Academic Information

Math Provides Opportunities

Frequently, students who major in Mathematics, or consider a major in Mathematics, do not know what they will do with their degree in Mathematics. Students are often asked, “What will you do... teach?” While teaching is a valid career choice for Mathematics majors, it is important to emphasize that it is not the only career path. Below, you will find a number of different career path, further education, and career field options and descriptions for Mathematics majors. If you would like to learn more about any of these various options, feel free to contact our department or your admissions counselor for more information.

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Further Education

  • Graduate School - math majors consistently have some of the highest average GRE scores
  • Business School - math majors consistently outscore almost every other major on the GMAT (Graduate business school exam)
  • Law School - math and physics majors outscore all other majors on the LSAT
  • Medical School - math majors have among the highest medical school acceptance rates

Corporate World

It is no secret that Mathematicians enjoy many of the top-rated careers as evidenced in the 2015 Career Cast Jobs Rated Report. Mathematicians can also enjoy great job security, in part because of the range of fields that depend on mathematics. Mathematically-focused careers in the corporate world usually focus on one of 3 areas:

    • Models and forecasts
    • Marketing trend statistics
    • Financial calculations

Working in industry provides real world application of mathematics to problems.

  • Actuary - apply math/statistical theories to solve real business problems dealing with financial impact of risk and uncertainty. Actuaries are in high demand, and are well-paid: low-end salaries are $41,500, median salaries are $95,980, and high-end salaries are $160,780.
  • Operations Research Analyst - top-level strategizing, planning, and forecasting. Used to allocate resources, measure performance, design production facilities and systems, manage the supply-chain, set prices, coordinate transportation and distribution, and analyzing large databases. Receive low-end salaries of $40,000, medial salaries of $69,000, and high-end salaries of $118,130.
  • Foreign Exchange Trader - examines factors that influence local economies and rates of exchange and then uses misevaluations of currencies to buy and sell in different foreign exchange markets. A low-end Trader salary is $69,173, median salary is $87,818, and high-end is $139,517.
  • Market Research Analyst - gather information about what types of products and prices people want, and help companies market to the correct consumers. They gather statistical data on competitors, prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution, then analyze data on past sales to predict future sales. Low-end salaries are $33,770, median salaries are $70,410, and high-end salaries are $112,410.
  • Scientist - many biological science positions - biologist, biostatistician, computational biologist, mathematical biophysicist, physician, epidemiologist - require mathematics, and a variety of scientific careers - research scientist, astronaut, climatologist, forensic analyst, geologist, environmental mathematician - require upper-level mathematical backgrounds.
  • Biostatistician - design research studies and analyze data related to human health, animals, or plants. This includes genetic data, disease occurrences, and medical imaging data. Academic and governmental biostatisticians analyze data of populations exposed to environmental chemicals and conditions to understand their risks and effects. Low end salaries are $46,000, medial salaries are $99,571, and high-end salaries are $140,498.
  • Climatologist - study climate conditions averaged over a period of time. Climatology focuses the frequency and trends of weather systems. Low-end salaries are $38,990, median salaries are $81,290, and high-end are $127,100.
  • Forensic Analyst - use traditional methods such as fingerprinting in addition to blood analysis, forensic dentistry, voice and speech spectrograms, and genetic fingerprinting. Low-end salaries are $30,990, median salaries are $49,286, and high-end salaries are $80,330.
  • Environmental Mathematicians - described as “never-boring”, this job requires both logical and quantitative thinking to solve specific environmental problems - such as predicting how much gas escapes from storage tanks based on weather conditions - and often involves travel.
  • Computer Scientist - theorists, researchers, and inventors. They use innovation and design to solve complex problems and create/apply new technology. Any complex work in computer science requires knowledge of mathematics.
  • Imaging Scientist - write programs that edit and display images. These complex programs require mathematics, like linear algebra used in flipping and rotating images in 3D space.

Career Fields

  • Ecology, Epidemiology, and Environmental Issue
  • Data Mining - discovering patterns and previously unknown information in large sets of data.
    • Security
    • Forensics
    • E-commerce
    • Bioinformatics
    • Genomics
    • Astrophysics
    • Medicine
    • Chemical and electric power engineering
  • Computer Animation and Digital Imaging
  • Material Science -  study of properties, processing, and production of a broad range of existing and new materials.
    • Aerospace
    • Engineering
    • Electronics
    • Biology
    • Nanotechnology
  • Sports Analysis
  • Finance and Economics - development of mathematical tools and computational models used in the financial industry.