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To math and applied science majors - Has your major helped you reach your career goals? What do you do now?

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And if applicable, did you go to grad school?What types of internships were you able to get that were outside your major (e.g. math major getting an engineering or computer science type of internship)?

#math #career #college-major #science #applied-science

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Bobby’s Answer

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Hi Ashley,

The short answer is yes it has, significantly. I originally started off in nursing then turned towards chemistry where I was able to graduate with a degree in chemistry with a minor in biology. After completing that I went to grad school for a masters in computer information systems (CIS).

I was able to get an internship in cybersecurity working for government agencies and public services during my second year of grad school. Meaning I did cyber security for chemical plants, powerplants and nuclear powerplants. I was able to do that from my chemistry background and hold conversations with higher up executives/managers from my chemistry background.

If get an undergrad degree in something of science background you can usually get into any grad school with the help of 'leveling' courses. I had to take some basic university programming courses when I started my degree to play catch up with other students.

When you do graduate with a degree a lot of employers love to see the diversity and the ability to learn on the fly. When I hire people that is the biggest thing I look for, how to learn and problem solve. In any job that is technical (engineering, computers, etc) you will always have to learn what is new. Sometimes you only have hours or a few days to become the subject matter expert for your company.

Don't be afraid to do what you enjoy and look towards applying your degree wherever you can, you may find you like a new field that you don't have a traditional degree in.

Lastly there are new fields of degrees like applied mathematics, applied physics, and computational science that are gaining ground from their diverse backgrounds of learning. You can check out computational science here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_science
May I ask, what are your thoughts on Math - Applied science major? Here is a description: https://www.math.ucsd.edu/~handbook/undergraduate/ma31-math-applied-science-b-s/ It seems interesting but is it marketable? Would it better to pick a different major? Ashley T.
I think an applied science degree is great! There are several factors that can lead to you getting that, sometimes the school you want doesn't have a pure engineering degree or you don't want that. Whatever the case may be, I think that is a great degree choice. You can tailor the degree to your likes very easily. I think it is very marketable. There are multiple jobs you can get from: software engineer, cloud engineer (like me!) or even project manager. Companies like someone in charge of others who is technical and can speak to them, you could be a team leader or even manager with a degree like that. That is completely up to you. I think this is a good degree and very marketable but ultimately it comes down to your choice to study what you like. Feel free to ask any other questions. Bobby Meyer, MSIS
Here is a good link to some jobs for that degree: https://degree.astate.edu/articles/undergraduate-studies/top-ranking-jobs-bachelor-of-applied-science-degree.aspx Bobby Meyer, MSIS
That is good to know! I was worried that with it being a joint degree between math and applied sciences, and my upper division courses being 50% math and 50% science, it would not be every marketable due to my restriction on being able to delve deeper into either topic. I was planning to have my applied science courses be geared towards engineering. Ashley T.
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Bobby’s Answer

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Yes it is a very good degree. The key to it all will be how you market yourself when it comes time to apply for jobs.
A good resume is a way to show your expansive knowledge.
One thing to keep track of is if you want to sit for any state engineering certifications. They each have a minimum requirement number of classes to meet the needs.
Oh that's interesting! I did not know about the state engineering certifications. I think I will look into that. Thanks! Ashley T.
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Shivani’s Answer

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Hi Ashley,

I majored in Biochem and Molecular Bio in undergrad. I was a pre-med student and my goal was to go to medical school. I am currently halfway through medical school but my road here was quite interesting.

First majoring in biochem was very helpful for a TINY part of medical school because I did not have to study for that portion of the curriculum. Also in college I had to take a significant number of statistics and biostats courses. This has helped me tremendously in medical school as many treatments and medical research studies utilize this applied science in a branch called epidemiology.

My math stats classes gave me the skills to analyze data from a medical research study. I can review and decide if the study was flawed from bias, or perhaps enough evidence was present to prove the intervention was beneficial, and that I may consider this approach on my own patient.

Hope this helps!
That's pretty interesting! I still have a few things to figure out, but thanks for your response! Ashley T.
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Jack’s Answer

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I got a degree in Computer Science in 1970. It was such a new field then, there weren't a lot of known paths to follow. I just knew I liked programming, which turned out to be harder than I thought. But I ended up in video games, which was a very exciting field to be in. It's been an exciting life because I followed my heart.

My advice: decisions should be 40% head, 60% heart.
I'm 72 now, but I still follow that formula.
Thanks for responding. It really gave me something to think about for which career path I want to take. Ashley T.
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