UnderGround Forums
 

AcademicGround >> Math majors?


3/23/09 10:15 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
LetsTalkItOut
28 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/26/06
Posts: 564
 
Was working and decided to go back to school. I'm in my first semester still deciding on what major to lock in on. I've been going between business admin, finance, and economics. So you sort of get what type of career I want to go into.

Now I was interested in a math major. I wouldn't describe myself as smart or dumb, but I comprehend math alright. For the people who chose math as a major, what were their reasons?

I've talked to a few people in finance and they told me a math, science, or engineering student is more likely to get the job over a finance, econ, bus admin student. Would you say that's true?
3/28/09 2:46 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Hank Scorpio
2 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 5/11/08
Posts: 166
"I've talked to a few people in finance and they told me a math, science, or engineering student is more likely to get the job over a finance, econ, bus admin student. Would you say that's true?"

Depends on more than just major. You have to consider GPA, School, work experience, and many other factors.

There are probably a lot fewer quant jobs out there now for math majors anyway.
3/30/09 6:44 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
P.V.Jena
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 1754
LetsTalkItOut - Was working and decided to go back to school. I'm in my first semester still deciding on what major to lock in on. I've been going between business admin, finance, and economics. So you sort of get what type of career I want to go into.

Now I was interested in a math major. I wouldn't describe myself as smart or dumb, but I comprehend math alright. For the people who chose math as a major, what were their reasons?

I've talked to a few people in finance and they told me a math, science, or engineering student is more likely to get the job over a finance, econ, bus admin student. Would you say that's true?
I was a math and physics major, and my thought process was:

1) Pure math, the kind I like = no real applications = academia?
2) Pure physics, the kind I dont like = no real applications = academica?
3) Applied math, the kind I hate = actuary?
4) Applied physics, the kind I like = Biophysics?

I went with 4)
 
4/3/09 2:19 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
LetsTalkItOut
28 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 04/03/09 2:20 AM
Member Since: 9/26/06
Posts: 574
Hank Scorpio - "I've talked to a few people in finance and they told me a math, science, or engineering student is more likely to get the job over a finance, econ, bus admin student. Would you say that's true?"

Depends on more than just major. You have to consider GPA, School, work experience, and many other factors.

There are probably a lot fewer quant jobs out there now for math majors anyway.

I was comparing two exactly the same people but difference is in major at least I was in my mind when writing that, sorry should have been more specific.

Do you believe as the economy recovers that quant positions will recover to the amount before if not more?

Why did you guys choose physics as something to study?
Was it because it was so interesting? lucrative careers?

When someone mentions physics I draw a blank and revert to the smart folk on the history channel on the universe.
4/3/09 6:14 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
LetsTalkItOut
28 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/26/06
Posts: 575
Never really thought about physicist being highly sought after by wall street. Always thought they were academia bound. I know they want realy sharp people working for them but other than what kind of students physics majors are(extremely bright), is there something specific in physics that is something they look for?

I saw a DB9 recently and asked the owner what he did and replied he teaches something in the sciences in Stanford. Could have been paid in a career before teaching but he seemed happy. Told me what major I was studying and he told me that world always benefits from more scientist. Said I get paid the big bucks too lol.

A lot of proffesors might be paid $200k, but a lot of quants working in NY get paid $400+ right?

Would you say it's very competitive to get into the universities as a math or physics major compared to a business degree?

I really appreciate your insight, thanks so much.
4/3/09 9:40 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
LetsTalkItOut
28 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/26/06
Posts: 576
I understand, I will be shooting for Berkeley for their economics program. Haas is ranked 6th in the US by Business Week for 2009. I won't be attending Haas but their econ is ranked very high in the nation. I'm a Ca resident so I'll be transferring in much easier than if I was out of state or international.

But that is what is my goal as of now, trying to see what else is out there before I lock it in. Will be picking up some physics classes next semester to check what it's all about.
4/6/09 9:02 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
asdf
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 15835
they were highly sought after. jobs are much harder right now.

If you can get a phd in physics from a top school, you can learn programming. Programming is a lot easier.


Raywashere, you sure most physicists on wall street are not from good schools? I went to a top school and most ppl don't become profs, it's too hard. Physics is even harder than the rest to make prof because of the stiff competition and lack of slots and funding.
4/7/09 12:56 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
LetsTalkItOut
28 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/26/06
Posts: 603
Right on, the major part that I never knew about and totally overlooked is the PROGRAMMING.

My god, my brother is a electrical engineering major and never was interested in what he was doing.
4/8/09 6:53 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
asdf
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 04/08/09 6:54 AM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 15836
actually I just checked a few physics prof webpages I know and you're right Raywashere. The grad students go into academics.

