Originally Posted by
Scott N Denver
I entered college as a math major and finished as a math/physics double. I then went on to grad school for additional training physics, materials science, and electrical engineering.
I am not personally aware of any schools where being a math major double majoring as an engineer as well is possible. It sure wasnt the places I went to school.
If you want to stay in math jobwise, or stick to math/computing stuff in related applied areas, I would say focus on either operations research, statistics, or maybe partial differential equations. Statistics is very broadly applicable.
I will keep my own personal experiences to this topic to myself, but let me just say that it was common talk among my grad school physics peers that while a physics person *should* be extremely employable in more or less any kind of tech/engineering position the practical reality when dealing with hiring managers and companies and such was that, basically, people 1) didnt know what you were talking about, 2) didnt care what you were talking about, 3) thought you didnt have enough "relevant experience", or 4) didnt know what a physicist is or does and just stuck with the tried and true engineering people. Wit that said, if you want to work at a dedicated research lab, which would probbaly be largely full of PhD physicists and maybe chemists and related things, that is open, but there aren't THAT many research labs out there.
If you like math because it helps you udnerstand technology/engineering, than the practical thing to do is to go straight into tech/engineering major. If yyou want to do that eventually but want more math first major in math and then jump at the grad school level. If you like computers and programming, consider studying both.
Math is definitely effortful, there is no way around that. What instructors told us is that if you were smart enough to do well with math in high school then you "had enough" to be a math major. But it would take plenty of work and studying. Some people find a level fo math where they "top out" and just cant really comprehend beyond that level. For me analysis [real, intermediate: the formal proving of calculus] is about where I topped out. Looking back now I could do it, but at the time with all that was going on it was too much and I stuck with more science/applied math [complex analysis, PDE's, fourier stuff]. I learned many years later that many math majors struggle with analysis, and in many schools they changed what and how they teach that subject. Maybe if I had started college 5-8 years later???
I worked in tech for a number of years, and interfaced with people from various science/tech/engineering backgrounds. Both in work and in school I was frequently surprised by how not-deep many engineers and scientists understanding of math was/is. I think working in engineering/since is much more about wanting to "think" and "solve puzzles" than it is about doing/using/understanding math. I decided that "puzzles" and "thinking" weren't especially my thing, there wasnt enough math, the math wasn't "cool" enough, and that I preferred working with "nicer" more warm and friendly people, so I left tech behind. I'm not sure I'd ever be willing to go back.
There is much math that I know of, and know some details of, and wish I knew more about. Perhaps in another lifetime???
If you have other questions feel free to ask.