Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 56
  1. #1
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    no
    My Bikes
    yes
    Posts
    1,347
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Career avenues for those with a PhD?

    After seeing how utterly useless my BS in Math is, I was thinking about going back to sk00l. Unfortunately, I tend to space if the subject matter doesn't move at a fast enough pace, and my grades are mediocre at best, so I'll likely need to go to a California State uni for my MS since I've already taken most of the subject matter needed for the degree at the UC I went to. Aside from that, the CS system is nice since it's pretty much the same thing from the POV of a MS, but is wayyyyy cheaper. I was thinking about getting my MS in Math, and taking some MS level physics, CS, Chem, CogSci, etc(?) if I could worm my way in, to keep from getting too boreded. Now, the problem is, even if I get a MS in Math with some supporting classes and I'm able to get into a PhD program at a decent Uni, I may still end up with useless degree wrt to a career. What multidisciplinary career paths would require PhD level math coursework along with the current load? No more useless degrees for me, I needz to getz sum werkz.

  2. #2
    tired donnamb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Breezer Uptown 8, U frame
    Posts
    5,660
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What about a Masters' in some form of engineering? The mom of a grade school friend did that. She had a BS in Math with a teaching certificate. She couldn't find a job, so she got a Masters' in Industrial Operations Engineering. (There was work in that field in Detroit during the '90s.)
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  3. #3
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA.
    Posts
    1,112
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Flipping burgers.

  4. #4
    . botto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    40,335
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeWill View Post
    Flipping burgers.
    or IT.

    same thing.

  5. #5
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Odense, Denmark
    Posts
    1,463
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lyeinyoureye View Post
    After seeing how utterly useless my BS in Math is, I was thinking about going back to sk00l. Unfortunately, I tend to space if the subject matter doesn't move at a fast enough pace, and my grades are mediocre at best, so I'll likely need to go to a California State uni for my MS since I've already taken most of the subject matter needed for the degree at the UC I went to. Aside from that, the CS system is nice since it's pretty much the same thing from the POV of a MS, but is wayyyyy cheaper. I was thinking about getting my MS in Math, and taking some MS level physics, CS, Chem, CogSci, etc(?) if I could worm my way in, to keep from getting too boreded. Now, the problem is, even if I get a MS in Math with some supporting classes and I'm able to get into a PhD program at a decent Uni, I may still end up with useless degree wrt to a career. What multidisciplinary career paths would require PhD level math coursework along with the current load? No more useless degrees for me, I needz to getz sum werkz.
    Maybe you should take an English class first.

    But seriously, think about what you'd like to do afterwards, before you commit to a PhD. Engineering? Nuclear physics? Research?

    On another serious note: studying in Europe can cheap or free. Don't know about your chances with "mediocre" grades, though.
    Last edited by gcl8a; 09-19-07 at 03:13 AM.

  6. #6
    . botto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    40,335
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gcl8a View Post
    Maybe you should take an English class first.

    But seriously, think about what you'd like to do afterwards, before you commit to a PhD. Engineering? Nuclear physics? Research?

    On another serious note: studying in Europe can cheap or free. Don't know about your chances with "mediocre" grades, though.
    correct.

  7. #7
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Corona and S. El Monte, CA
    My Bikes
    Cannondale D600, Dahon Speed T7
    Posts
    1,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a Masters in Mechanical Engineering...

    SO...Specifically, what kind of math problems do you like to solve?

    A route in physics will involve more theory and fewer practial applications as you would need to use in engineering.

    Engineering will probably get you the most pay for the time you put in.

    If you want to teach math at the university level, you will need a PhD. Be prepared to publish A LOT.

    As one of my favorite engineering professors said during our Engineering Orientation for new students: "If you are looking to make a lot of money in engineering, then leave now, and go up the street to the business building."

    I didn't take his advice...

    So...see what kind of work you would be doing in economics...that's kind of the "physics" of business.

    If you are good enough in math to be considering a PhD, I envy you

    There are a lot of good career paths in several disciplines, if you have good math skillzorz. Look around and see what suits you.
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  8. #8
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Odense, Denmark
    Posts
    1,463
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by eubi View Post
    I
    As one of my favorite engineering professors said during our Engineering Orientation for new students: "If you are looking to make a lot of money in engineering, then leave now, and go up the street to the business building."
    Some universities (or at least the University of Virginia) offer combined ME/MBA's. That could be an option.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    No Va but ride also in So Md
    My Bikes
    Cervelo SLC-SL, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX
    Posts
    8,421
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gcl8a View Post
    Some universities (or at least the University of Virginia) offer combined ME/MBA's. That could be an option.
    Excellent advice. Too many people also overlook the need for business training as well as management (including how to manage people). It's one thing being a technical expert but that gets you only so far. Business and people skills are needed to get past that initial level.

