# Some doubts regarding my career

Dear friends,

I have some doubts regarding my future career. I want to pursue M.Sc. and then undergo further research in pure mathematics but I am fearing whether I will get any job or not. So, according to you what should I do. Should I pursue B.Sc.,M.Sc and research or I should do B.Tech .

Note by Prakash Chandra Rai
3 years ago

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You seem to be wise enough to chart your future both intuitively and analytically. Some questions to ask yourself ....

10 years from now, if you go for a B. Tech. and become an engineer, how much would you regret not having instead pursued your dream? Could you tolerate being an engineer as a vocation while pursuing mathematics as an avocation? What is your assessment of your chances of achieving your dream and, if you indeed do achieve it, of finding suitable employment? Is pursuing your dream worth the inherent risks? Do you love mathematics enough that you would you be willing to do it for free while living a spartan existence? How would you define a life well-lived, and what can you do now that will propel you in the (general) direction of fulfilling that goal?

- 3 years ago

Ah, the eternal problem of having to put food on the table. It's too bad, isn't it?

- 3 years ago

Eternal, indeed. And I suppose the best answer to an 18 year old is to make choices now that leave as many options open as possible down the road. leaving you in the best position to take advantage of the opportunities that will present themselves along the way. You don't to want live with regrets, but realistically, they're pretty much unavoidable. So the question is: which regrets would you be prepared to live with?

- 3 years ago

Agree. I have very similar point of view. Guidelines are always in high demand for us. Thanks btw. ^_^

- 3 years ago

Hi, Soumo. Hope you're doing well. :)

- 3 years ago

I am good. How are you? Isn't it 4:00 A.M in Canada, now?

- 3 years ago

Haha. I'm well, thanks, and while it's "just" 1:35 a.m. here on the West Coast, I should still probably think of getting some sleep. :P

- 3 years ago

I still don't know the answer to that one. I mean, I think I'm pretty comfortable now, but was it worth it? I sympathize with Prakash and others like him faced with this decision.

- 3 years ago

My condition is same as of the poet in the poem "The road not taken" written by Robert Frost. If I pursue B.Tech it would be next to impossible for me to return and pursue B.Sc. and vice versa.

- 3 years ago

- 3 years ago

Ya, I have read that but problem is that will I able to complete engineering. I don't know whether I would be able to complete B.Tech given that I have no interest in applied mathematics.

- 3 years ago

Mathematics is all about Rigorous and Accurate and Logical Thinking. Right? What's with Applied or Pure? You want to get into research. You can get into research after doing B.tech. Now a days, research is more interdisciplinary. So, you can do your research, which might involve plenty of challenging Mathematical problems and ideas, in areas concerning Engineering. People are into Mathematical Research concerning Biology, Geology, Psychology...!! After Engineering you still have good chances of starting a beautiful and healthy love affair with Mathematical Researches.

- 3 years ago

First of all, as far as I know, there is a difference between applied and pure mathematics. Applied mathematics deals with applications while pure mathematics deals with fundamentals.

Secondly, B.Tech is purely application. You are not allowed or perhaps don't have much time to probe deeper into a particular topic. It is easy to do research if you know basics clearly.

Thirdly, (it is my personal view. It may be wrong. ), pure mathematics is best. It is wonderful,beautiful. Even I don't have words to describe it. Applied on the other part is a kind of branch in pure mathematics. It totally depends upon pure mathematics for it's theorems and results. I wanted to research on fundamentals. Something which Newton, Ramanujan, Leibniz did.

- 3 years ago

Okay. But you do agree with Brian? If that helps you to take a decision then everything is good.

And for the distinction between pure and applied you should ask those who are into it. There are number of news article concerning mathematical research , just google it. They say Research is interdisciplinary.

Engineers do engage in Research. There are engineers who have done research in the field of mathematics. Just google it. I have read a few article and I know that people from technical lines do go into research.

We aspire to be Leibniz and Ramanujan because we know about them. Because everyone knows about them. Those legends are gone long ago. Did that hamper in any manner the development of Mathematics? No. Huge chunks of mathematical research papers are published each year. To be a successful (you may like more the term "Great") research mathematician isn't easy: there are so many many many brilliant research mathematician out there. And you have to show the world that your work is as worthy as theirs. Here comes the difficulty.

Anyways, what I meant to say is that research isn't actually what we think. But there are accessible means by which we can get enough information about research.

In the book "Letters to a Young Mathematician" Professor Ian Stewart helps readers to understand the distinction between applied and pure. Following are the concluding lines of the chapter "Pure or Applied". There is more about the "Two styles of Mathematics". But I don't think commenting the entire chapter would be a good idea :)

So: should you study pure math or applied math? Neither. You should use the tools at hand, adapt and modify them to suit your own projects, and make new ones as the need arises.

- 3 years ago

@Soumo Mukherjee - 1 year 6 months ago, I was unable to realize your advice, but now, slowly I am realizing. Finally, I am studying B.Tech in computer science. And after studying for three semesters, I realize that computer science is based on mathematical ideas.

Yes, you were right about the fact that we should use pure and applied mathematics as tools at hand. When I took admission in B.Tech C.S.E, for a moment I regretted my decision. But now, I can clearly see that computer science is itself build on foundations of pure and applied mathematics. I am really enjoying this course now.

Moreover, some recent developments in quantum computing have opened a gate to a new research field where mathematics, physics and computer science both are involved.

