Why Choose a Mathematics-Related Profession ?
Mathematics teaches patience, discipline, and step-by-step problem-solving skills. For those with a substantial background in mathematics, an unlimited number of career opportunuities are available. According to Jobs Rated Almanac , a 1990 publication of World Almanac Books of New York, NY, careers that require a very strong background in mathematics were listed as the five “best” jobs. They were :
- software engineer
- computer systems analyst
- computer programmer
Almost all of the top fifty jobs in this “best” jobs list involved mathematical reasoning and knowledge. This list was the result of the comparison of two hundred fifty jobs classified according to :
- future outlook
- physical demands
- job security
- work environment
A List of Professions
The following list briefly describes work associated with some mathematics-related professions :
- actuary— assemble and analyze statistics to calculate probabilities of death, sickness, injury, disability, unemployment, retirement, and property loss; design insurance and pension plans and ensure that they are maintained on a sound financial basis
- mathematics teacher— introduce students to the power and beauty of mathematics in elementary, junior high, or high school mathematics courses
- operations research analyst— assist organizations (manufacturers, airlines, military) in developing the most efficient, cost-effective solutions to organizational operations and problems; this includes strategy, forecasting, resource allocation, facilities layout, inventory control, personnel schedules, and distribution systems
- statistician— collect, analyze, and present numerical data resulting from surveys and experiments
- physician— diagnose patient illnesses, prescribe medication, teach classes, mentor interns, and do clinical research; students with a good mathematics background will find themselves being admitted to the best medical schools and discover that mathematics has prepared them well for the discipline, analysis, and problem- solving required in the field of medicine
- research scientist— model atmospheric conditions to gain insight into the effect of changing emissions from cars, trucks, power plants, and factories; apply these models in the development of alternative fuels
- computer scientist— interface the technology of computers with the underlying mathematical principles of such diverse applications as medical diagnoses, graphics animation, interior design, cryptogrraphy, and parallel computers
- inventory strategist— analyze historical sales data, model forecast uncertainty to design contingency plans, and analyze catalog displays to make them more successful; analyze consumer responses
- staff systems air traffic control analyst— apply probability, statistics, and logistsics to air traffic control operations; use simulated aircraft flight to monitor air traffic control computer systems
- cryptologist— design and analyze schemes used to transmit secret information
- attorney— research, comprehend, and apply local, state, and federal laws; a good background in mathematics will help a student get admitted to law school and assist in the understanding of complicated theoretical legal concepts
- economist— interpret and analyze the interrelationships among factors which drive the economics of a particular organization, industry, or country
- mathematics professor— teach mathematics classes, do theoretical research, and advise undergraduate and graduate students at colleges and universities
- environmental mathematician— work as member of interdisciplinary team of scientists and professionals studying problems at specific Superfund sites; communicate effectively across many academic discilplines and be able to summarize work in writing
- robotics engineer— combine mathematics, engineering, and computer science in the study and design of robots
- geophysical mathematician — develop the mathematical basis for seismic imaging tools used in the exploration and production of oil and gas reservoirs
- design — use computer graphics and mathematical modeling in the design and construction of physical prototypes; integrate geometric design with cost-effective manufacturing of resulting products
- ecologist — study the interrelationships of organisms and their environments and the underlying mathematical dynamics
- geodesist — study applied science involving the precise measurement of the size and shape of the earth and its gravity field (courtesy of Bruce Hedquist)
- photogrammetrist — study the applied science of multi-spectral image acquisition from terrestrial, aerial and satellite camera platforms, followed up by the image processing, analysis, storage, display, and distribution in various hard-copy and digital format (courtesy of Bruce Hedquist)
- civil engineer — plan, design, and manage the construction of land vehicle, aircraft, water, and energy transport systems; analyze and control systems for land vehicular traffic; analyze and control environmental systems for sewage and water treatment; develop sites for industrial, commercial and residential home use; analyze and control systems for storm water drainage and storage; manage construction of foundations, structures and buildings; analyze construction materials ; and surface soils and subterranean material analysis (courtesy of Bruce Hedquist)
