SDavis123
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Ok I understand my title sound a bit "iffy" but please bear with me. I know maths is an amazing subject and there are many useful skills to be obtained from maths and I love it myself. However, is there actually any point in doing a maths degree?

My reason for thinking this is that by doing a maths degree you are either going to end up doing something "mathsy" such as accounting, engineering or something finance related or you are one of the odd few that go into something like law or something "problem solving" related but my question is; that well if you're going to end up doing that then why don't you do a degree in that?

I mean why waste your time doing years of something unrelated when you could more than likely end up being an accountant and the majority of things that you would have learnt in your maths degree would have been of little to no use to you? wouldn't it have been better to just do an accountancy degree? I mean what is the point?

I apologise if I have come across as ignorant.
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Noble.
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The point is, it isn't unrelated. Maths is one of the most employable degrees not because of the actual content but because of the way of thinking required, the rigour, and generally how much of a pain in the arse it is to study. Generally if you can get through a maths degree at the pace they go through it at top universities, there isn't much you can't handle when it comes to careers (within reason).

I think you're thinking about it the wrong way around, it isn't that someone thinks "I want to be a lawyer, I'll study maths" - from what I understand, science graduates started becoming lawyers (or rather, law firms actually started looking at science graduates) because the kind of analytical reasoning that they think makes a good lawyer just so happens to be the kind of skill that develops massively doing a mathematics degree (and other degrees) and arguably more-so than it'd develop when doing a law degree.

You're missing quite a large chunk of graduates though, those who go into academia/research, which clearly you'll need a mathematics degree in (also please don't ask what good mathematical research does because the list is endless )

Also, this is going to sound somewhat snobbish, but I was under the impression that the maths grads from top institutions generally went onto much more well paid accountancy jobs than the average accountancy graduate from a top university (I may be wrong though).
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SDavis123
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(Original post by Noble.)
The point is, it isn't unrelated. Maths is one of the most employable degrees not because of the actual content but because of the way of thinking required, the rigour, and generally how much of a pain in the arse it is to study. Generally if you can get through a maths degree at the pace they go through it at top universities, there isn't much you can't handle when it comes to careers (within reason).
Yes, I see your point but the thing is aren't those skills equally acquirable in say an engineering degree? a degree that would give your more career opportunities and you could go straight into an engineering career whereas with a maths degree if you ended up wanting to go into engineering you'd have spend more time doing conversion courses etc.

(Original post by Noble.)
think you're thinking about it the wrong way around, it isn't that someone thinks "I want to be a lawyer, I'll study maths" - from what I understand, science graduates started becoming lawyers (or rather, law firms actually started looking at science graduates) because the kind of analytical reasoning that they think makes a good lawyer just so happens to be the kind of skill that develops massively doing a mathematics degree (and other degrees) and arguably more-so than it'd develop when doing a law degree.
Yes, I can understand that, I guess, but I mean law is quite different to maths so to study maths and then go into law sounds like bad planning imo. Despite maths grads having good problem-solving skills they still do not know the law and will have to spend more years actually learning the law.

(Original post by Noble.)
You're missing quite a large chunk of graduates though, those who go into academia/research, which clearly you'll need a mathematics degree in (also please don't ask what good mathematical research does because the list is endless )
Oh yes I'm sorry I know very little about this section.

Right now maths just seems a degree to go for if you really like the subject and just sort of "go with the flow" and see where it takes you but the problem with that is that you could be working in an opposite direction to where you'd like to end up if you know what I mean.
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dragonrabbit
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(Original post by SDavis123)
a degree that would give your more career opportunities and you could go straight into an engineering career whereas with a maths degree if you ended up wanting to go into engineering you'd have spend more time doing conversion courses etc.
More career opportunities for engineering maybe, but I'd guess (and hope), that overall a Maths degree gives you a wider range of options! Particularly if, like me, you don't know yet what you want to go into. So I suppose if you know precisely what you want to follow as a career, then doing a more specific degree might be more beneficial, though a Maths degree keeps your options open
Or at least that's how I (possibly naively) view it...
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SnoochToTheBooch
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it's one of the most pointful degrees around. If we stop having mathematicians that would be a disaster. Further education is about more than just making an individual employable, it's about keeping a subject alive. There are countless people who've devoted their lives to it - with spectacular results - and for that to be lost/forgotten about now would be a real tragedy.
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Terk
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Mate how many degrees are their that actually teach you the skills for a job? few such as comp sci and enginnering, but most don't for example many people with economics degrees go into banking but you think they use much of what they learnt? no they do a training course with the company. The point is that your capable of completing x course and x uni with an x grade in the degree.
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SDavis123
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(Original post by dragonrabbit)
More career opportunities for engineering maybe, but I'd guess (and hope), that overall a Maths degree gives you a wider range of options! Particularly if, like me, you don't know yet what you want to go into. So I suppose if you know precisely what you want to follow as a career, then doing a more specific degree might be more beneficial, though a Maths degree keeps your options open
Or at least that's how I (possibly naively) view it...
Really? I would of thought engineering would give you a wider range of options because you pretty much have all the options of a maths degree plus engineering.

