Were the people who told you you might not find a good job also math degree holders? This can depend on more than just the mathematics. Convey 'is raised' in mathematical context. In the PhD I ended up with some limited experimental and analytical chemistry, chemical kinetics, ab initio quantum chemistry and programming. The mathematicians they hire, though, are rarely only mathematicians; they also have at least some skills in computer science, programming, and other related areas (e.g., linguistics, cryptography). In the case of mathematics this leaves very must two main routes: Mathematics is very much the foundation of much of our modern life. Want to improve this question? Since that's not usually well-paid for most people, that doesn't seem to be what you are aiming for (and yes, the fact that Academia is also highly competitive with loads of pressure is yet another reason to avoid that path if you aren't extremely passionated about research. For JP Morgan, they wanted a C++ maven, which I didn't qualify as. You would possibly be better at the calculation that your peers if they did not study mathematics. No, a math degree is not useless financially. Mechanical Engineering Major. I got a PhD in pure math, got a job at a financial company, and I am very well paid. Even a PhD you should chose to some extent by interest if you can - it will make it more interesting. Math is also an acceptable starting point for many careers that are tangentially related. Is a math degree really useless financially? I had been asking myself a similar question when it came to the decision on whether to study mathematics or physics. Practice solving real problems with applications/programs popular outside of academia. Pure Mathematics. If you want to make the degree a better financial decision, focus on how you can apply math. I studied computer graphics in my spare time and my math background allowed me to comprehend things in computer graphics orders of magnitudes faster and deeper compared to fellow computer science students. Mathematics is very much the foundation of much of our modern life. Computer science, like math, has applications everywhere, so the two combined will give you a lot of flexibility. I'm just beginning a PhD in wildlife ecology, but I've always had a strong interest in math, so I'm actually going to try and take several graduate level courses in math. the path to the greatest in lifetime earnings is probably to get an EE (or math) job now. Or you could do something entirely different. However, on closer reading it seems as if the OP is already sure she wants to take a PhD and is just unsure which one. I went into law after I decided I did not want to continue in programming. Among the thousand or so software engineers and systems engineers at my first civilian job, many were math majors. Career prospects for a Math PhD student in pure math? Math PhD Or XP? I know nothing about EE, but what you write about maths seems right to me. However, a math degree in itself may not always be enough, so you should be prepared to develop specialized skills. In Monopoly, if your Community Chest card reads "Go back to ...." , do you move forward or backward? I was hired at my current company for my initial job because of my Java programming skills. From a financial perspective... Why do students go for a PhD even when chances of getting academic jobs on its completion are slim? What you are asking is really a personal question that you will be able to answer for yourself better than any of us can do. That's four (+/-) years more of income and you won't have to pay to go to school anymore. First, the PISA exam itself is largely a test of applied math, not equation-solving. - If the interest is in an area that is useful, even more so. Unfortunately, they rarely are looking for people with only that skill; they likely also have other requirements. Now in some countries subject mobility isn't very large (Germany springs to mind, maybe also France). If your biggest concern is financial success, then integrating computer science into your program could really set you up for success. If then the point is to not do a PhD at all, then I would agree. In effect, consider being coadvised by someone in another department where math can be used in a more applied research context (The caveat being that if you are already in a program, you may have an advisor that may not allow it.). As if a degree in Electrical Engineering doesn't do the same. And that is to answer your direct question about the value of a pure math degree. These jobs tend to pay low for entry level jobs, but with education and experience you can expect a good deal of progress. I would say that stat is more employable. Your math knowledge is and always will remain a nice bonus. I know many other programmers that got an EE degree to start. I have a master degree in mathematics and now I'm doing physics simulations for visual effects in Hollywood blockbusters.

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