my life but I think college I do not know I will not say it does not matter because it looks good on your resume but you also need all the prerequisites which are not even taught in college. You need experience to get a job but the only way to get experience is to to have a job.

I do not know if just to quit my degree and just study coding on my own, but I think the only reason I got my internship was because I was enrolled in college and so far it is the only "job" I had related to my degree.
 
  • #112
I would definitely finish any degree you are working on.
 
  • #113
homeylova223 said:
I thought I would make an update.
I started my MS Industrial Degree. I been having mixed feelings. I am about halfway through but I been working full time and working on this degree part time. Recently I got a full time paid industrial engineer internship.

But now I am having mixed thoughts. As I mentioned I have 2 other degrees and it took me 2018-2021 to get this industrial engineer internship and I do not think they will give me a job offer.

I feel kind of sad because after this intern I will have to return to crappy jobs. And the college I go to charges higher tuition for online classes like 3600 compared to in person 2000 dollars. Working for 15 an hour at crappy jobs it takes a lot of effort to earn $3600.

I do know what to do its been 3 years since I graduated I done about close to half another master and I got so little to show for it and I am in my late 20s now.

I do not if college is even worth it, I got 6 more classes to graduate so that is 6*3600 almost 24000 dollar for online classes and I cannot do in person because my parents want me to work to pay the bills around the house and If I have to go in person it is tough to do a work schedule.

I really feel I made a huge mistake majoring in math and not doing engineering or comp sci.
@homeylova223 , I'm frankly confused. You stated that you are halfway through your MS degree in industrial engineering, and that recently you have been hired for an industrial engineering internship.

Why do you think that you will have to return to crappy jobs?

Any jobs you've had can contribute to a path to a better career. And you do know that your industrial engineering internship is a stepping stone onto a better career, right? You can put your internship experience as work experience in your resume. You can use the connections you build in your internship for networking purposes, right?

Frankly, you are on a path to a better career. The only thing that is holding you back is your unwarranted pessimism/cynicism.

Get over it!
 
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  • #114
I think my post yesterday was too negative. I thought if you get an internship you would be offered a full time role at the end. But I do not think that will happen so I may have to get a "non college" degree job to pay for tuition.I think I made some progress from last year but its been somewhat slow progress
 
  • #115
There is no problem with having to take a job to pay for loans.
 
  • #116
homeylova223 said:
I think my post yesterday was too negative. I thought if you get an internship you would be offered a full time role at the end. But I do not think that will happen so I may have to get a "non college" degree job to pay for tuition.I think I made some progress from last year but its been somewhat slow progress
I'm also a bit confused on a couple of details.
1) You mentioned a while back that you had two degrees. I gather that you have a BA or BS in mathematics, but I don't know what the other one is. This is a very long thread, of which I've read maybe half the posts, so you might have said what the other degree is in somewhere along the say.
2) Why do you believe that the company you're interning for won't offer you a position after the internship is over?
3) With a degree in mathematics, I think you would qualify to teach high school math. Is that something you've considered? For math-related other types of jobs, you probably need an advanced degree.
 
  • #117
1. They are BS MATH, MS Math
2. I asked them but they not give me an answer. They said we will have more interns over the summer but I want a full time job. I wish I could talk to the hiring manager I sent him some emails but this is like a remote position.
3. I considered it. But I heard it is really tough dealing with teenagers, you have to be someone who can handle minors, I can teach math but you also have to keep order in the classes.
 
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  • #118
homeylova223 said:
1. They are BS MATH, MS Math
2. I asked them but they not give me an answer. They said we will have more interns over the summer but I want a full time job. I wish I could talk to the hiring manager I sent him some emails but this is like a remote position.
3. I considered it. But I heard it is really tough dealing with teenagers, you have to be someone who can handle minors, I can teach math but you also have to keep order in the classes.
In what area of Mathematics did you get your MS degree?
 
  • #119
I got in computational science, it was things like solving linear equation but not by gauss elimination but by using sparse matrices.
 
  • #120
homeylova223 said:
2. I asked them but they not give me an answer.
Consider asking again.
Have you received any feedback on your current internship? Either positive or negative?
Are you in regular contact with whoever is your manager?