I too don't know exactly what I want to do but without wanting to be harsh wouldn't it be bad planning to do a maths degree and just "go with the flow" and see what you feel like doing after?
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SDavis123
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(Original post by SnoochToTheBooch)
it's one of the most pointful degrees around. If we stop having mathematicians that would be a disaster. Further education is about more than just making an individual employable, it's about keeping a subject alive. There are countless people who've devoted their lives to it - with spectacular results - and for that to be lost/forgotten about now would be a real tragedy.
Yes I can see that but from my perspective, I'm not interested in keeping a subject alive, I'm interested in doing a degree which I'm going to enjoy and put me in a good position on the job market.
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Maxima
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Can a person with a law degree become an engineer? I doubt it. Maths keeps your options open, letting you do a wide variety of things.
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Noble.
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(Original post by SDavis123)
Really? I would of thought engineering would give you a wider range of options because you pretty much have all the options of a maths degree plus engineering.

I too don't know exactly what I want to do but without wanting to be harsh wouldn't it be bad planning to do a maths degree and just "go with the flow" and see what you feel like doing after?
No, what is bad planning is signing onto doing a degree you're not really that interested in just because it has a certain job at the end of it. You quickly realise it's near enough impossible to do well for 3-4 years if you've picked a degree on the basis of career options. That said, maths graduates are still extremely employable, but you really do need to love maths to put up with it.
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SDavis123
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(Original post by Noble.)
No, what is bad planning is signing onto doing a degree you're not really that interested in just because it has a certain job at the end of it. You quickly realise it's near enough impossible to do well for 3-4 years if you've picked a degree on the basis of career options. That said, maths graduates are still extremely employable, but you really do need to love maths to put up with it.
Wow this hit me because that's exactly what I've got myself into. I've applied for chemical engineering, yes it seems enjoyable because it combines all of my three subjects but as time has gone on I've got more and more fed up with physics and chemistry but I've actually grown to like maths more, hence why I am questioning a maths degree but yes I am very strongly considering it now....
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squeakysquirrel
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(Original post by SDavis123)
Wow this hit me because that's exactly what I've got myself into. I've applied for chemical engineering, yes it seems enjoyable because it combines all of my three subjects but as time has gone on I've got more and more fed up with physics and chemistry but I've actually grown to like maths more, hence why I am questioning a maths degree but yes I am very strongly considering it now....

My husband is a partner for one of the big accountancy firms. When he is taking on new management consultants, he is very much drawn to mathematicians because he likes their logic. That is not to say that he isn't impressed by other degrees. He like all the conventional sciences, engineers and those who have language degrees

Your options for employment are very wide ranging and you can travel the world. My daughter is also doing maths and she has seen already the opportunities that will be available.

What I am saying is that really any sciencey degree will stand you in good stead.
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pepeeglesfield
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No, but this is a pointless thread.
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Nathanielle
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Math isn't pointless at all, although a lot overvalue the degree a bit in my opinion. Probably because a lot of people don't like Math and it is still seen as exceptional in our society to be able to do that.

In addition studying Math doesn't mean you are necessarily studying pure Math. Thus the graduates heading for Finance/Engineering have often the opportunity to take courses in that area during their degree. Thus there are just coming from Math originally, but have had already specialised courses in that area in their degree.

While a lot here say, they could go into Engineering, that is only ture for a part of engineering. Not every engineer sits in front of a Laptop working with Matlab on fluid dynamics or calculating structures. Doing Experiments and actually working in production (not implementing methods of pure Math) requires another set of skills and interests, you are less likely to develop in a Math degree.

