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Great comments above. One more thing to add: if I was in your position I would be thinking more broadly about how to best use my math background within the software development world. You're worth a lot as a programmer. You're worth even more as a programmer with a PhD in math, providing you can find the right opportunity to apply your skills. You may not notice a big difference in starting salary if you don't have a lot of experience, but if you choose the right path you can likely make much, much more in a 5-10 year time frame. In my current company, we have some minor issues finding good programmers. We have major problems finding programmers that are really good at developing the fundamentals of an approach for solving really hard business problems (hard from an algorithmic perspective).

It may be that your thesis topic is far removed from practical applications, but you likely have a strong enough foundation in math that you would be great at working on a lot domain specific applications. Some others mentioned machine learning, and this is likely a good option, but only one of many. Spin this around and think of it from the business side. Where are there opportunities to put more robust analytical solutions in place in the business world? Start thinking about every company you see, buy products from, or otherwise interact with - how could they (or are they) be more effective at what they do with better math? Everything from better sales forecasting at your local supermarket, to better car design.




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