tomBch
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Hey everyone, I need a fair bit of help...

I am currently having a borderline early-life crisis as I'm stuck between choosing a maths degree or degree in general engineering (not specific as I don't have a particular engineering field in mind, but it would likely be mechanical/aerospace).
My current A - Levels are Maths, Physics and History. I'd like to think that I'm a talkative person, and I can work in a team, but I also enjoy solving problems alone.
SO, despite doing a fair amount of research online, I have some questions that I'd feel more certain with the answers, having asked the questions myself:

1) Can you go on to do statistics/ data analysis as a career with an engineering degree, or do you need something else?

2) Is a maths degree for me? I don't have further maths, I am currently doing just normal maths, physics and history. For AS Maths I got an A and am predicted an A/A*. Maths is not my die hard passion but I enjoy it most in school out of my subjects.

3) Do you need to be very practical for an engineering degree? I would do general to begin with, then probably specialise in mechanical or aerospace

4) Which is more employable, a maths degree or engineering degree?

5) Can you do a maths degree and become an engineer? And in reverse, can you do an engineering degree and then go on to do all the jobs available to maths graduates

6) How does a maths degree differ from the A Level?

7) Should you really have been passionate about engineering/ a particular field of it before entering a general engineering degree, or is an interest in maths and physics sufficient to not die on the course? I have never had any prior interest in engineering, but having read more in detail it appeals as a choice.

8) How varied is a maths degree? Are you always doing the same type of work, was it for the most part interesting

9) Also, do many unis accept a maths Bsc for an engineering masters? I have heard so but haven't found many.

Essentially, if it's possible to answer, which is a better degree area to go for; maths or engineering? (career prospects, enjoy the work, variation, pay etc) Both sound appealing to me for different reasons; the practical and problem solving in engineering, and the more theoretical and data/statistics side of maths.

sorry for the long jumbled post, I just have a lot on my mind so here it is. I realise some of these questions may be impossible to answer so sorry about that. If anyone can help me in deciding anything I'd be very appreciative.
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Infraspecies
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1. You can do that really with any numerate degree with experience of data analysis. So any real science/maths, really.
2. A lot of maths can be very formal and long winded and abstract. Engineering is a lot more tangible, and you get to do practical work. Does that appeal to you?
3. Yes, you do practical things as an engineer. They're good skills to have, for data analysis.
4. I don't think they're any different, really. YOU are the discerning factor in how employable you are, your degree is really a sideline in today's job market.
5. There will be some cross-over. You would probably be able to do computational stuff for either at post-graduate level. If it's any scope, I did a chemistry degree, and now do an engineering PhD.
6. More, more formal, and more abstract (as in, you do more things that are more abstract, as well).
7. Most people get bored of their degree rapidly. Most people get bored of whatever they do quickly. Maybe it's jaded and unrepresentative of everyone else, but you need to find things actively to be interested in, be it a part of your field or not. I'm sure you won't be bored, as you will have a ton of contact time with an engineering degree.
8. There's a huge amount of maths, in the same way as that there's a huge amount of engineering. Look, the main difference here is the practical side of things. Do you want to make things with your hands?
9. I don't know, sorry.
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Smack
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(Original post by tomBch)
Hey everyone, I need a fair bit of help...
1) Yes, and in fact some engineering jobs can involve quite a lot of statistics and data analysis.

3) What do you mean by practical? You don't need to be a skilled carpenter or machinist, but it does help if you can develop an understanding of how things work; how they go together, what they are made out of, and how to make them, because engineering is fundamentally about working on things that are designed, built/manufactured/constructed and maintained. That said, the degree is mainly maths and physics based, so you certainly don't need to be a practical person to get a degree in engineering.

4) Depends on what kinds of jobs you're looking for, and how good you are at each...

5) It's not impossible to become an engineer with a maths degree but it is certainly much harder as you'll see a lot of engineering positions are looking for people with engineering degrees.

7) You don't need to be passionate about a particular field, and general degrees exist for this reason - and even if you were, you might change your mind anyway. If you like maths and physics, you'll probably find the degree okay - but it'll obviously be less mathematical than a maths degree, particularly with regard to things such as proofs, and it will contain much less hardcore physics than a physics degree, instead focusing on more "real world" applications rather than stuff like quantum mechanics, astrophysics, etc.

9) Yes, a maths BSc is fine for a lot of engineering masters degrees - but the thing is, an engineering MSc, particularly if it isn't backed up with some engineering work experience, doesn't necessarily make up for the lack of an engineering undergrad degree.

Essentially, if it's possible to answer, which is a better degree area to go for; maths or engineering? (career prospects, enjoy the work, variation, pay etc) Both sound appealing to me for different reasons; the practical and problem solving in engineering, and the more theoretical and data/statistics side of maths.
Depends on where your interests lie. If you're not sure enough, don't rush in; take some time to consider what appeals to you the most.
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tomBch
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thanks for the replies, very helpful
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Hayley2018
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(Original post by tomBch)
thanks for the replies, very helpful
Hi, can I ask what you ended up going with? I am in the same position as you currently (except studying Maths, Further Maths and Physics) and find myself asking the same questions.
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tomBch
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(Original post by Hayley2018)
Hi, can I ask what you ended up going with? I am in the same position as you currently (except studying Maths, Further Maths and Physics) and find myself asking the same questions.
at the moment I am applying for a maths + cs joint honours (which can be changed to either maths or cs later if I want to) and have been pretty fixed on it for a while with a few little decisions still to make (having some issues with the universities I picked as the modules seem to be changing) but otherwise I think thats what I'll end up doing.
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Hayley2018
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(Original post by tomBch)
at the moment I am applying for a maths + cs joint honours (which can be changed to either maths or cs later if I want to) and have been pretty fixed on it for a while with a few little decisions still to make (having some issues with the universities I picked as the modules seem to be changing) but otherwise I think thats what I'll end up doing.
What were the main deciding factors for you that made you scrap the idea of doing an engineering degree?
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tomBch
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(Original post by Hayley2018)
What were the main deciding factors for you that made you scrap the idea of doing an engineering degree?
not completely sure to be honest, I just think I'd rather have the freedom of many directions (be it financial, applied, statistics, computers) and the idea of being an engineer as a job at the moment doesn't appeal to me. I might change my mind further down the line, but hey thats life I guess
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Hayley2018
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(Original post by tomBch)
not completely sure to be honest, I just think I'd rather have the freedom of many directions (be it financial, applied, statistics, computers) and the idea of being an engineer as a job at the moment doesn't appeal to me. I might change my mind further down the line, but hey thats life I guess
Okay, thank you! Hopefully I make my decision soon
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