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What can I do with my Math and Physics degree?

newbornduckynewbornducky Posts: 3Registered User New Member
I am a new graduate double major in math and physics. My current plan is to take a break from school and apply for graduate school this winter (so graduate school should start fall 2013.) But when I start searching for jobs (so I can pay off some loan), I run into some problems.
I notice I do not have any skill other than knowing some math and physics. Almost all the jobs I found required some skill in some programming languages. Statistics jobs require statistics programs (I actually took two upper division classes in statistics, but most of the homework were done with paper and pencil) and software engineering jobs require experiences with languages like C, C++, java, etc.
So my question is what kind of jobs are available for a math/physics major that does not know any programming languages? If there aren't any, should I go ahead and try to teach myself the required languages?
I appreciate any advice.
Post edited by newbornducky on

Replies to: What can I do with my Math and Physics degree?

  • tedders83tedders83 Posts: 261Registered User Junior Member
    Become a math and/or physics teacher!
  • terencterenc Posts: 1,127Registered User Senior Member
    You can teach yourself the languages; in my experience people who are strong at math tend to be the strongest programmers. I've never met a good mathematician who was bad a programming. (But I've met programmers who were bad/average at math).

    Finance takes math/physics majors, but it may be too late to get a job. You can still look.
  • MyHipieMyHipie Posts: 49Registered User Junior Member
    ^ Funny stuff. Many math majors did very poorly in my Data structures class at my college this past semester. (open stats were available to us, without names of course)

    Edit: all math majors have to take 3 programming courses here.
  • terencterenc Posts: 1,127Registered User Senior Member
    Math major =/= good at math
  • newbornduckynewbornducky Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    Thanks for the reply. I guess I will have to teach myself the languages. My question is how long will it take? Will companies hire me if I am just learning the languages right now?
  • xraymancsxraymancs Posts: 1,955College Rep Senior Member
    The financial industry is one place you can go. A similar possibility is in a utility company which needs to model energy markets or an insurance company. Physics majors have good real-world modeling skills and also programming experience, an excellent combination.

    If you have already had laboratory experience, you might be able to land a job as a tech at a national Laboratory (think Argonne, LBL, Oak Ridge, etc.) where they have user facilities which are very much physics oriented. Another possibility is to look for a job as a tech in a Radiation Health Physics company or department (every hospital has these people). Other possibilities are technical services companies, for example in sales with VWR a scientific supply company, or companies which develop new instruments. Here the use of instrumentation to measure real-world quantities and some knowledge of electronics is what a physicist learns. Another possibility are defense-orented companies, who usually are happy to hire physics majors.

    Instead of thinking that your resume shows no skills, emphasize the breadth of knowledge you have and the analytical skills that you can use to learn just about anything. It is all in how you present yourself.

    Good Luck
  • Emilymellomad88Emilymellomad88 Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    thanks for the tips!
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