My graduate school applications fell through and I was wondering if there was a job I could do that would keep me improving as a mathematician, or if the best I could hope for is the least invasive mode of sustaining myself while I study/prove in my own time. I don't need much money to live off of, but I do need to support myself. Is it possible to get applied research jobs with a BA? I know there are research opportunities for graduate students and undergraduates. Do these apply to "unattached" peoples? What about part-time or consulting work?


1 Answer 1


I'll explain my situation. Due to circumstances outside my control I was unable to apply for graduate school.

In the mean time, I am staying busy until I can apply this fall. Currently:

  1. I am taking programming/CS at my community college.

  2. I have been studying math, physics, and computer science on my own. I've been on here a decent amount, I do project euler, I have books, there's Coursera/MITOCW.

  3. I live somewhat close to a very good university (UC Berkeley to be exact). I looked up the professors for ones that are doing research in fields I am interested in, and emailed them. I am current doing some reading with one of them which will probably turn into some research/writing a paper.

  4. I looked at the classes I was interested in at the university. I emailed the professors asking if I could audit them. They all unequivocally said "yes", some even offered to grade my tests or said that homework was peer graded.

  5. I have been tutoring a lot to make money (with a BA you could easily charge $30-40 an hour). If you really want to, you can get enough students to live very modestly while still pursuing your interests.

  6. I know a friend who works doing data science. He might be able to get me an internship at his work.

  7. The same friend might want to design some programs together.

  8. Once I get a little better at programming, I was thinking about doing some freelance software/website/etc. development. I'm sure I could do projects here and there.

So do NOT feel hopeless. Honestly I feel like my passion for math and science has never been higher, and I feel very positive. There are TONS of things you can do. Please ask me if you want to talk more. :)

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