Careers for Mathematics Majors
What can a mathematics major do for a career? Practically anything.
Mathematics provides rigorous training in thinking that is highly valued in many careers. It develops your reasoning skills, and ability to analyze complex issues, far beyond the material you learn in courses. While the courses you take are not focused on preparing you for a particular job, the evidence is strong that the major provides a strong flexible background to pursue many options.
- Mathematics majors nationally perform better than any other major on the Law School (LSAT) and Business School (GMAT) admissions test,with scores approximately 13% higher on average (The Chronicle of Higher Education).
- A 2005 survey of starting salaries of those entering the work force from different majors showed Mathematics majors earning 37.7% more than English majors. For comparison, Economics majors earned 33.5% more, and Biology majors .08% more (National Association of Colleges and Employers).
- Job satisfaction rankings consistently place the mathematical careers of Mathematician, Actuary, and Statistician at the very top (jobrated.com).
But what are specific directions math majors follow?
Law School, High School teaching, Actuary, Finance, Banking, Census Bureau, Graduate study in Engineering, Economics, or the Natural Sciences, Wildlife Statistician, Peace Corps, Business School, Biotechnology, Architecture, Risk Management, Computer services, Business consultant, Mathematical research and teaching, Biomedical statistician,.... and many more. Profiles of individuals working in some of these areas can be found on the links below.
For students wishing to work in Alaska, there are particularly strong opportunities in Statistics and High School Teaching. State agencies, such as the Department of Fish and Game, are particularly eager to recruit students with a MS in Statistics from UAF. Good mathematics teachers are needed practically everywhere in the nation.
Here are a few useful links for students to explore career options in the world after a UAF Mathematics major:
- A review of an excellent book on careers for Mathematics majors: http://www.maa.org/reviews/greatjobs.html
- Non-academic Math Careers from AMS-MAA-SIAM: http://www.ams.org/careers/home.html
- Math Careers from the Mathematical Association of America: http://www.maa.org/careers/
- Math Careers from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics: http://www.siam.org/careers/
- Math Careers from the American Mathematical Society: http://www.ams.org/employment/undergrad.html