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How can you use a B.A in Math to enter the software world?

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For example, I'm curious about how I could use a BA in Math to work at a company like Google. #math #mathematics #applied-mathematics #computational-mathematics #mathematical-modeling #workingforgoogle #google

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Daniel’s Answer

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I'm not sure if we hire many pure mathematicians (I could be wrong, you can look around on google.com/careers). We definitely hire some pure statisticians. We also hire people who happen to have math degrees if they're good at programming, or machine learning.


For a pure mathematician, sometimes programming can be pretty easy to pick up. Not always, because it requires a slightly different mindset, but I'd say more often than not the transition to programming is not hard (because pure math is crazy hard and requires a good logical mind). Software is more practical than math, and sometimes requires more patience with weird errors, and it of course requires a lot of time devoted to learning, but it's doable.


There's data analysis positions as well, though I dunno how many of those require actual math degrees vs. just experience doing data analysis.



And of course there's other companies which will hire mathematicians.

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Hide’s Answer

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A major in Math can set you up for success for many positions at Google. I can't speak to the Software Engineering role, but I worked at Google as in HR and Product Analytics for a few consumer-facing products. Degrees are weighted less in these positions, where problem solving and communication abilities (among others) are far more valued, especially for entry level positions. Even if you don't enter in with the perfect mathematical role, as a data-driven company, math abilities are appreciated everywhere.

Hide recommends the following next steps:

  • Figure out whether you want to take the Software Engineering, Analytics, or another route -- ideally through internships and collecting career advice.
  • If you want to take the analytics route, learn more about different domains and which one is most interesting to you (eg., sales, finance, HR, product)
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