Best Jobs for Math Majors
Do you love to crunch numbers, contemplate patterns and relationships, and solve complex puzzles?
Mathematics students are systematic yet creative—talented thinkers with exceptional reasoning abilities. Although the degree sometimes gets a bad reputation for being impractical or overly theoretical, the opposite is true. Over the course of their studies, math majors gain invaluable skills and experience, developing their capacity for problem solving, critical thinking, logic, communication, and independence. They also learn to work in teams, explore and manipulate intricate ideas, and manage their own time.
Combined, these qualities set math students up for success for a wide array of careers—both inside and outside of their field. Let's take a look at a few of the most popular ones.
This article will be covering the following careers:
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Just like math majors, actuaries have top notch analytical capabilities, a deep understanding of probability and statistics, and the ability to communicate clearly and concisely. They use these skills to help organizations protect themselves from risk and loss and plan for a successful future. Internships are highly valued in this career, and math students with an interest in the profession are encouraged to gain as much relevant professional experience as possible after they graduate.
2. Business Analyst
A business analyst is a clever, critical individual who acts as the glue that holds an organization together. These skilled professionals connect a company's business needs with its IT resources, a task that involves plenty of clear communication, precise analysis, and careful facilitation. Math graduates—with their knowledge of data and systems, as well as the team working skills they developed during their studies—can truly excel in this role.
If you are an analytical thinker, have a knack for puzzle solving, are skilled at matching business problems to possible solutions, and get a kick out of technology, a career as a business analyst may be for you!
3. Computer Programmer
Computer programmers spend their days writing computer software—a task that, like mathematics, is both creative and methodological. Math degrees provide students with a rich understanding of many of the key ideas and systems upon which the profession is based, making this line of work a natural fit. Although most math majors will need to gain additional education or training before they can dive into this career, those who do will excel.
The road to becoming a computer programmer typically begins with a keen interest in technology, and an almost insatiable curiosity about the language of computers.
4. Software Engineer
Software engineers and computer programmers work together closely to design, create, and revise software systems. Although these two careers can appear similar, in truth, they are quite distinct. While computer programmers typically focus on coding, software engineers meet with clients, analyze their needs and budget, develop software designs based on those factors, and then direct programmers to implement them accordingly.
Are you strategically-minded?
Statisticians take data and formulas and apply them to academic, industrial, and government-related issues. They rely on a variety of statistical techniques—including those covered during a mathematics degree—and use them to solve real-world problems in industries such as healthcare, engineering, and business. Although many statistics jobs will require a master's degree in the subject, having a bachelor's in mathematics is one of the most desirable educational foundations you could ask for.
If you love math, and are detail-oriented and organized, you may want to consider a career as a statistician!
Accountants assist individuals as well as businesses with managing and organizing their finances. They help their clients develop their short- and long-term goals and take the steps needed to achieve them. Success in this role requires a strong understanding of numbers, as well as a rigorous, detail-oriented work ethic—both of which mathematics majors possess.
Do you love working with numbers?
Auditors play a similar role to accountants, in that they help businesses organize and maintain their financial data. But while accountants often work in-house on a continuous basis, actuaries are typically hired from an outside firm to work on a specific project. For this reason, auditors tend to have a bit more variety in their day-to-day experiences, making it a more appealing option for some math graduates.
What do you get when you cross and accountant with a detective?
Cryptographers play in increasingly important role in our digital world. These highly skilled professionals use mathematical encryption methods, computer software, and specialized hardware to prevent hackers from accessing essential data systems. The job requires tasks such as developing and testing mathematical models, analyzing data, and developing new cryptography theories. Math majors will enjoy flexing their mental muscles in this intellectually engaging career.
Are you interested in keeping messages and other data secrets away from the prying eyes of criminals or enemy governments?
9. Financial Analyst
A bachelors in economics, statistics, or mathematics is the perfect basis for a successful career in finance. Financial analysts work with businesses of all kinds, offering them guidance on when, where, and how much they should invest in the future. They analyze companies' financial data, identify and monitor economic trends, and make predictions that help their clients make better business decisions. Math majors, with their ability to identify patterns and navigate complex models and systems, are a natural fit for the job.