Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What use is a maths degree

  1. Sep 17, 2005 #1
    I was talking to my nephew today and asked him what degree he wanted to do - he replied maths and trinity college cambridge - which is no suprise as he is very gifted at maths. However, he then added 'but I don't think I should because a) there is no money in math and B) a lot of employers are intimdated my maths from Oxbridge and cannot see its applications.'

    I couldn't think of a satisfactory response to the issues he raised about maths.

    Any ideas?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2005 #2
    Math has a number of possibilities here a pathes that friends of mine went:
    1) he could study to become an actuary a very lucrative career if he also wants to be involved in business(insurance/pensions)
    2)Finance and a interest in quantative analysis for wall street type firms
    3)pure math phD and research in either math or computers
    4)Cryptography and went to work for the gov't
    5)Industrial applied mathematics

    There is so many things one can do with a math degree but for business related areas he might want to minor in accounting,finance or economics and it never hurts to have that knowledge and background.
  4. Sep 17, 2005 #3
    He can always teach :biggrin:
    (be a teacher)....
  5. Sep 17, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Also Math Bachelors score highest on LSAT's - Law School Admission Tests.
  6. Sep 18, 2005 #5


    User Avatar

    I was always hearing rumors around campus that engineering and science students do much better on the LSAT than those from other majors. At the time, I didn't know if it was true, but I keep hearing things along the same lines.
  7. Sep 18, 2005 #6

    I have no idea what's on the LSAT, but the connection seems intuitively plausable to me. We become familiar with axioms/theorems/postulates and then proceed to make deductions from them. The law works in a similiar way. I'd bet the LSAT puts a demand on your deductive reasoning, something that mathematicians are especially fine tuned for.

    But then again, I'd bet enineering/math/science majors would do better on just about every standerdized test. I had a calculus teacher who always said that if there is only one thing math majors should be able to do, it's follow directions. :tongue:
  8. Sep 18, 2005 #7

    You might want to take a look at this link put up by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). It's a bunch of profiles on the career paths math majors have taken.

    I don't know how typical such stories are, but it's worth a look, at least.
  9. Sep 19, 2005 #8

    I like this one, lol.
  10. Oct 1, 2005 #9
    Math as defenition
    "A language that has rules but no Goals".
    its of no use until applied to other fields, but really interesting
  11. Oct 1, 2005 #10
    Being no use in itself is not an excuse to not study it for its own sake.
  12. Oct 6, 2005 #11
    Could you go into business and such as with a physics degree? Most of the same math, right?

    Math by itself is useless, but as a tool, it probably has more applications than any other field.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook