Okay. So what can you do with a degree in mathematics? Actually, just about anything. No really, we mean it.

**Studying mathematics seriously** prepares you for almost any
career
(not just high-school or college teaching or pure mathematics
research). Here
are some links to check out which support this theme with actual
data and
reasoning:

- Why major in Mathematics? asks the University of Georgia---and then provides answers.
- Here's a news article from 2004 which accurately captures the career outlook of many students (excerpt below). It suggests a professional master's degree as an excellent option.
- Careerbuilder.com explains Why It Pays to Be a Math Geek.
- BusinessWeek said in January 2006 that Math Will Rock Your World.

For pretty much any list you can make of aspects you'd like in a job (dress up? just jeans? work with people? work on your own? etc.), there's some mathematical career that's right for you. One of the reasons that mathematically-trained people are needed in almost every field is that we are known for our excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Furthermore, according to the Jobs Rated Almanac by Les Krantz, many of the most desirable careers (see a long list here and the 2002 top list) are technical in nature and require some expertise in the mathematical sciences. In fact, the three top jobs on the 2009 list were mathematician, actuary, and statistician---the study of mathematics achieved a trifecta!

**Some of the career opportunities available to a major in
mathematics
include:**

**Actuarial Mathematics** -- The application of
mathematics,
particularly probability and statistics, to the insurance
industry. For more
info, check out Be An
Actuary, which
is supported and maintained by the actuarial professional
societies and some
major employers. The Princeton Review has an Actuarial
Career
Profile. Here is also an actuarial job search site
and a European actuarial
job search site and
an actuarial info and jobs
site.
**
**A related career to that of an

**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. For more info,
check the
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics' career site, especially
their pages on
Thinking of a
Career in
Applied Mathematics?. Most government jobs, such as with Sandia, Argonne, or Oak
Ridge National Labs, NASA,
or the Jet Propulsion Lab,
NIST, or the Dept. of Agriculture are within
applied
mathematics. Some positions at the National
Security
Agency are applied mathematics and some are pure
mathematics.
Here's a report from a workshop on how mathematics
is used in
industry. Courses in mathematical modelling are helpful in
preparing for a
career in applied mathematics.

**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. Biomathematics includes bioinformatics, a sort of
cs/math/biology
hybrid field. The Bioinformatics Organization has job listings in
bioinformatics.
There's plenty of information here as long
as you're willing to ignore poor grammar; colorbasepair has even
more
information.

**Biostatistics** -- The application of
statistics in the health sciences. Here are the ASA
and UIowa
and Emory
and UWash
biostatistics
careers pages.

**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. Another especially mathy part is the
**cryptography** involved in **network
security**; think e-commerce and
mathematical algorithms
like RSA and Rijndael. Here's a detailed
overview of
cryptography for networks from Gary Kessler. A high level of
mathematical
ability and background is needed. Consider a double major.

**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." Stony Brook has excellent
information. Here's a short book
list and a long book list.
The field is
fairly new, and there are lots of professional master's programs
springing up
(see google
and google).
There are plenty of mathematics graduates who are
**traders**, working with **stocks**,
**commodities**, or with **foreign exchange**.

**Knitwear** -- Higher mathematics is rarely used directly in
the knitwear industry, but the types of abstraction and rigorous
thinking in which mathematicians are trained are used all the
time. Kate Atherley
is a technical editor of knitting patterns. Sandy
Black is a professor of knitwear design (interview).
Lynne Barr
(interview)
creates technically innovative designs. Or, do it all: Amy
Herzog has dual careers as knitwear designer
and cybersecurity researcher at Mitre (here's
a recent paper).

**Law or Medicine** -- A major in mathematics is a
good
preparation for law or medical school. Here are a law
testimonial and a
medicine testimonial.

**Music** -- It's not a common or easy career, but
you can do
it; witness Jennifer Parkin (Ayria),
who
earned her math degree from UWaterloo. Still in the educational
pipeline as
composers/performers/mathematicians are Carl
McTague and Kit
Armstrong.

**Operations Research** -- The application of
mathematics to
problems of optimization and decision-making, especially for
large-scale or complex problems and
especially in the field of business. In other words, OR
people attack every practical problem you've ever thought of, from
economic impact of airline safety measures to relocating
endangered species of plants. The discipline is sometimes
called
Management Science or Industrial Engineering. For more info, check
out What
is
OR/MS? and The
INFORMS
Career FAQ on Is a Career in OR / Analytics Right for You?

**Public Health and Epidemiology** -- Epidemiologists
study the spread of diseases
and model how to respond to epidemics. A basic introduction to
mathematical
epidemiology can be found in Chapter 1 of *Calculus
in
Context*. The Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention employ statisticians and
mathematicians to model disease and study preventions and
interventions. The University of British Columbia Med School's
Centre for Disease Control has a Division
of Mathematical Modeling. Emory
has a page on public health informatics.

