INSGC - Indiana Space Grant Consortium

** Careers in Mathematics **

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Some of the career opportunities available to a major in mathematics include (From ToroidalShark):

  • Actuarial Mathematics -- The application of mathematics, particularly probability and statistics, to the insurance industry.
  • Applied Mathematics -- Often this means working on problems in physics, chemistry, geology, and engineering from a mathematical perspective. There are seemingly endless possibilities, ranging from being a climate analyst who models long-term changes in global weather to working as a forensic analyst who investigates data collected at crime scenes to being a population ecologist who works to prevent species from becoming endangered.
  • Biomathematics -- The application of mathematics in the health sciences. It's an up-and-coming field, and some say it's the next big trend within mathematics. The Society for Mathematical Biology lists undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • Biostatistics and Epidemiology -- The application of statistics in the health sciences. Epidemiologists study the spread of diseases and model how to respond to epidemics.
  • Computer Science -- This is a field on its own, but one of the mathiest parts of it is graphics and animation. Here, a great example is Pixar, where employees publish research papers involving things like using differential equations to make sure animated clothing doesn't intersect itself.
  • Financial Mathematics (or Mathematical Finance, also known as Quantitative Finance) -- Mathematics used on Wall Street, for mortgage backing, financial derivatives, and stock market analysis. Sometimes people in this profession are referred to as "quants." The U of Edinburgh has a good description of the field; here's a short book list and a long book list.
  • Law or Medicine -- A major in mathematics is a good preparation for law or medical school.
  • Operations Research -- The application of mathematics to problems of optimization, especially large-scale or complex problems and especially in the field of business.
  • Public Policy -- A mathematics degree can lead to advisory positions in educational and/or science policy as well as work in quantitative public policy.
  • Research Mathematics -- The study of mathematics for its own sake. Just about any mathematics faculty member will be more than happy to chat with you about this. As a career, this almost always requires graduate school; to investigate the possibilites, think about doing something during the summer.
  • Statistics -- The study of methods for collecting, classifying, analyzing and making inferences from data. There are tons of jobs in statistics.
  • Teaching -- To teach at the community college level, you should get a Master's degree in mathematics or a Master of Arts in Teaching; to teach at the college level, you should get a Ph.D. (in mathematics, mathematics education, applied mathematics, or statistics).
  • More career options are listed at Duane Kouba's Mathematics-Related Professions site.