…that I don’t what to get my PhD.
When I first decided that I wanted to major in mathematics, the goal was to get a master’s degree and teach at the junior college level. I did very well as an undergrad and received a lot of encouragement from professors to shoot for the PhD. I was never really enthusiastic about the idea since another one of my life goals is to be done having kids before I’m 30. But as my husband showed interest in grad school (in math) as well, I started to play with the idea. When it came time for grad school applications, I only applied to 4 schools and only 1 of them was for a PhD program. I decided if we both got into the PhD program, then I would give it a shot. Well, we did!
I am now nearing the end of my first year in grad school. It has been a great year and I’m enjoying it. However, I just don’t think I want to go all the way. My school specializes in analysis and algebra and I’m not particularly “excited” about either one of them. I feel as though that is a definite sign to not spend 4 years of my life researching in those areas. I honestly don’t think I’ll enjoy it.
I’ve never been too thrilled with the idea of research in the first place. It’s not what I enjoy. I just want to teach. What makes me want to get a PhD is so that I can teach the “fun” upper division courses. At the junior college level, the highest level mathematics course I’ll ever get to teach is multivariable calculus.
After some serious thinking over the past couple weeks, I think it will be worth it (for me) to end my education at the master’s degree. The only con I see is not teaching upper division classes. But there are many pros:
I haven’t made any definite decisions, but I’m pretty sure I’m gonna stop at the master’s. I won’t be disappointed in myself.
I’ve also been toying with the idea of working for the goverment. Having a job at the NSA just seems so cool. They are the number 1 employer of mathemticians. I think I would really enjoy that type of work. However, I do not want to live in D.C. NSA has a division here in Denver, so if there’s an opening when I graduate, I might just have to apply!