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Careers in Mathematics and Statistics

Discover different paths as an undergraduate student gaining experience in mathematics and statistics. Looking for a job? Visit Job Opportunities

What Can I Be with a Math or Stat Degree?

  • Actuary

    An actuary works in the insurance industry on problems associated with insurance rates. The profession is closely regulated, and advancement through the actuarial ranks is achieved by passing a series of tests administered by the Society of Actuaries. The first five tests measure knowledge of calculus, linear algebra, statistics, numerical analysis, and operations research. Resources: Society of Actuaries and Careers in actuarial and insurance.

  • Applied Mathematician

    In industry, mathematicians work with specialists from different disciplines to solve complex problems that are too broad in scope for engineers to tackle alone. To prepare for a possible career in applied mathematics outside of academia, build your program around the skills that employers need: breadth and depth in mathematics, computational skills, knowledge of a relevant area outside of mathematics, and problem-solving ability. Resource: Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

  • Pure Mathematician

    Pure mathematicians work on abstract problems independent of any practical applications – they create new mathematics, build new mathematical structures, and unravel new mathematical patterns. Because it grows out of internal motivations to create, this aspect of mathematics is often likened to art. However, mathematical research developed without reference to real-world problems often ends up being extremely useful in practical situations. Pure mathematicians find employment at universities, government agencies such as the National Security Agency, or companies such as Bell Labs. Resource: American Mathematical Society Employment Services for PhD Mathematicians.

  • Secondary School Mathematics Teacher

    Today there is an increasing need for secondary school teachers with excellent training in mathematics. As national leaders call for sweeping reforms in the way mathematics is taught, this is an exciting and challenging time to enter the mathematical education profession.

  • Statistician

    Statistics deals with the problem of making inductive inferences in the face of uncertainty. It provides the reasoning and the methods for producing and understanding data. It is learning from data and includes collecting, organizing, analyzing, and interpreting results. Statisticians identify patterns in data to understand it and make decisions in business and industry and in biological, physical, psychological, and social sciences. Statisticians provide the methodology for making important advances in medical and other scientific research arenas, and work at various tasks such as market research, opinion polling, survey management, data analysis, designing statistical experiments, and teaching statistical techniques and theories. Resource: American Statistical Society.

Other Career Options

Other possibilities for careers in mathematics are Mathematical Biology, Management Science (Operations Research), Mathematics of Medicine, Mathematics of Finance, Etc. For more details about these and other careers in mathematics, students should visit the American Mathematical Society or contact Mathematics and Statistics Department Advising

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