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How to Become a Logician

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If you're an exceptional chess player or highly skilled at solving analytical puzzles you probably already have traits to become a logician. A logician is someone who discovers a theory or an argument behind why things happen the way they happen. For instance, gravitational force is a theory or a philosophy that confirms why all things that are thrown up in the air come back down to earth. Mathematicians, philosophers, linguists or even sociologists can be termed as logicians as long as they come up with a scientific argument to describe a phenomenon. A recognized logician has highest academic credentials and advanced level research experience.

Complete a bachelor's degree in a related field. Carnegie Mellon and the University of Penn are two colleges that offer a bachelor's degree in logic and computation. However, there are not many undergraduate programs in the United States that carry the word "logic" in their degrees. The study of logic is interdisciplinary and an undergraduate degree in mathematics, philosophy, computer science, electronics engineering or linguistics is often the first step toward earning an advanced level degree in logic.

Pursue a master's degree in logic. University of California, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon and University of Penn have specialized degrees. Whether you are in the department of philosophy, mathematics or computer science at the master's level, you have to narrow your area of study to a specific research field. Decide between coursework on applied logic and pure logic. Applied logic includes algorithms, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, operations research and mathematical and computer programming systems. Pure logic includes dominantly theoretical and augmentative studies, such as philosophy of mathematics or philosophy of logic.

Get a doctoral degree in applied or pure logic. Students in this program are expected to study both mathematics and philosophy, but neither as broadly as if they were obtaining a degree in one of these subjects. You can also study sections of mathematics highly relevant to computer sciences. It is typically a four- to five-year program, highly challenging and concludes with a thesis or a dissertation.

Find a career in the industry as a logician. A master's degree may be sufficient in most cases. Also, for a career in the "real world," a degree in applied logic is more beneficial than coursework in pure logic. Typically, you would apply for jobs as an advanced level system analyst or program analyst in the R&D departments of big information technology companies or a scientific or engineering firm. Jobs catered to candidates with advanced and research degrees in statistics, mathematics, computer sciences, philosophy or linguistics are often relevant for someone with a master's or a doctoral degree in computational logic.

Become an academic professor. Most logicians who earn a doctoral degree often work as professors in the department of mathematics or philosophy or even begin their careers filling post-doctoral research positions. To qualify you must demonstrate qualified teaching skills and advanced level research experience. Your dissertation is often a reflection of your research emphasis and expertise. You also need to publish your work in research journals and present papers at research conferences. The "Journal of Applied Logic" and the "Journal of Computational Logic" are leading academic research publications in the field.

About the Author

Kiran Bharthapudi has more than seven years of experience in print, broadcast and new media journalism. He has contributed to several major news agencies, including United Nations radio, BBC online and "Consumer Reports" magazine. His articles specialize in the areas of business, technology and new media. He has a Ph.D. in mass communications.

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