With a master's degree in mathematics, you would be qualified to teach at a community college. Permanent full-time positions are usually hard to get, but many CCs need adjunct (temporary) instructors. The pay is better than minimum-wage jobs, and the students are usually more motivated than many of those in high school. Also, you would be getting experience that would enhance your resume.

The downside is that these are contract positions for a quarter or a semester at a time, and there is definitely no guarantee that they will lead to continued employment at that college, or to tenure-track positions. Another downside is that many part-time instructors have to get positions at different colleges to get enough classes to make ends meet.
 
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  • #121
@Mark44 once again you're freaking awesome
 
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  • #122
You could also look into science librarianship as a career. It would require getting an MLS or MIS degree, which takes around a year of full-time study.

English librarians are a dime a dozen, but science ones are rare and in high demand. While the pay is not as high as in industry, universities can be pleasant working environments.
 
  • #123
With the internship I honestly feel a bit ignored. Because it is remote we only communicate through email, teams and some online videos. I am being paid but they seem disinterested I do not know. Maybe it is because of the work from home situation.
 
  • #124
homeylova223 said:
With the internship I honestly feel a bit ignored. Because it is remote we only communicate through email, teams and some online videos. I am being paid but they seem disinterested I do not know. Maybe it is because of the work from home situation.
As someone who works full-time from home (and have worked remotely full-time pre-pandemic), it is more challenging to maintain connections with your fellow co-workers.

I would suggest that you take the initiative and set up meeting times with your managers or other co-workers. You should send meeting invites on Outlook, Google Mail (or whatever e-mail and meeting service you have) at a time when you and your manager are both available (you should be able to check their availability on Outlook), and outline a clear agenda of discussion. Whether that would be the specifics of your work, any questions you have, your work progress, possibilities of full-time employment, etc.

It's important that you be assertive. I say this because I get the sense from your posts here on PF that you come across as a passive person, waiting for someone else to reach out to you. In such a situation you are more likely to be overlooked, so try to avoid this if at all possible.
 
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  • #125
homeylova223 said:
1. They are BS MATH, MS Math
2. I asked them but they not give me an answer. They said we will have more interns over the summer but I want a full time job. I wish I could talk to the hiring manager I sent him some emails but this is like a remote position.
The company likely has a limited number of entry-level positions and may offer full-time positions to interns who demonstrate their value. Right now is your chance to convince them you should be one of those candidates.

Of course, even if you prove to be a potential full-timer, there are other reasons why a company may not offer you a job. It might just not be hiring, etc. What you don't want to do is leave them with a negative impression that gets you on a do-not-hire list.

homeylova223 said:
3. I considered it. But I heard it is really tough dealing with teenagers, you have to be someone who can handle minors, I can teach math but you also have to keep order in the classes.
A fellow instructor once told me he loved the students when he taught math at a high school; it was the adults that drove him nuts. Dealing with parents and administrators was the real headache.

You'd have to get a teaching credential, and you'll learn some classroom management skills along the way. So I wouldn't let fear of that stop you, but I understand your concern. As Mark noted, teaching at a CC could be a good option for you.
 
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  • #126
homeylova223 said:
With the internship I honestly feel a bit ignored.
I don't think you should necessarily take this personally. It is often the case where the mentors are under pressure to get project tasks completed on time, while explaining to the intern takes longer than doing the work themselves. Other times, mentors are assigned on the day the intern arrives, with no prior warning. A good internship program addresses these problems systematically. Even then, the intern's experience is vastly improved by a mentor who makes the effort.

It is sad to see interns (3rd year engineering students) assigned jobs like, "scan all this microfiche to pdf files."
 
  • #127
homeylova223 said:
I thought if you get an internship you would be offered a full time role at the end. But I do not think that will happen ...
Remember, there's still a pandemic going on. Many businesses are still having having a hard time forecasting what their hiring needs and available funding will be.
 
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  • #128
I thought I would provide an update, since many people have viewed my thread and probably are curious about my progress. I was able to find a full time job as a supply chain analyst in a large retail company a couple of weeks ago.
I mostly work by creating SQL queries and making dashboard by importing them to tableau so far.
I am not finished with my degree yet but I think industrial engineering was a good choice.
I hope this job goes well.
 
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