What Types of Jobs Can I Get With a Mathematics Degree?

Mathematics degreeThe types of jobs with a mathematics degree are some of the most intellectually and financially rewarding careers available. Anyone who loves using creativity to find patterns in numbers, symbols and everyday situations can use their skills to predict national trends, program computers, model financial markets, crack codes or work in any profession that requires quantitative problem solving.

A mathematics degree can open doors in engineering, insurance, business, economics, technology and public sector occupations. One of the most popular career choices for graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics is actuarial sciences. Actuaries work for insurance agencies to assess risk and potential financial gain using statistics and financial mathematics.

Types of Jobs With a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics

Aside from becoming an actuary, math graduates with a four-year degree can be teachers, engineers, mathematical biologists, business professionals or research analysts. Some of these careers can take longer to start without a post-graduate degree. For example, engineering firms generally prefer engineering graduates, but sometimes hire math majors with a strong background in applied mathematics.

Math teachers with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics can teach high school or earlier grades, although private secondary schools usually require at least a master’s degree. Teaching-track math degrees typically take an extra year to complete due to state teacher certification requirements.

Many colleges have added new programs to their curricula, such as mathematical biology and other specialized math degrees designed for employment in science, economics, finance and related industries. In the private sector, these occupations traditionally require a master’s degree, but the government employs math majors with four-year degrees to conduct research and statistical surveys.

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Types of Jobs With a Graduate Degree in Mathematics

With an Master of Science in Mathematics, applied mathematics or a related field, all of the above-listed occupations are available, and many new opportunities open up. Post-graduate math programs prepare students for careers in statistics, physics, post-secondary education and pure and applied mathematics. Private firms hire mathematicians to analyze their internal operations and recommend ways to operate more efficiently.

Statisticians work in a variety of fields, including business, academics, science and engineering. They apply their knowledge of statistical theories to real-world problems to identify trends, predict outcomes and distinguish successful policies from ineffective ones.

University professors typically have a doctoral degree that qualifies them to conduct research and teach students. Many two-year colleges hire professors with a Master of Science in Mathematics and relevant experience. Competition for full-time university professor jobs is high as most new positions are expected to be for part-time faculty. Adjunct professors don’t receive the same pay or benefits as full-time, tenure-track professors.

Salary for Mathematics Graduates

Mathematics careers are some of the highest-paying careers for bachelor’s degree holders. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, actuaries earned a median salary of $93, 680 in 2012, and operations research analysts earned a median salary of $72,100. Mathematicians earned a median salary of $101,360, and statisticians earned a median salary of $75,560.

Degrees in mathematics require considerably more studying and self-discipline than most other degrees. For students who get a thrill out of solving a particularly hard equation or finding a creative solution to a problem, exploring the types of jobs with a mathematics degree can be worthwhile.