Math gives you a lot of options, but not necessarily more than other degrees, depending on your interests. You can study Math, because you like it, but simply for career reasons? I don't see the advantage, especially compared to any other science/engineering degree, as said above.
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SR255
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(Original post by SnoochToTheBooch)
it's one of the most pointful degrees around. If we stop having mathematicians that would be a disaster. Further education is about more than just making an individual employable, it's about keeping a subject alive. There are countless people who've devoted their lives to it - with spectacular results - and for that to be lost/forgotten about now would be a real tragedy.
I think his question is more along the lines of "is a maths degree pointless career-wise?" rather than just is a maths degree pointless full stop. My answer to the former is no because maths and logic skills are highly valued by employers but you would obviously need to do cconversion courses/masters to gain access to your chosen career field in most cases.
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krisshP
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(Original post by Nathanielle)
X.
(Original post by Noble.)
X

(Original post by dragonrabbit)
X..
After reading this thread I feel tempted to do the Maths degree since I enjoy it and also want open options as I'm not precisely 100% sure where I aim to go. I wanted to ask, compared to other degrees like say mathematics with finance and accounting, is the degree Maths extremely hard? I feel slightly put off by this . The degree seems nice though as it is flexible for employment and so long as the workload level is not too high, I know that I would enjoy the degree which is also very crucial for me liking my degree.

If I do the degree maths, I would apply with a levels Maths, Physics and Business studies with AS Chemistry. Clearly I wouldn't have done Further Maths, but I do have Physics. Also the uni I aim to do the degree in, does not say Further Maths is needed, so I guess they would teach Further maths relate modules from scratch. Should I be put off by me not having further maths?

Thanks so much for any help
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ttoby
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(Original post by krisshP)
After reading this thread I feel tempted to do the Maths degree since I enjoy it and also want open options as I'm not precisely 100% sure where I aim to go. I wanted to ask, compared to other degrees like say mathematics with finance and accounting, is the degree Maths extremely hard? I feel slightly put off by this . The degree seems nice though as it is flexible for employment and so long as the workload level is not too high, I know that I would enjoy the degree which is also very crucial for me liking my degree.

If I do the degree maths, I would apply with a levels Maths, Physics and Business studies with AS Chemistry. Clearly I wouldn't have done Further Maths, but I do have Physics. Also the uni I aim to do the degree in, does not say Further Maths is needed, so I guess they would teach Further maths relate modules from scratch. Should I be put off by me not having further maths?

Thanks so much for any help
Whilst having further maths is nice to increase your general knowledge/ability in maths, if the course doesn't require it then you wouldn't need it. As you say, anything from the further maths syllabus would be taught from scratch.
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SDavis123
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(Original post by SR255)
I think his question is more along the lines of "is a maths degree pointless career-wise?" rather than just is a maths degree pointless full stop. My answer to the former is no because maths and logic skills are highly valued by employers but you would obviously need to do cconversion courses/masters to gain access to your chosen career field in most cases.
Yeah sorry, I did say my title was a bit "iffy"

but the thing is, like I said; I do maths, physics and chemistry and i'm getting a bit fed up of physics and chemistry but if anything I've grown to like maths more which is why I'd like to study maths. However, the problem with doing maths is that I feel like I'm just going to end up in finance (I know there is also engineering, academia and research to go into. I don't really see myself being a teacher in the future and because I'm getting so fed up of physics etc, I don't really see myself going into engineering either and I suppose I don't really know enough about going into research to rule it out.) but yeah 1. I'm not sure if I even want to go into finance and 2. If I'm going to end up in finance then why not just do a finance related degree?

ok fine maths will give you superior problem-solving skills to someone who did finance but surely if you studied finance you would be more specialised, have more problem-solving skills in the related areas and would therefore be the better candidate?
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Nathanielle
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(Original post by krisshP)
is the degree Maths extremely hard?
Generally spoken: Yes, it is not a degree you just work your way through with loads of freetime aside. For most of the people it is harder than economics/accounting/business studies. Nevertheless, wether a degree is too hard for oneselve is often a totally different cup of tea. For some Math students the finance part is just a nuisance, they try to get rif off as soon as they can. The question should be: What do you enjoy? Are you willing to spend hours on certain problems? Have a little bit talent in Math? For that I would suggest to look at some first year math boks, inform you about the teaching style, syllabus, etc. Then you should be able to make a decision without getting a bad surprise.
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Don John
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(Original post by SDavis123)
Ok I understand my title sound a bit "iffy" but please bear with me. I know maths is an amazing subject and there are many useful skills to be obtained from maths and I love it myself. However, is there actually any point in doing a maths degree?

My reason for thinking this is that by doing a maths degree you are either going to end up doing something "mathsy" such as accounting, engineering or something finance related or you are one of the odd few that go into something like law or something "problem solving" related but my question is; that well if you're going to end up doing that then why don't you do a degree in that?

I mean why waste your time doing years of something unrelated when you could more than likely end up being an accountant and the majority of things that you would have learnt in your maths degree would have been of little to no use to you? wouldn't it have been better to just do an accountancy degree? I mean what is the point?

I apologise if I have come across as ignorant.
If you enjoy a subject, then study it, and if you don't enjoy a subject, then don't study it, and do the thing you are interested in. You appear to have answered your own question to a degree.
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