    There's way too much emphasis placed on advanced degrees, especially if someone is just starting out in their career. The only reason I think pursuing a PhD makes sense is if someone wants to be a teacher.

    The most practical route for most people is get some work experience and decide what type of occupation is for you. Most employers offer assistance with education so you can get a Master's of PhD on a part time basis with employer's financial help.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  10. #10
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Whistler,BC
    My Bikes
    Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002 and specialized BMX
    Posts
    16,888
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    or IT.

    same thing.
    Except the money I make a little more than 8$ an hour haha

  11. #11
    My name is Mike, not Cal
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    474
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You can get a Masters in Library Science like I (a current Math major) plan on doing.

    I LOLed when you wrote "wrt"
    "I got my lips chewed off by a dingo!" --David Letterman

  12. #12
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    My Bikes
    Bianchi Volpe '07
    Posts
    863
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As a PhD, I have to ask- why the hell do you want it? It's not just an "advanced masters" and it's definitely not necessarily a ticket to a high-paying career. In fact, the PhD is a liability for many- I know quite a few people who've actually hidden their doctorate so they'd get a (usually high-paying) job. The only thing a PhD is good for is getting you in the door to a job that actually requires one- generally in research, teaching,sometimes in industry-related R&D, etc. A PhD is essentially a union card for these types of jobs.

    A couple of things (OK, four, actually) to keep in mind:
    1. A PhD can be a very, very difficult thing to achieve, but not because of the the intellectual stuff. The coursework part is a snap, but when you're shopping for a dissertation subject and you have to deal with the politics within and outside of your department (and believe me, you will), it's a 10-mile 20% grade. It can be done, but it takes perseverance like you've never known before.
    2. Pursuant to #1, the PhD rewards dogged persistence, not smarts. We're not brighter than anyone in particular, just not able or willing to give up.
    3. Doing the PhD is a socialization process- every step of the way, from coursework, deciding on a topic, taking your qualifying exams, taking your oral exams, assembling a committee, defending your proposal, doing the research, writing the diss, and defending your diss, is all about making you substantively different from anyone else who's not going through it. It's very similar to professional school, but extremely different. medical and law school are about training- lots of skills acquisition, etc., whereas the PhD is about becoming an independent researcher.
    4. Pursuant to #3, the PhD is a research degree. While we do pick up all sorts of arcane skills along the way, the fundamental characteristic of the doctorate is research and the philosophy of research (hence the Ph part). In reality, a PhD isn't needed to teach, even on the college level, but it is required, because nearly all of us have to support ourselves with research dollars, at least in the sciences, and especially in health sciences, which is where I am. I have to fund 90% of my salary with grants- only 10% comes from teaching, and this is very typical for medical school faculty.

    All this said, if you are really, really committed to working in a career (note- not a job, but a career) that requires a PhD, by all means go for it. But before you invest four to seven years of blood, sweat, and (plenty of) tears in the process, make certain it's what you really want to do. And if you are certain, and you finish, be prepared for incredible competition to 1. get a job and 2. hold on to it. But also be prepared for what could be the most rewarding career you could imagine!

    Good luck- if you want to talk more about this, PM me.

  13. #13
    Killing Rabbits
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    4,682
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Meteorology (atmospheric modeling is complicated) or statistics.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,251
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It seems to me you are asking the wrong question. You should ask yourself "What do I want to do for the next thirty years?"

    If you can figure that out, you will know the answer to the question about going back to school. Of course, many folks go back to schools to postpone having to answer the first question.

    When I was in graduate school, lots of the students I talked to said they were there to figure out what they really wanted to do...an expensive place to think about the future, especially compared with the beach.

  15. #15
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    South Florida
    My Bikes
    Techna Wheelchair and a Sun EZ 3 Recumbent Trike
    Posts
    16,014
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    4 Thread(s)
    Geophysics
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  16. #16
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA.
    Posts
    1,112
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    Except the money I make a little more than 8$ an hour haha
    I didn't, and I was doing network administration and programming.

