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  1. #41
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speculative View Post
    I think an economics Ph.D. would be better equipped to math out business word problems than a physics Ph.D., since that is basically what they do all day?
    People with an economics PhD are, on average, less smart than those with a physics PhD (because in economics you can choose easy topics, if you want to). I suppose that what you say does hold for the brightest economics PhDs, though.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  2. #42
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speculative View Post
    I think an economics Ph.D. would be better equipped to math out business word problems than a physics Ph.D., since that is basically what they do all day?
    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    People with an economics PhD are, on average, less smart than those with a physics PhD (because in economics you can choose easy topics, if you want to). I suppose that what you say does hold for the brightest economics PhDs, though.
    The problem here is that an economics Ph.D. will often have a particular subjective pet theory about how economics "really works." It might be correct, but the problem is that it's subjective. Otherwise, it would be objectively true what economic system is "best." Instead, we have Economics Ph.D.s on both sides of the political spectrum.

    A physicist, on the other hand, is dedicated to solving the problem at hand, rather than proving that his pet theory is true.

    Note that my argument does not rely on any notion of which is "smarter."
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  3. #43
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    The problem here is that an economics Ph.D. will often have a particular subjective pet theory about how economics "really works." It might be correct, but the problem is that it's subjective. Otherwise, it would be objectively true what economic system is "best." Instead, we have Economics Ph.D.s on both sides of the political spectrum.

    A physicist, on the other hand, is dedicated to solving the problem at hand, rather than proving that his pet theory is true.

    Note that my argument does not rely on any notion of which is "smarter."
    Right, that's also true. There's some branches of economics (well, inbetween economics and math) which are slightly more objective f.e. game theory / mechanism design / auction design, but only a marginal % of economics PhD have that kind of specialization.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  4. #44
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    The reason why you see Physics majors in Business and Finance is because there isn't enough funding in physics for them to all be productively employed.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catbert View Post
    The reason why you see Physics majors in Business and Finance is because there isn't enough funding in physics for them to all be productively employed.
    Where oh where did you hear THAT?

    Having spent 10.5 years in university studying physics [and other stuff] I can tell you that no one I know who studied physics has gone into the business world. There are those who do, "quants" being probably the best example. In my experience, EE's had more problems finding funding than physics people did, at least terms of TA slots to pay for school. Everyone I know found/had funding for physics research, or else left with master's degrees and tried to find research or technical jobs using their physics background.

  6. #46
    ThatGirl
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    A degree helps you to get a job. There is some underlying theory that you learn that's relevant maybe. Hopefully you learn how to write. Maybe you learn how to think. However, you really learn on the job.
    Exactly, this is my issue with formal education. I see a lot of people who can complete some kind of degree but have no clue when thrown into a real situation. I think theory only goes so far for most people. The majority just figures out how to answer the right questions to get them through school. I mean that is how we are evaluated. So in the end, you're left with a bunch of people with the right answers to questions you're asking. But no clue how to actually apply them.

  7. #47
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    Where oh where did you hear THAT?

    Having spent 10.5 years in university studying physics [and other stuff] I can tell you that no one I know who studied physics has gone into the business world. There are those who do, "quants" being probably the best example. In my experience, EE's had more problems finding funding than physics people did, at least terms of TA slots to pay for school. Everyone I know found/had funding for physics research, or else left with master's degrees and tried to find research or technical jobs using their physics background.
    Selection effect. You don't notice the ones who end up elsewhere. In one "jobs" seminar I went to, the speaker mentioned that in his experience, about 1/3 of phyics Ph.D.s go into academia, another 1/3 into government work, and the last 1/3 into "business." In my experience, a lot of the "business" ones went into software development, where it's easy to take the physics problem-solving tools and apply them to business processes. In my particular circumstances, my decision was influenced by two major events: closing the Superconducting Supercollider, and the .com boom, thus physics jobs were scarce and development jobs were lucrative at the time.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  8. #48
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatGirl View Post
    Exactly, this is my issue with formal education. I see a lot of people who can complete some kind of degree but have no clue when thrown into a real situation. I think theory only goes so far for most people. The majority just figures out how to answer the right questions to get them through school. I mean that is how we are evaluated. So in the end, you're left with a bunch of people with the right answers to questions you're asking. But no clue how to actually apply them.
    Yes, but what's the problem. Many jobs require a routine type of execution.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  9. #49
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    I've seen a lot of different degrees in the upper echelons. The ones seen were law, finance, geology, chemistry, math, econ, mba, on and on. Now physics isn't one I have seen but there's no reason why not. The common knowledge theory behind business hiring is that if you have the dedication to attain a non-fluff degree, you might have what it takes to excel within a business environment.

    Econs focus on trending where money isn't an element.

  10. #50
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King-Of-Despair View Post
    I hear that it is often the case that Physics majors, masters and PhDs find themselves right at the top of the corporate world. Is this really the case? How can a 3 year degree be worth so much to people?

    I just discovered that one of the Australian Telephone service companies is lead by a guy that has a doctorate in physics, you'd think that a degree in business would be FAR more fitting for such a job, wouldn't you?
    Nope, you don't learn anything in business school that you can't learn on the fly. Business degrees are arguably the most worthless degrees you can get.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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