**Public Policy** -- A mathematics degree can lead
to advisory
positions in educational and/or science policy as well as work in
quantitative
public policy. Gillian
Brunet
is one example of a mathematics major in a public policy career. A
master's
degree in public policy is often useful (see google).

**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 possibilities, 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. For more info, check the Career Center at the
American Statistical Association's website. Here are a few
statistics job
sites...SASjobs, UFlorida, ASA jobweb, statistics.com...

**Teaching** -- At all levels. Here is EducationWorld's
state
certification listing and USC's Certification Map.
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). Here's an annotated
list
of K - 12 math sites.

**Technical Writing** -- This includes everything
from science
reporting for periodicals to writing documentation for computer
software to
editing textbooks. For more info, check out Careers
in Science
Writing or Careers
in
Technical Writing. Here's a technical writing
jobs site.
Also check out this mini-biography of Allyn
Jackson
(scroll down), who is a technical writer with the American
Mathematical
Society. (Not in the mini-bio: she's trained in modern dance as
well...)

**More career options** are listed at Duane Kouba's
Mathematics-Related
Professions site.

**For examples of career paths and advice from
professionals in many
of the above fields (and more!)**, check out Career Profiles
(Part of the
AMS-MAA-SIAM Mathematical Sciences Career Information Project)

**Advice on preparing for jobs in the business world**
(from a
panelist at the 2006 Joint Mathematics Meetings who is a
consultant of some
sort and whose name I didn't catch)

-- People don't know why they should hire mathematicians; be
useful as well as
smart.

-- Know how to code, using C++ or the equivalent. You will need to
deliver not
just a solution, but an implementation.

-- Take probability and statistics.

-- You'll need to learn new mathematics regularly and quickly.

-- You'll need to learn the fields of your teammates/clients so
you can help
them (for example, one needs to learn some chemistry to work with
the
pharmaceutical industry).

**If you're looking for a job**, note that many
position titles
appropriate for mathematics graduates end with the word
**Analyst**.

It also seems that if you've done undergraduate research, you can
post an
employer-viewable resume at the Registry of
Undergraduate Researchers.

**What about Graduate School? Go here for all the info you need.**

**Books:**

Great Jobs for Math Majors (review)

She Does Math (review)

101 Careers in Mathematics

**Links to More Mathematics Career Information:**

http://www.math-jobs.com/
(what more
can one say?)

PhDs.org Science, Math, and
Engineering Career
Resources

The American Mathematical Society maintains a page of
resources on
careers, semester and/or summer opportunities, graduate schools,
competitions,
and other interesting things for undergraduates.

The Mathematical Association of America's Student
Career/Employment
Resources and Careers
sites

California State University at Fullerton has an excellent Math
Careers page

The Association for Women in Mathematics maintains a Career Resources
page

Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook
for
Mathematicians

Ask questions at the Art of Problem Solving's Careers
in
Mathematics Forum

*Latest update June 2013. This page was originally
developed for the Xavier University Math/CS
Department but has since been substantially revised*.

excerpt from "Add science, business,
mathematics and
stir"

By Del Jones, USA TODAY --- posted July 18/19, 2004

...Mathematics major Rebekah Stephenson taught high school for a year after graduating from Ohio State University, but, she says, "People who really love math are not going to teach algebra." And she didn't want to get a Ph.D. in math only to spend years working on something that would be read by a few other mathematicians working in the same subfield of expertise.

Many students strong in science and math face similar career dilemmas, fueling a stampede into places like law school just as global wars are being waged in biotechnology, cryptology, nanotechnology, forensic chemistry, environmental science and the like.

That has led to the creation of a new master's degree, the professional science master's (PSM), which promises to be the hot degree no one seems to have heard of — yet....

...The PSM is being called the MBA for scientists and
mathematicians....

Experts predict it will become the 21st century's fastest ticket
to the major
leagues in business and government.... Philip Tuchinsky [is] a
project manager
at Ford Motor who has a Ph.D. in mathematics... Employees with a
math
background see business from a unique point of view and are
becoming valuable
as companies mine and analyze mountains of data, Tuchinsky says.

...Stephenson, 25, received a PSM in industrial mathematics from Michigan State in 2002 and is now project engineer for Essayons Consulting Engineers, where she designs storm water drainage systems for new construction projects in Tacoma, Wash. "The main commodity of being a mathematician is reasoning," Stephenson says. "The main preparation element missing in a typical math program is how to market this incredible ability."

"The students that we turn out are not future cubicle rats, but future project managers," says Charles MacCluer, director of Michigan State's PSM program in industrial mathematics. "Business is getting too scientific to be managed by businessmen," he says. "They need a new hybrid, a scientifically trained person."