Careers in Mathematics
"What can I do with a math degree?" This question illustrates perhaps the biggest reservation for students who are interested in majoring in mathematics. It is a common misconception that the only jobs available to those with mathematics degrees involve teaching. In reality, the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that are cultivated when studying mathematics make one attractive to employers in a wide range of fields.
Many occupations that are often associated with other majors (such as engineering, the medical field, law, finance and actuarial work) are actually open to mathematics majors. Indeed, recent graduates from UT Tyler with degrees in mathematics have found high-paying jobs as actuaries and as engineers in the petroleum industry.
Below are some specific fields where math majors may be attractive to prospective employers. (This list is adapted from Pepperdine University's webpage on careers in mathematics.)
- Actuary – a popular (and high-paying) career path for math majors that involves performing risk analysis for insurance companies.
- Computer-related fields – computer programming, algorithm design, and image and signal processing all require high-level mathematical thinking.
- Biology and biotechnology – mathematics is now used to model population growth, the spread of diseases, and the structure of DNA and proteins.
- Cryptography – number-theoretic cryptography schemes underlie the protocols that keep our online transactions secure.
- Government – many government agencies, such as the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency (the world's largest single employer of mathematicians), NASA, and the Government Accountability Office hire mathematicians and statisticians.
- Management and consulting.
Several professional societies also maintain information on careers in mathematics and statistics, as well as current postings for jobs.
- Career information from the American Mathematical Society.
- Career information and job listings from the American Statistical Association.
- Job listings from the Mathematical Association of America.
Additionally, there are many other online resources with information on careers in mathematics.