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Majoring in Mathematics – Job Opportunities

Students who major or minor in mathematics at ECU gain skills and knowledge that prepare them for jobs in an almost limitless range of areas. Jobs requiring significant preparation in mathematics are consistently among the top fifty jobs listed in the Jobs Rated Almanac published each year. Many employers hire mathematics majors or minors because of their sophisticated reasoning and problem-solving skills, as well as their understanding of mathematical concepts. Private business and industry, the public sector (local, state, federal government), education, and nonprofit organizations all provide opportunities for candidates with a strong mathematics background. A large number of career opportunities exist in fields not usually associated with mathematics. Positions are available in underwriting, banking, investments, marketing, inventory and quality control, manufacturing, programming, systems, consulting, actuarial science, and a myriad of other arenas. Starting salaries for well-qualified math majors are often higher than those for business majors or recipients of degrees in other liberal arts disciplines.

The Jobs Rated Almanac rated mathematics in the top six best overall professions on the market today. The rating was based on factors of the environment, future of the field, likelihood of promotions, stress, security, physical demands and income.

For those with developed talent and skills in the mathematical sciences, the job market should be strong and offer a wide choice of opportunities that fit the student's needs. Almost every organization offering employment needs people in the mathematical sciences. These include mathematicians, statisticians and computer scientists. Hence, a student who has an academic background in at least one of these areas has a wide range of job opportunities locally and worldwide in business, government and education. By choosing a major/ minor combination covering two or more of these areas, many students create even more opportunities for themselves. The graduate degrees in math, math education and computer science offer further opportunities for career enhancement.

Some of the career opportunities in mathematical sciences include positions in:

  • teaching in the public schools, community colleges and colleges
  • research in education, government and industry
  • quality assurance and improvement
  • testing and validation of processes and systems including computer software
  • industrial training
  • statistical support including marketing research
  • actuarial work and experimental design
  • engineering positions
  • software design
  • systems analysis
  • data base management
  • cryptography for on-line security systems or military surveillance
  • mathematical modeling in business, management information systems and computer information systems

Statistics

Statistician graduates with a background in statistics have many job opportunities. Federal and state agencies, including the Census Bureau, the Center for Disease Control and the agency which oversees social security, all need statisticians for a wide range of activities. Marketing research and quality control offer stable employment. Professional statisticians can work in pharmaceutical companies, medical schools and agriculture. The Jobs Rated Almanac rates actuarial science as a very desirable profession, with a stable outlook, since the profession continues to expand due to health and pension benefit programs and growth in the insurance industry. Actuaries may increase their salaries by passing actuarial examinations. Detailed career information about actuarial science is available at www.soa.org/career.html. 

Here are three sites devoted to career possiblities for Math Majors.

http://www.ams.org/careers/home.html

http://www.maa.org/students/career.html

http://www.awm-math.org/career.html#careers