Firstly, i know that this question will be closed ultimately. But i want to know opinions of various mathematicians here, which is important

My Background :

I am Bachelors of Arts graduate, 27, I work as a Clerk currently. I have interest in Mathematics so I started studying it. I have studied "How to Prove It ". After getting basics I am doing Real Analysis and starting onto Abstract Algebra. I have covered Calculus 1,2,3 already from Adrian Banner'S Calculus Lifesaver videos.

I have been given advice that since I am 27, so it's too late to graduate in Mathematics and do P.H.d because that will can take 7-8 years which means that i will be around 35-36 years of age. I have been told that i should pursue mathematics as interest only (hobby).

I wish to know advice and opinions of experienced people before this question getting closed. If it gets closed, I have email I.d in my profile description, you can send me responses there. But I want to reach out to mathematicians before it gets closed.


I asked this question on academia stackexchange and i got nothing but downvotes. I think this website has many more mathematicians than other platform. Please consider reopening this question as many people have the same problem as i have



closed as off-topic by Martin R, Mees de Vries, Asaf Karagila Apr 5 at 12:26

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Seeking personal advice. Questions about choosing a course, academic program, career path, etc. are off-topic. Such questions should be directed to those employed by the institution in question, or other qualified individuals who know your specific circumstances." – Martin R, Mees de Vries, Asaf Karagila
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ You only have one life. Pursue your passion. I don't see why getting a PhD at 35 is so bad. $\endgroup$ – mathworker21 Apr 5 at 5:38
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    $\begingroup$ I'm with mathworker21 on this. Granted it's probably harder to get the appropriate coursework done and such if you're not straight out of high school, since you probably now have other things, e.g. life, to work around. A good chunk of college students can manage to stay with family or such, for example, and not really have to work too much (though that depends on their financial/scholarship situation, etc.). So it's not easy, but I don't see why it'd be impossible if you can make it work somehow. $\endgroup$ – Eevee Trainer Apr 5 at 5:54
  • $\begingroup$ Of course, the obligatory caveat that I'm not even completely through with my bachelor's, so naive kid here, etc. $\endgroup$ – Eevee Trainer Apr 5 at 5:55
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    $\begingroup$ Your life is not a strategy game. If you do not have a family to feed, and you feel that a career in mathematics will bring you joy then go for it. Success and faliure is never assured, for the young or the not so young. $\endgroup$ – Zee Apr 5 at 6:21
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    $\begingroup$ Asking a question you know will be closed is like letting Godzilla loose on a city knowing it will be stopped eventually. It doesn't get closed at the exact point when we stop wanting it here, but rather it's a sign that we never wanted it here to begin with, and damage will still have been done (ignoring questions that get closed because of rules changing over time). There should exist plenty of other sites on the internet to ask a question inappropriate for one specific site. Although I'm not familiar enough with the scope of this site to know whether this question is appropriate. $\endgroup$ – Dukeling Apr 5 at 12:07

I would just say if you believe in yourself, and if you want to follow your passion, go with it. There are number of people double your age pursuing PhD.

Mathematics does have a great future, especially now that machine learning is a blooming field, I think it is a great career choice.

I am just a university graduate, so this is my opinion. You can also attend meetups, seminars and conferences so that you can get a better idea.

All the best! I hope everything turns out great!


Four years ago I was at your age, and I began my mathematical career. I didn't even have my bachelors degree. Today I'm trying to get my PhD. I'm not going to lie to you, there were hard days. Many of them. My brain wasn't the same it used to be. Younger and fresh out of school students learns everything quicker, and it annoyed me a lot. Sometimes, the teachers are difficult to please. At my age, some harsh words by them are hard to stomach. I can't tell you the number of days I thought about quitting. But in the end, I stayed, because seeing a relation between two distinct things was still exciting for me. It's not impossible, but you have to make sure you really want it. Otherwise, you might end up hating it all together.

Whatever you choose to do, I hope end up happy. My best wishes to you.

  • $\begingroup$ Well, Thanks. this website and youtbe are my course instructors $\endgroup$ – J. Deff Apr 5 at 10:02

I always find it odd that people give others the type of advice that it's too late for chasing after something that they like. As mentioned in the comments, you have only one life and one opportunity to make it the best it can be for you. If mathematics is what you actually like then it doesn't matter at which age you start it. Let that be 40,50,60 etc. It's never too late to start doing what you like, because you like it. Moreover, you're not even close to those ages yet.

As for if it is a good career path, I think mathematics has always been a good career choice with plenty of job opportunities down the line. I'm a mathematics student myself and am seeing a wide variety of companies warmly welcoming anyone with a mathematics background, because they consider them to be a valuable asset to their company. Examples could be the financial direction, e.g. stock trading, machine learning, and many more. You could even become an academic still.

All in all, go do what you like, and do not worry about whether or not it is a valid career choice, because chances are that you are always in a good position with proper knowledge of mathematics.


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