- geomatics engineer — once known as “surveying engineer”, includes geodetic surveying : takes into account the size and shape of the earth, in order to determine the precise horizontal and vertical positions of geodetic reference monuments; cadastral surveying : establishes and reestablishes the reference monuments for the U.S. Public Land Survey System, i.e., township and section corners; topographic surveying : determines the detailed configuration or contour of the natural earth’s surface and the position of fixed objects thereon or related thereto; hydrographic surveying : similarly determines underwater contours and features; land surveying : is the location of existing parcel and new land subdivision lines, road and utility rights-of-way and easement lines, and determination of the location of existing and new reference monuments, which mark property lines and parcel corners; land surveying : also involves the preparation of legal descriptions for officially recorded land ownership conveyance deeds and other land title documents; construction surveying : is the determination of the direction and length between and the elevations of reference points for fixed private and public works, as embraced within the definition and practice of civil engineering, and the labeling of reference markers containing critical information for the construction thereof; design, operation and management of advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS and Land Information Systems (LIS), as well as other sophisticated computer mapping and CAD based geospatial applications (courtesy of Bruce Hedquist)
There are many public and private employers who hire some of the above-mentioned professionals. Besides schools, colleges, universities, and many state and federal agencies, some specific employers include the Internal Revenue Service, U. S. Census Bureau, Ford Motor Co., Transamerica Insurance Co., Jet Propulsion Laboratory, L. L. Bean, IBM Corporation, Center for Communications Research, Sandia National Laboratories, A. C. Nielsen Co., American Airlines, U. S. Department of Energy, Exxon Production Research Co., United Airlines, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Prudential Securities, International Computer Science Institute, National Security Agency, Silicon Graphics, Control Data Corporation, U. S. Geological Survey, Renaissance Software, Goddard Space Flight Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and U. S. Department of Agriculture.
A Career in the Mathematical Sciences is Not for You ?
Even if you do not choose a career in the mathematical sciences, studying as much mathematics as you can is a good way to keep your career options open. Mathematics is an excellent foundation for, and is usually a prerequisite to, study in all areas of science and engineering. Students in such areas as anthropology, sociology, and psychology, as well as law, business, and medicine, also benefit from a solid background in mathematics and statistics. It will help you to better understand science and technology and their effects on our world.
Some of the above information is generously provided by The Mathematical Association of America ( MAA ) and the Association for Women in Mathematics ( AWM ) . Find additonal information about teaching of mathematics at the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators ( AMTE )
A Career in Numbers? You Do the Math
Mathematics is challenging, rewarding and fun. It is both logical and creative. Students who major in mathematics have a variety of opportunities. The mathematics major prepares students for traditional pursuits such as graduate study, teaching and work as an actuary. Students with a love of math find a mathematics major can be combined with a pre-professional curriculum or a major in the sciences or engineering to provide a strong background for graduate study or employment in a field related to mathematics.
The mathematical economics major provides an opportunity for students with an interest in mathematics and business or economics to combine these interests. The Department of Mathematics offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree. Each degree can be taken with Option A: Mathematics or Option B: Mathematical Sciences. The mathematics option is chosen by most students. The mathematical sciences option combines the study of mathematics, statistics and computer science and prepares students for careers involving the applications of mathematics. A mathematics minor is available for students who would like to continue their study of mathematics, while majoring in another field. In addition to the bachelor’s degrees, the Department of Mathematics offers programs leading to the Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degrees.
What skills does studying mathematics develop?
- critical thinking
- problem solving
- analytical thinking
- quantitative reasoning
- ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas
- construct logical arguments and expose illogical arguments
- time management
Career opportunities are unlimited for mathematics majors. They may pursue graduate education, career paths in business, science or technical fields or disciplines such as social services, education and government. Some of the occupations that mathematics majors enter include:
- computer programmer
- investment manager
- government research and laboratories
- theoretical mathematician
- numerical analyst
- market researcher
- systems analyst
- space/aircraft industry
For more information about careers, go to the following:
A Compilation of Competence: The Mathematical Economics Degree
The mathematical economics major offers students a degree program that combines mathematics, statistics and economics. In many ways, the mathematical economics program parallels the engineering philosophy. It combines the quantitative methods of mathematics with an applied science in order to solve real problems. With the ever-increasing importance of the service sector in our economy, the mathematical economics degree will prove to be a valuable asset. The program will give the student an opportunity to study a fascinating collection of ideas and it will also provide the student with very marketable skills.
What skills does studying mathematical economics develop?