So, for those who are reading this post for deciding there future carrer:-

Never stop chasing your dreams. There will be some moments in life where you will have to compromise. But, don't be disappointed. In spite of studying metallurgy, Sundar Pichai is CEO of Google. So, keep chasing your dreams. As long as you have talent, degree/certification doesn't matters.

- 1 year, 6 months ago

Congratulations! Great to hear that the choices you've made are working out well for you. Thanks for letting us know. :)

- 1 year, 6 months ago

Nice to hear that you are happy with your decision and that you are enjoying your studies.

- 1 year, 5 months ago

That's the main problem. One has to think about his family. If only I am considered, I can live with Rs. 10000 per month salary. But what about my family?

- 3 years ago

I know if I pursue research in mathematics, I will do good. But I am not sure what kind of engineer will I become. Even I am not sure about the matter will I be able to complete my engineering without facing any difficulties. In mathematics and Computing branch, they teach applied mathematics but I am interested in pure mathematics. I think I should go for research. @Brian Charlesworth @Michael Mendrin Will you tell about job opportunities in USA after pursuing M.Sc in mathematics?. There is very poor scope of a M.Sc. or a Ph.D holder in India.

- 3 years ago

After reading all the comments on this page, my sense is that you have the desire, determination and ability to make your dream a reality, and as Michael has pointed out, your skills will likely be in demand here in North America. I hope that your family will be able to see this as the ideal option for you. Good luck! :)

- 3 years ago

Thanks

- 3 years ago

Well, the good news for you is that in America there's a high demand for qualified mathematicians and engineers from other countries, because there's too few good ones graduating from its own colleges. Companies like Lockheed Martin and General Electric are actively seeking such people, and that's just two. Starting salaries are way over 10K a year, more like 50K (DOLLARS) plus. What's more, these top engineering corporations often do need the services of research mathematicians even in the field of engineering, so if you could get a career with one of these corporations, maybe you can manage to have your cake and eat it too.

- 3 years ago

Thanks, you have reduced my tension to it's half. I think I would be able to convince my family now.

- 3 years ago

I think I can get M.Sc Mathematics in BITS Goa or Hyderabad campus.

- 3 years ago

- 3 years ago

You pretty well know that I'm facing the same situation. I am also not very sure weather do B.Sc(Research) from IISc or go to IIT. But I think that now I've decided, to go to IISc.

About taking B.Sc, M.Sc in mathematics, one thing is sure that Earnings will be less than they could be if you take up B.Tech from any good college. Also the earning period will start much later if you take up B.Sc.

Its really a difficult choice, but ultimately we are the ones who have to make choices.

Now, even if you take up B.Tech, and get a good salaried job, you will always have a guilt, stuck deeply in your heart, that had you taken Mathematics, life would be so enjoyable. You would be doing the work which you don't like and a regret in your heart so chances of getting success in such conditions gets drastically reduced.

But if you take B.Sc, and succeed, no other person will be happier than you. Also when your heart is light, and happiness in your mind, chances of getting success are sky rocketing. You might have less salary in this option, but when you will be in last phase of your life, there will be a contentment in your heart that you used up the God's best gift(your life) in a way which he wanted, and not in a way a person with materialistic ambitions.

This note ends here with a $$CAUTION$$ that what all I have said above are my personal views and there is no experimental evidence of the truthfulness of above presented facts and thoughts.

- 3 years ago

That's why I have asked your suggestion. I know you're facing same situation. Even I have the same thoughts, but one has to care about his family also. This thought puts me in dilemma. There is 90% chance of pursuing M.Sc in BITS. But I haven't told my family about this. I will tell them soon. I don't know what will be their decision.

- 3 years ago

See, being a professor and pursuing research in pure mathematics is the best way to do research in mathematics.

The first clause in this regard is that you are always surrounded by young and dedicated students like you. They have very fresh ideas and you(as a professor) have experience and this becomes the best source of research.

I know that you are dedicated(that's why you posted it) and skillful (which I know) so you have very high chance of getting employed in this section.

I know that we have to bring with us our family, we need to have enough financial resources with which we can serve our families well. In this regard I would say that once you are in a post of professorship in some good college, and you get a paper published, I think you'll get enough resources to take care of your family.

BTW I've taken decision to go to research in IISc. Hoping a good future for you and myself.

- 3 years ago

Highly motivated after reading your post. Vinay told me that you have decided to go to IISc. Now, I think I have to pursue M.Sc. and research even I have to go against my family. I know it will not be easy, but time will settle everything. Meanwhile, a brilliant fellow has told me about job opportunities in US. It is not going to be as much as difficult as I was thinking.

- 3 years ago

Do what you want to do, but make sure you have enough drive and interest and also sufficient skill at the present stage to last throughout your life,

Nothing will leave you unemployed provided you work hard enough, its not ;like there are no unemployed engineers, and it is not like there are no employed researchers

institutes like BARC, IISc, DAE, TIFR, HBCSE , ISI (especially for mathematics)and many more around the world exist and they will hire you if you are good enough

but do what you want with all you got and make sure you want it

- 3 years ago

There is only one scope for Ph.D holders, to become a professor. That too is lost if cross certain age limit ( in govt institutes). But, not caring about what will I be after four or five years, I think I should go for M.Sc.. Only problem is that I have to face my family members. I don't know what will be their decision. That's another problem in India or perhaps Indian Education System. If they offer proper funds in research, no one will be in dilemma whether to do research or do B.Tech.

- 3 years ago