A ton of money can be relative. If he gets enough research grants, the prof I know at Columbia Physics makes ~110k. The Duke engineer prof I know makes about the same. But in the case of the physics guy, that was after postdoc for 3 years at 35k. An industry guy (different group, same school) makes 125-150k.

The guys I know making 200-400k (from the same research group at one of the schools you mentioned) went in consulting or business. OK maybe the Nobel guy makes 400k. How many of those are there, really?
4/13/09 11:28 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
LetsTalkItOut
28 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/26/06
Posts: 663
I hear people say that a lot but not sure on why. Some people have different backgrounds and placed into different situations. Personally, I'm not sure if my priorities are where they should be.

Gusto, when you chose your major and what field you wanted to end up in, what was on the top on your priority list and why?

Where was making $$$ ranked in there?

Just curious is all, like to get other people's take on things to put my thoughts into perspective.
4/14/09 1:12 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
LetsTalkItOut
28 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/26/06
Posts: 664
You are an econ professor?

You chose to be a professor in the subject your teaching now over teaching english because of pay? Or lost interest in studying english?

Safe to say that before you started college, you pretty much made your mind up on being a professor?
4/14/09 1:45 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
LetsTalkItOut
28 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/26/06
Posts: 666
It will be undergrad.

My plans are to take the under and I'm assuming they won't accept me into their graduate without work experience. But as of right now I plan on getting a masters in financial engineering. Whether I get there with a math degree or econ I'm not sure right now.

My math professor recommended me to look into mathematical economics, but that isn't provided at UCB.

I'm taking my intro classes in econ and it's extremely interesting to me. Never into education in general in HS. Been working for a few years in what I thought I wanted to be. Met some successful people that altered what I wanted. Going back to school and I've never been this motivated, helps when I'm truly interested in what I'm learning.
4/14/09 3:12 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
LetsTalkItOut
28 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/26/06
Posts: 668
In what too
4/17/09 11:28 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
P.V.Jena
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 1766
Raywashere - yah applied physics is your best bet in terms of getting work. plus its cool.

P.V. Jena- thats really cool man. I want to get my PHD in physics. How long did the phd take you? and what are you doing now?

I am currently a 3rd yr physics studend

 Hey Ray,
I haven't got my PhD yet - I'm hoping to finish by December 2010. After that, I'm going to post-doc in some
nice biology lab where I can mutate cells, make them glow in different colors, then tap dance when I tell them to.

What are you doing, what's your plan?
4/17/09 7:38 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
P.V.Jena
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 1768
 Lol, you spelled champagne like the proper french word....the town goes by Champaign, for some spectacular
reason. UCSB is a great school - make sure you work with/compete with the upper echelon of students in your classes.

Applied physics or a straight up material science/engineering grad school route maybe? Almost the entire value of grad school comes from the specific advisor and group that you're in. So look at research in the exact fields/area you're interested in - what are the 5 major labs that work on that (5 major, well funded labs) and apply to those labs for grad school. It wouldn't really matter what department they are in - physics, applied physics, mat.sci

A friend of mine went to NIST for work ex for a year, and is now working on thin films of some kind out at the Colorado School of Mines for solar power development. So many different routes can lead to the same end goal.

Good luck though, its a fun time to be doing science.
4/18/09 4:55 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
LetsTalkItOut
28 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/26/06
Posts: 695
Paths you guys chose sounds fascinating.

What were your reasons for that specific route?
4/24/09 5:40 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
asdf
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 15841
"Almost the entire value of grad school comes from the specific advisor and group that you're in."

This is true, but not totally true if you leave your field. It's also not true a few years down the road, when people only care that you graduated MIT, not that you studied under John Joannopoulous or whatever.

My Ph.D. paid 20k/year but expenses were low too.

Science pays reasonably well, you won't be broke unless you go into theoretical physics or proof math.

If you're looking to get into the best grad school possible, I'd go Materials straight up. I was matsci/chem undergrad and matsci phd. Here is why


1. Matsci has less competition than physics. People are just better in physics. Harder to get good grades with better people.

2. Matsci is easier than physics.

3. Matsci has better job opportunities if you decide to just get a bachelors.

4. Even with a Ph.D., Matsci still has better job opportunities. The physicists are too good and have too few jobs. They postdoc for years to get faculty positions.

5. More females in Matsci (assuming you are male)


If you want, you can take physics on the side.
5/1/09 10:27 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Schadenfroh
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 4774
I just finished my BS in Physics and i'll be attending grad for health physics.

A physics degree is a blank check if you put alot of work into it. You have physicists working in electrical/computer engineering companies, hospitals, finance, materials, nuclear power, etc there are alot of options with the "right" physics program.

It is true that hedge funds try to pick up physics PHD but its not just any phd students...its the phd students at yale trying to measure z0's in molecules to figure out quark coupling constants lol

Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.