- capability in mathematics and statistics
- aptitude in problem solving skills
- ability to communicate with public speaking and written assignments
- capacity to collaborate with others
In today’s increasingly complicated international business world, a strong preparation in the fundamentals of both economics and mathematics is crucial to success. This degree program is designed to prepare a student to go directly into the business world with skills that are in high demand, or to go on to graduate study in economics or finance. A degree in mathematical economics would prepare a student for the beginning of a career in operations research or actuarial science. Other occupations include but are not limited to the following:
- management accountant
- bank examiner
- market research analyst
- financial analyst
- marketing/sales manager
- financial planner
- claims examiner
- investment manager
- international trade specialist
- real estate investor
For more information about careers, go to the following:
- Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
- Institute for Operations and the Management Sciences
- Society of Actuaries
Top 7 careers for those who love Mathematics
So you love mathematics and solving sums is your passion. Numbers intrigue you and learning formulas and tables excite you? Then there is a whole list of careers that you can pursue.
Mathematics prepares you for careers as actuaries, computer scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, teachers and more. Advanced skills in mathematics are a must in many science-related careers. A degree in math is also a strong background for many computer science and computer engineering jobs.
For those with a substantial background in mathematics and passion for numbers, an unlimited number of career opportunities are available. Check out Top 7 careers options for Maths lovers-:
1) Chartered Accountant: With the rapid growth in economy, careers in finance and accounts have gained tremendous popularity and the most esteemed career option in this filed is that of Chartered Accountant. A Chartered accountant is somebody who specializes in accounting, auditing and taxation.
2) Software Engineers: A highly fulfilling career, software engineers design and develop software. They apply the theories and principles of computer science and mathematical analysis to create, test, analyse and evaluate the software applications and systems that make computers work. Software engineers are also experts in theory of computing systems, the structure of software, and the nature and limitations of hardware to ensure that the underlying systems will work properly. Professionals in this field have excellent prospects in the next five to 10 years.
3) Operations Research Analysts: Operations research has been defined as an interdisciplinary branch of applied mathematics and formal science that uses advanced analytical methods such as mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and mathematical optimization to arrive at optimal or near-optimal solutions to complex decision-making problems. Operations research analysts formulate and apply mathematical modeling methods to develop and interpret information that assists management with policy formulation and other managerial functions. They help managers to make better decisions and solve problems. If you’re planning to take this profession be sure you have a thorough knowledge of strong quantitative and computer skills; advanced knowledge in mathematics.
4) Banking: Jobs in banking field involve aiding people to build fortunes in their respective life and business fields. You could work in any one of the following areas in Banking- accountant, customer service, front desk, cash handling, Account opening, current account, savings account, mortgage loan underwriter, loan processing officer, back end operations, product marketing and sales executive, recovery officer, retail asset manager, property appraiser and customer service executive. As banks provides loans for setting up business and for various development work and thereby generate thousands of jobs and career opportunities in the banking finance sector.
5) Mathematician: If you’re fascinated by Sir Isaac Newton or Archimedes of Syracuse, then this is the field for you. A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study or research is mathematics. Mathematicians are concerned with particular problems related to logic, space, transformations, numbers and more general ideas which encompass these concepts. They do research, come up with problems and solutions, etc.
6) Teachers: If you have an affinity for numbers, you can pursue a career in teaching. A maths teacher is always on demand as this is considered one of the main subjects throughout schooling. It is a highly paid job in India as many maths teachers make a lot of money in giving coaching or tuition to students.
7) Computer Systems Analysts: Professionals in this field use IT tools to help enterprises of all sizes achieve their goals. Most systems analysts work with specific types of computer systems-for example, business, accounting, and financial systems or scientific and engineering system to prepare cost-benefit and return-on-investment analysis to help management decide whether implementing the proposed technology would be financially feasible.
What Can You Do With a Mathematics Degree?
Whether you call it ‘math’ or ‘maths’, or prefer the traditional ‘mathematics’, if you study numbers at university, your career opportunities are not only numerous, they’re also fairly lucrative.
Thanks to the growing importance placed on technology, big data and economic efficiency by all kinds of organizations, expert number crunchers are increasingly in demand. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2012 and 2022, the job market for mathematicians is expected to grow by a whopping 23%, with a predicted median salary of US$110,000.
But it’s not all about the money! Those who study maths are keen problem solvers, eager to make sense of even the most advanced equations. Academic research is a common career path, but so too are careers in business, economics and banking. This wide range of opportunities comes from the universal need for graduates with strong analytical and problem-solving skills – which math graduates should have by the bucket load.
What can you do with a math degree?
