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Old 04-23-2008, 10:57 PM
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I’ve noticed a distinct lack of activity here over the last few days. In an effort to improve this situation, I’ve decided to ask a question that has been concerning me recently.

As background, I should mention that (God-willing) I’ll be graduating from my local community college next month with an Associate’s of Science Degree in Mathematics. This means that I’ll soon be applying for transfer to a four-year institution to continue my education and get a Bachelor’s Degree, and possibly a graduate degree after that (I would have had to apply already if I wanted to transfer this fall, but I’m planning on waiting for a little longer before transferring because there are a few more classes I want to take here).

The decision about where to transfer is a big enough source of anxiety by itself. But in addition (and possibly of more importance than that), I have to decide what to major in. Here I’m still undecided. While I have a few ideas about what I don’t want to study, what I should study is somewhat of a mystery to me. There are just so many options, it’s hard to pick just one (or two or three, in case I decide to have a double-major, or a minor, or something like that).

One option is Mathematics. I already have a pretty solid foundation in Math (as I mentioned above, I’m a Math major for my Associate’s Degree, and I got good grades in all the Math classes I’ve taken in college). However, I’m not sure how I’d do in upper-division Math courses, which I understand are a lot more abstract and rigorous than what I’m accustomed to. Besides Math, there are a lot of possibilities. I’m not quite sure which ones to explore.

So I thought I might as well ask the question here. I know there are a lot of smart people around here, many of whom are further along in their education than I. If anyone has any opinions, advice, sales pitches, or stories about your own college/career experiences, feel free to post them here. It might provide insight for me and others in a similar position. And it will hopefully inspire some much-needed discussion around here.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:48 AM
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Well, the reason for MY lack of activity is that I don't like replying to my own replies. If I let myself pontificate in the PNQ or Link threads too much, I sort of run into the "how do you get the genie back into the bottle" problem. I'm still here, don't worry.

I suppose my only advice is to take a few courses not related to your major and try to get a part-time job that has nothing to do with your major, if you choose to work on campus. I enjoyed my campus job in part because it allowed me to rest the academic sections of my brain and let other sectors get some exercise.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:59 AM
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A guy I went to undergrad with has a B.Sc. in math. He works at Starbucks.

Much as it pains me to say this, biology seems to be where all the jobs are, or rather the biology jobs that deal with humans. Medical lab technicians and technologists (I'm assured there's a distinction) seem to be in high demand. Most of the chemistry jobs at the bachelor's level involve routine analysis and monitoring of instrumentation. (Incidentally, if you're at all considering grad school, go for the PhD or don't go at all. The Master's is nigh-well useless).
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:56 AM
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I ain't touchin' that one.
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:56 AM
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Universal problem, Sa'ar.

You want to work in a museum, you need a Museum Studies MA, and to get a decent job, a doctorate.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:10 AM
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I'm about as unsuited as can be to give any sort of advice or even vague opinion in this area, so I'm instead going to do with "I like cheese".
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sa'ar Chasm
A guy I went to undergrad with has a B.Sc. in math. He works at Starbucks.
As what, an analyst?

But that does seem to confirm what I've heard, that an undegraduate degree in math isn't worth very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sa'ar Chasm
Incidentally, if you're at all considering grad school, go for the PhD or don't go at all. The Master's is nigh-well useless
Spoken from painful experience, I presume.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great
I suppose my only advice is to take a few courses not related to your major and try to get a part-time job that has nothing to do with your major, if you choose to work on campus.
Good advice, I suppose. My college career should be about more than just my major. I can get a better education, and better preparation for a job, if I don't focus all my energy on a single subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PointyHairedJedi
I like cheese
Me too.

While we're on the topic of cheese, er college, I might as well ask if anyone knows a good college they can reccommend, particularly in northern California. I realize this is a long shot, as I can't think of anyone here (except for IJD, who's a relative newcomer) who lives around here, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
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The Doctor: It was all in the job title: Head of human resources.
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:37 PM
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As I said, I wasn't going to touch the "get a 'squishy subject' degree, work in fast food" tired argument. Not a chance.

One reason I believe in the university system is that they make you get an education that isn't horribly niched.
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mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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Old 04-26-2008, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
One reason I believe in the university system is that they make you get an education that isn't horribly niched.
A broad education in unemployable subjects makes you as unwanted as a niche education.

Don't mind me, I'm still annoyed that Science majors needed to take six Arts courses, but Arts majors only needed four Science courses, *and* they got special dumbed-down courses so the scary sciences wouldn't tax their brains, but I had to struggle through opaque analyses of Othello.

*cough* But I digress.

Quote:
Spoken from painful experience, I presume.
There's a reason I haven't written a fiver in about a year and a half. Perpetual unemployment kills the funnybone.
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:30 PM
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FWIW, a physics degree is very heavy on mathematics. If you can handle matrices and systems of linear equations, non-stationary and abstract coordinate systems, differential and integral calculus, and the memorization of a few recurring formulas, plus random combinations of the above, you have a good shot at getting a physics degree should you feel so inclined.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:49 PM
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Ugh, differential calculus. I actually took that course, and all I can say is...

Back, back! I say thee NAY!

Sa'ar: Perpetual unemployment kills the funnybone.

I've faced that problem, and all I can do is parrot one of the wisest statements ever made by Dave Barry: "Do not confuse your career with your life." Embrace joy wherever you can find it, I say (as long as it's legal and inexpensive, of course), and if you find joy in fiving, then five! Simple as that.
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Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:41 PM
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At least that picture served some purpose, namely reminding me of a classic bumper sticker:

"Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup."

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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #13  
Old 05-30-2008, 10:31 PM
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So does rat; well, have you ever tried rat without ketchup?


[/Random sideways Discworld reference]
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
At least that picture served some purpose, namely reminding me of a classic bumper sticker:

"Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup."

What picture? (I'm saying this on behalf of those who didn't see the spambot post.)
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Candace: (gasp) The square root of 'soon' is 'never'!

The Doctor: It was all in the job title: Head of human resources.
Lance: This time, it's personnel.

To God be the glory. ><>
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tate View Post
While we're on the topic of cheese, er college, I might as well ask if anyone knows a good college they can reccommend, particularly in northern California. I realize this is a long shot, as I can't think of anyone here (except for IJD, who's a relative newcomer) who lives around here, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
Well, I'm from Arizona, but I've looked into it when I was applying for schools, and I'm told UC Berkeley is excellent. They only accept applications in November, though, and I'm not quite sure how your current credits would transfer. In Arizona, nearly all community college credits transfer to the state universities, but I'm not sure about other states.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:55 PM
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Berkley? Whoa. I shudder to think of the tuition there.
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Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:50 AM
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Well, sure, but why not aim for the top? As far as I know, a lot of schools currently have very nice grants for poor students (I'm getting quite a bit here in Arizona from my low family income). Also, I figure that if one were to apply to the UC system, there's a decent range of schools that might fit a lot of tuition/selectivity combinations.
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