    Christ I was so taken advantage of right out of high school

  17. #17
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    no
    My Bikes
    yes
    Posts
    1,347
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    What about a Masters' in some form of engineering?
    I was thinking about that, but based on my experience and observations, engineering, especially EE , was just mind numbing. I swear it felt like I was going to ITT. No in depth look at the material, it was mostly lab work involving some convoluted proprietary software. I ended up bouncing around between a few majors and settled on math because it was interesting and challenging, at least compared to everything else I had bothered with up to that point. In my undergrad analysis class there were two former/current engineering students, IIRC one had a PhD in CE and the other had a MS in EE, so it seems that engineering isn't very math heavy IME. But... This may just be something local?

    Quote Originally Posted by gcl8a View Post
    On another serious note: studying in Europe can cheap or free. Don't know about your chances with "mediocre" grades, though.
    Reading comprehension newbz. Learnz it! Like I said in my initial post, I will likely go to a CS to rehabilitate my grades and it isn't entirely unattractive since the cost of tuition is much lower. I've heard that Universities encourage cross pollination so to speak, but I believe my version of cheap or free may be less than yours. I'm also likely limited to the southern CA area, at least initially.

    Quote Originally Posted by eubi View Post
    SO...Specifically, what kind of math problems do you like to solve?
    I tend to like Algebra and most of the related stuff, like Algebraic Geometry. Analysis and Topology were o.k. too, and pretty much anything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston View Post
    It seems to me you are asking the wrong question. You should ask yourself "What do I want to do for the next thirty years?
    I want to do something interesting and challenging while being able to do something besides flipping burgers. Doesn't matter what, as long as it keeps me engaged.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    998
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Law degree? As a true bar member I am pretty sure its almost impossible to ever not find a job somewhere. It may not be with a big firm, but every company and organization needs an attorney to look over contracts.

    Yes, its two years, and lots of memorization, but once you pass the bar and become a full fledged member, you can never not find a job, from what I know.

  19. #19
    Dude wheres my guads? skinnyone's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Guess
    My Bikes
    Not enough
    Posts
    2,680
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Circuit, math simulators. Formal verification of circuits is very math heavy. CS, algorithms research is again math. Computational fluid mechanics maybe?

    But I personally found these things very slow, but loved EE :shrug:

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Toronto
    My Bikes
    '05 Bianchi Eros; '06 Bianchi Pista
    Posts
    490
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MTBLover View Post
    As a PhD, I have to ask- why the hell do you want it? It's not just an "advanced masters" and it's definitely not necessarily a ticket to a high-paying career. In fact, the PhD is a liability for many- I know quite a few people who've actually hidden their doctorate so they'd get a (usually high-paying) job. The only thing a PhD is good for is getting you in the door to a job that actually requires one- generally in research, teaching,sometimes in industry-related R&D, etc. A PhD is essentially a union card for these types of jobs.

    A couple of things (OK, four, actually) to keep in mind:
    1. A PhD can be a very, very difficult thing to achieve, but not because of the the intellectual stuff. The coursework part is a snap, but when you're shopping for a dissertation subject and you have to deal with the politics within and outside of your department (and believe me, you will), it's a 10-mile 20% grade. It can be done, but it takes perseverance like you've never known before.
    2. Pursuant to #1, the PhD rewards dogged persistence, not smarts. We're not brighter than anyone in particular, just not able or willing to give up.
    3. Doing the PhD is a socialization process- every step of the way, from coursework, deciding on a topic, taking your qualifying exams, taking your oral exams, assembling a committee, defending your proposal, doing the research, writing the diss, and defending your diss, is all about making you substantively different from anyone else who's not going through it. It's very similar to professional school, but extremely different. medical and law school are about training- lots of skills acquisition, etc., whereas the PhD is about becoming an independent researcher.
    4. Pursuant to #3, the PhD is a research degree. While we do pick up all sorts of arcane skills along the way, the fundamental characteristic of the doctorate is research and the philosophy of research (hence the Ph part). In reality, a PhD isn't needed to teach, even on the college level, but it is required, because nearly all of us have to support ourselves with research dollars, at least in the sciences, and especially in health sciences, which is where I am. I have to fund 90% of my salary with grants- only 10% comes from teaching, and this is very typical for medical school faculty.

    All this said, if you are really, really committed to working in a career (note- not a job, but a career) that requires a PhD, by all means go for it. But before you invest four to seven years of blood, sweat, and (plenty of) tears in the process, make certain it's what you really want to do. And if you are certain, and you finish, be prepared for incredible competition to 1. get a job and 2. hold on to it. But also be prepared for what could be the most rewarding career you could imagine!

