I am currently a math/CS undergraduate. I enjoy applied math a lot and want to go to graduate school for it. I've been thinking that I will do a PhD, but I also know I don't want to stay in academia, so recently I've been reevaluating my options and thinking about whether to just pursue a Master's instead.
To put it bluntly, my goal is to make a lot of money. Not to be a billionaire, but I'd like to get to a $500K salary down the road. I realize this is neither at all easy nor at all likely, because otherwise anyone would do it. I just want to know how to maximize my chances of attaining this goal.
Some careers for highly educated math people with high earnings potential:
However, I've realized that out of these, only data science, finance, and consulting would even care about a PhD in applied math vs. a master's, and even in those it's possible for just a MS to get a job. Should I forget about the PhD? I don't want to spend more than 4-5 years on it, and though I love applied math, I know a career in academia is not what I want.
Next, are there other fields for applied mathematics/CS people with a high earnings potential?
Finally, which field should I pick to maximize my likelihood of attaining an eventual $500k salary relatively quickly? (Again, I realize that this likelihood is still very small.)
Things that I believe mean that my plan has at least a nonzero chance of success:
-Strong coding skills, lots of CS experience including internships
-Top undergraduate univ, top graduate univ [if I don't get into top PhD programs I will just do a master's at a top school, as master's programs are easier to get into and I have basically a guarantee of getting into the master's program at my current school if nothing else]
-Strong communication skills
-Drive and willingness to adapt (sounds stupid, but is still true)