Daniel Lemire's blog

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“Tall, Dark, and Mysterious” goes for career advice

“Tall, Dark, and Mysterious” the funniest math. geek on the web decided to go ask for job advice. She is obviously extremely smart and can’t find a decent job with a M.Sc. in Mathematics. I think she sums it very well:

Like many members of my demographic – gifted kids of professionals, who were directed to seek scholarship, rather than employment, in their studies, and who were never given much guidance with regards to the latter – I am finding myself suspended between two distinct groups that are, for opposite reasons, ill-suited to help me. On the one hand are the intellectuals who can’t fathom a universe outside the academy, and hence cannot help me find my way in that world; on the other, the folks who never studied a subject as abstract and as technical as mathematics beyond the high school level, and consequently can’t provide the specialized direction I need to apply my own abstract and technical interests and skills outside the academy. Frustrating, because I know that there are math folks employed in statistics and in finance and in the military and elsewhere, and they didn’t hatch ready-made inside their cubicles.

The lesson here is that getting degrees without thinking about job prospects is a dangerous game. Feel free to play the game, but make sure you know what you are risking.