So, what can you do with a math degree? The answer to this question is as varied as you can get, as mathematical experts are in demand across all kinds of industries, the world over. Study math and you’ll have access to career opportunities in sectors you may never have even considered, including specialized fields such as in law or medicine. That said, a large number of math careersare still based within business or science and technology-related sectors, with math graduates occupying roles such as accountant, actuary, statistician, technician, economist or market researcher.
Below are a few potential answers to the question “what can you do with a mathematic degree?” – including information on what to expect and the skills you’ll need.
Careers in accountancy and finance
A career path spanning many industries, accountancy offers a range of choices for math degree graduates. Accountancy jobs include roles such as auditor, tax accountant, forensic accountant, management accountant and corporate advisor. To become a chartered accountant, in addition to an undergraduate degree in mathematics or a related area, you’ll also need to gain further professional qualifications. Often, however, if you start at a company as a trainee in this field, your employer will help you gain both the experience and the professional certification needed to develop in your role.
Careers in banking
Opportunities in banking range from the world of retail banking to corporate investment banking. Both arenas deal with financial assessment – public and private – with opportunities to specialize in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, bonds and shares, privatization, lending and IPOs (initial public offerings). Duties can include market research, creating new business opportunities, and developing financial models and solutions to present to clients. Math careers in banking can be lucrative, but again, professional qualifications in finance will be needed for some roles.
As an actuary, you will be evaluating financial risk in order to manage and advise clients. Combining risk analysis skills with in-depth knowledge of economics and business, actuaries are at the heart of business strategy, ensuring sound investments are made and commercial/business goals fulfilled. New actuaries will most likely be working within pensions and insurance, a relatively low-risk area, while in the future you may get to work in banking, healthcare or investment. Actuarial roles can be client-facing, as with consultancies and pensions/insurance companies, and all actuaries will require the skill of communicating complex data and analyses to non-specialists.
Statisticians are specialists in statistics – that is, the collation, analysis, interpretation and presentation of statistics and quantitative data. Statisticians’ skills are required in numerous industries, ranging from healthcare to government and from finance to sport. You’ll be tasked with managing, collecting and arranging data by means of surveys, experiments and contextual analysis. With your findings, you may then be called upon to create reports and advise clients/colleagues on possible strategies, for example in order to make good financial decisions to further business goals. As a statistician, you’ll have expert analytical skills as well as solid communication and IT skills.
Careers in academia and research
While it’s now clearly understood that careers in math go far beyond the realms of academia and research, these sectors are still very popular among mathematics students. This route may appeal to those who want the challenge of driving forward the next series of discoveries, theories and applications of the field – as well as the prestige of following some of history’s greatest mathematical minds.
Academic and research-based careers in math can be incredibly wide-ranging, and will depend on what area you wish to specialize in. While many are based within university departments, long-term academics are also often involved in publishing, contributing to journals and specialist periodicals, or helping to produce complete publications (while on sabbatical or alongside other commitments).
Other common math careers include; intelligence analysis, operational research, statistical research, logistics, financial analysis, market research (for business), management consultancy, IT (systems analysis, development or research), software engineering, computer programming, the public sector (advisory capacity as a scientist or statistician), scientific research and development (e.g. biotechnology, meteorology or oceanography).
Less typical math careers
While the most common way to enter the field of engineering is with a dedicated engineering degree, a math degree can also get you there, in some specialized roles. Math graduates, being adept in solving mathematical problems, are also often good at helping to solve real-world, physical problems, and can be found working in mechanical, structural, aeronautical and many other realms of engineering. That said, engineering careers often require specialized knowledge not covered during a math degree. Engineering internships and work experience can help if you want to improve your employability straight out of university.
Always wanted to be the person who tells the rest of the world whether to pack an umbrella or sunscreen? As a math graduate, that could be you! Although as a meteorologist, you might be a little overqualified for simply presenting the weather. This role involves studying weather conditions using data collected from weather stations, radar, remote sensors and satellite images across the globe, in order to interpret causes and to produce forecasts. You’ll need excellent IT skills, as well as strong skills in analyzing and interpreting complex mathematical data.
In addition to academic roles with a research focus, many rewarding math careers can be found in teaching. Numeracy is always a high priority within primary and secondary education systems, making highly numerate graduates with an interest in teaching highly sought-after. In order to teach in most countries, you’ll require a formal teaching qualification. This can usually be gained in little over a year, and is often highly subsidized by the government, with grants often available to cover fees. To teach at university level, a postgraduate degree is often required, in a relevant specialism. If you choose this path, you may also get the chance to pursue your own academic research.
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