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Academic Guidance Academic Guidance - Academic guidance for those pursuing a college degree... what college? Grad school? PhD help?


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January 11th, 2015, 08:29 PM   #1
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Mathematics Degree.

I am thinking to take the Mathematics Degree but the problem is my parents don't agree this. I understand that they have their reasons too, in my country, Malaysia. The only thing that the Mathematics Degree holder can do is being a teacher or lecturer in college.

But I really love Math and doing math.
I'm just 17. I can see I'm growing up in this forum. I learn myself, I buy myself books to study. I don't really want to give up on Math.
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January 11th, 2015, 08:43 PM   #2
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Normally I'd say "do what you enjoy", but you need to think about your long term future. How do you feel about being a teacher? Or perhaps moving abroad?

What about other careers that involve mathematics? Engineering, for example. There are plenty of degrees that will use some mathematics and even have mathematics courses as part of them. What jobs do they open up?

To help you answer some of this, you should consider what areas of mathematics you are most interested in.
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January 12th, 2015, 03:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiasyuen View Post
I am thinking to take the Mathematics Degree but the problem is my parents don't agree this. I understand that they have their reasons too, in my country, Malaysia. The only thing that the Mathematics Degree holder can do is being a teacher or lecturer in college.

But I really love Math and doing math.
I'm just 17. I can see I'm growing up in this forum. I learn myself, I buy myself books to study. I don't really want to give up on Math.
If you feel strongly about it; cheat, look for joint degrees of Maths with something else, Comuputing, Engineering, Physics are some of the more common examples, but there are lots of other options. Then only metion the other subject when talking to your parents (and change to Maths on its own after the first year or at some other oportune moment).

CB
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January 12th, 2015, 05:06 AM   #4
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I agree with CB's and v8Archie's advice.

Also, although I cannot vouch for how things are in Malaysia, if the job market there is anything like a western country, I think it would be false to say that you can only be a teacher or lecturer with a mathematics degree. If you have a mathematics degree, you will be extremely employable and the number of options open to you after your degree will be significantly higher than someone who has done a much more practical/applied degree, such as business or economics. This is because there are many jobs that require an excellent mathematics skill and the applications of that mathematics are well known or handled by others in the company. In fact, many of my colleagues working here at the software company I work for have a pure mathematics background (which shows that they are just as employable as computer scientists, if not more).

Also, if you're willing to work abroad, feel free to apply to jobs abroad. You can have an adventure, see the world, experience different cultures and be valued for your mathematics skills rather than feel stuck in Malaysia with no prospects. Good mathematicians are highly valued in Europe at least!

Last edited by Benit13; January 12th, 2015 at 05:13 AM.
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January 12th, 2015, 06:35 AM   #5
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Also, although I cannot vouch for how things are in Malaysia, if the job market there is anything like a western country, I think it would be false to say that you can only be a teacher or lecturer with a mathematics degree. If you have a mathematics degree, you will be extremely employable and the number of options open to you after your degree will be significantly higher than someone who has done a much more practical/applied degree, such as business or economics. This is because there are many jobs that require an excellent mathematics skill and the applications of that mathematics are well known or handled by others in the company. In fact, many of my colleagues working here at the software company I work for have a pure mathematics background (which shows that they are just as employable as computer scientists, if not more).
In the UK it is almost proverbial that maths graduate have the lowest unemployment rate of graduates of any degree subject (one year after graduation probably).

CB
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January 26th, 2015, 04:47 AM   #6
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What courses are actually mostly related to the pure maths?
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January 26th, 2015, 05:23 AM   #7
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It depends what area of maths you are interested in!

For discrete maths you should probably look to computer science.
For calculus, analysis, differential equations, etc. you should probably look to physics and engineering.
Biology is known for using difference equations (as well as some differential equations).
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January 26th, 2015, 07:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benit13 View Post
This is because there are many jobs that require an excellent mathematics skill and the applications of that mathematics are well known or handled by others in the company. In fact, many of my colleagues working here at the software company I work for have a pure mathematics background (which shows that they are just as employable as computer scientists, if not more).
I'm another example of a programmer working with a degree in math (not CS). We're almost embarrassingly employable -- perhaps a part of it is the impression (correct, IMO) that a math degree is relatively hard and so having a math degree demonstrates a certain amount of intelligence/hard work.
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January 26th, 2015, 08:25 AM   #9
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. . . I understand that they have their reasons too, . . .
What would they like you to do?
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February 2nd, 2015, 04:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CRGreathouse View Post
I'm another example of a programmer working with a degree in math (not CS). We're almost embarrassingly employable -- perhaps a part of it is the impression (correct, IMO) that a math degree is relatively hard and so having a math degree demonstrates a certain amount of intelligence/hard work.
Yes, but how much of your degree was directly applicable to your job as programmer? In what capacity within programming are you usually employed?

I am seriously considering pursuing a math degree as well but I don't think I want to be in academia my whole life.

Is a Baccalaureate enough or do you usually go up to masters?

Last edited by Spook; February 2nd, 2015 at 05:22 PM.
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