Do you have a head for numbers? If so, you may be considering pursuing a higher education degree in mathematics (or you may already be neck deep in school, and looking ahead to graduation). What can you do with a degree in math? What career opportunities will it help you explore? Here are a few suggestions.
For this blog, I’m going to be referring to Applied Mathematics instead of Abstract. Applied math deals with numbers, formulas, and equations in real world situations. It can be used in physics, chemistry, biology, computers, investments, engineering, accounting, economics, and many other fields. Abstract math is mostly theoretical, and will only help you achieve a career in academics.
Actuary – Year after year, actuarial sciences rates as one of the top careers in terms of job satisfaction, pay, and opportunity for advancement. It is a very specific, in demand job, that requires strong math skills. An actuary calculates and manages risk for companies or financial institutions—in essence, they try to use numbers to predict how different events or changes will financially impact the company. Its an incredibly complex job, but if you have the knack calculations and statistics, it’s a fantastic career path.
Math Professor – Keep the cycle of education going, and roll your Masters in math or statistics into a job teaching those same subjects to college students. The median pay for a college math professor is over eighty thousand dollars a year, so it’s a job that can provide a good living. And for what it’s worth, my dad has been a math professor for my whole life, and it’s always given him good job satisfaction.
Financial Advisor – In this job you will work with individuals who need help figuring out the best way to save, grow, and invest their money, and how to spend as little of it as possible on taxes, insurance, and fees. Having a background in economics or finance may help with this particular job, but it is heavily math based, and having a math background is the most important aspect.
Statistician – With a higher level degree in statistics, a person can find good employment working as a statistician. In all forms of research, from medical and engineering to government, education, law, agriculture, and business, statisticians are needed to evaluate the raw data and turn it into workable research. Statisticians find the patterns and numbers the research is trying to provide.
Bioinformatics, or Biological Mathematics – In this rapidly growing field, math joins with computer science, biology, and medicine to design and create functional models of biological systems for study and research. This does require an advanced degree in math, but the field is burgeoning, and its worth looking into.
The Government – The U.S. Government and specifically the NSA (National Security Agency) is the single largest employer of mathematicians. This applies to all educational levels of math majors. So regardless of what kind of math you are studying, keep an eye on NSA.