    Good luck- if you want to talk more about this, PM me.
    + Eleventy billion

    As the long-suffering husband of an ABD, I can say this is absolutely the best advice I've ever read about the PhD issue, especially re: politics.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Toronto
    My Bikes
    '05 Bianchi Eros; '06 Bianchi Pista
    Posts
    490
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
    Law degree? As a true bar member I am pretty sure its almost impossible to ever not find a job somewhere. It may not be with a big firm, but every company and organization needs an attorney to look over contracts.

    Yes, its two years, and lots of memorization, but once you pass the bar and become a full fledged member, you can never not find a job, from what I know.

    Pretty much. There's almost always work, though it may not always be too sexy.

    However, I wouldn't go to law school just to go to law school. For starters, if you don't really want to be there, first semester will **** you up. Also, despite what most people seem to believe, the 'average' attorney does not get rich. It's a bell curve: a few at the bottom end, a bunch in the mid-five figures range, and a few at the top. Obviously, it depends on a range of factors, like whether you work in the public or private sphere, whether you're in a firm or solo, where you live, what field you practice in, etc...but, as one of my profs was fond of saying, if you really want to make money, become an investment banker.

  22. #22
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    8,048
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is similar to what I was told by other people. Something to look forward too. yey!
    Quote Originally Posted by MTBLover View Post
    As a PhD, I have to ask- why the hell do you want it? It's not just an "advanced masters" and it's definitely not necessarily a ticket to a high-paying career. In fact, the PhD is a liability for many- I know quite a few people who've actually hidden their doctorate so they'd get a (usually high-paying) job. The only thing a PhD is good for is getting you in the door to a job that actually requires one- generally in research, teaching,sometimes in industry-related R&D, etc. A PhD is essentially a union card for these types of jobs.

    A couple of things (OK, four, actually) to keep in mind:
    1. A PhD can be a very, very difficult thing to achieve, but not because of the the intellectual stuff. The coursework part is a snap, but when you're shopping for a dissertation subject and you have to deal with the politics within and outside of your department (and believe me, you will), it's a 10-mile 20% grade. It can be done, but it takes perseverance like you've never known before.
    2. Pursuant to #1, the PhD rewards dogged persistence, not smarts. We're not brighter than anyone in particular, just not able or willing to give up.
    3. Doing the PhD is a socialization process- every step of the way, from coursework, deciding on a topic, taking your qualifying exams, taking your oral exams, assembling a committee, defending your proposal, doing the research, writing the diss, and defending your diss, is all about making you substantively different from anyone else who's not going through it. It's very similar to professional school, but extremely different. medical and law school are about training- lots of skills acquisition, etc., whereas the PhD is about becoming an independent researcher.
    4. Pursuant to #3, the PhD is a research degree. While we do pick up all sorts of arcane skills along the way, the fundamental characteristic of the doctorate is research and the philosophy of research (hence the Ph part). In reality, a PhD isn't needed to teach, even on the college level, but it is required, because nearly all of us have to support ourselves with research dollars, at least in the sciences, and especially in health sciences, which is where I am. I have to fund 90% of my salary with grants- only 10% comes from teaching, and this is very typical for medical school faculty.

    All this said, if you are really, really committed to working in a career (note- not a job, but a career) that requires a PhD, by all means go for it. But before you invest four to seven years of blood, sweat, and (plenty of) tears in the process, make certain it's what you really want to do. And if you are certain, and you finish, be prepared for incredible competition to 1. get a job and 2. hold on to it. But also be prepared for what could be the most rewarding career you could imagine!

    Good luck- if you want to talk more about this, PM me.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  23. #23
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    United States of Mexico
    Posts
    3,428
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Go to a terminal M.A. / M.S. program that funds its master's students. If you want to go on to a Ph.D. program after, you'll have the opportunity. After two years of grad school, you'll know whether or not it's the right thing to do and you'll have an advanced degree.

  24. #24
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,952
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lyeinyoureye View Post
    I want to do something interesting and challenging while being able to do something besides flipping burgers. Doesn't matter what, as long as it keeps me engaged.
    You can do that without a PhD.

    To finish a PhD you have to really want to do it-- it's no fun a lot of the time, and for the most part doesn't open up new career opportunities except in a narrow area of research. Most people who drop out partway through don't leave because they can't do it, but because they decide they don't want to or that it isn't worth the obsession that you have to develop.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

  25. #25
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    American Gardens Building
    My Bikes
    2005 Kona Cinder Cone & 2010 Cannondale SuperSix
    Posts
    3,826
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Funny. I have a degree in math and found it to be quite useful.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •