Some students fall in love with math. They admire the order, the adherence to hard and clear rules and the complex beauty that the discipline brings. But many of those interested in math are loath to teach. Yet, they are unclear on what other career paths are available to them. The good news is there are many different and exciting fields one can enter into besides teaching that are lucrative, fascinating, make an impact.
A math degree is very flexible as it imbues the student with the ability to use logic to analyze situations and provide practical and appropriate solutions. In many fields, you don’t even need an advanced degree so says Michael Pearson, the associate executive director of the Mathematical Association of America. And math experts are in high demand. The need for mathematicians in the labor market is predicted to increase 23% between 2012 and 2022, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary is also significant, forecast at $110,000 per year. Mathematicians make a difference and contribute to breakthroughs in so many different fields.
One place many mathematicians end up is academia. This is for those who through research want to attempt to unlock mysteries that have stumped their predecessors. There’s of course a lot of prestige as well as the chance to make a mark, even go down in history. But it gets complicated. There are many different specialties and requirements. Most academics need to publish which can be exciting to some students and a turnoff to others. Finance and accountancy is another popular route. This can lead to many different career paths such as corporate advisor, tax accountant, auditor, forensic accountant and more. After earning a bachelor’s degree often candidates enter into a company as a trainee, until one earns the proper experience and a professional certificate. Banking is another area in the financial sphere mathematicians are welcomed, both in the public and private arenas. Developing financial models, finding new opportunities, market analysis and much more are available, and these positions are lucrative. Actuarial services from risk management to business strategies are yet other avenues. Insurance, managing a pension fund, investment or healthcare are all sectors where mathematicians are integral part of the machine.
For those not interested in finance, statistical analysis is becoming more and more crucial. Government, sports, finance, research, marketing and more all rely on statisticians. Not only is it interesting work, the compensation is impressive and the need great. In the era of big data, statisticians are only going to be more and more in demand. There are other fields open to mathematicians that they don’t always consider. Engineering for instance is a place where mathematicians are needed. Most who enter the field earn an engineering degree. But those who majored in math can also break in. Some specialized knowledge and training may be required in some areas of the field however, that only an engineer can provide. Meteorology is another field heavily laden with math. Using data collected from various sources such as Doppler radar, weather satellites and weather stations, mathematicians help predict the forecast. IT skills are required here as well. For anyone pursuing a math degree, the possible fields one can enter are varied, lucrative and satisfying. In fact, JobRated.com has ranked mathematician as the number one field for job satisfaction. So for those interested in pursuing a career in math, don’t feel as though you have to settle for teaching. There are so many options available to you.
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