Benefits of Majoring in Math

SHOULD YOU MAJOR IN MATH?

Some students who are good at math and enjoy solving math problems don’t seriously consider majoring in the subject because they are unsure of how a math major could be of use to them.

One common misconception is that a major in math is of no use unless you plan to teach math. But the truth is that there are a multitude of interesting and rewarding jobs for people with degrees in math. We’ll list some of those jobs in a moment, but first let’s consider what math can do for you regardless of your career choice.

By studying math you develop analytical skills and an analytical attitude. You learn to pay attention to all the assumptions involved in a given problem or situation, and you learn to break down a complicated problem into a series of tractable steps. You develop the habit of critical thinking: testing your conclusions-and the conclusions of others-to make sure they’re based on adequate data and accurate reasoning.

Such skills and attitudes are highly valued by employers as well as graduate and professional schools (architecture, engineering, business, law, medicine, pharmacy, etc.). A degree in mathematics, especially if accompanied by a transcript showing good grades in math courses, signals to a prospective employer or admissions officer that you are capable of learning the kinds of analytical procedures that are required in a given job or profession, even if those procedures are not specifically mathematical.

Employers recognize that if you can do math, you can do any job that calls for precise analysis and careful deduction.

The website http://weusemath.org/ provides very useful information about career perspectives for math majors.

 

WHO HIRES MATH GRADUATES?
People with math degrees are in demand in the following places:

  • Accounting firms
  • Actuarial firms
  • Airlines and other transportation companies
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers
  • Computer manufacturers
  • Consulting firms
  • Educational institutions
  • Engineering firms
  • Government agencies
  • Health services
  • Insurance agencies
  • Insurance companies
  • Investment firms
  • Real estate firms
  • Research and development firms
  • Securities firms
  • Software development firms
  • Technical publishing firms
  • Telecommunications companies
  • Textbook publishing companies
  • Utility companies

In government, education, manufacturing, and service industries of many kinds, math majors get good jobs.

JOB TITLES COMMONLY HELD BY MATH GRADUATES

  • Accountant
  • Actuary
  • Auditor
  • Biostatistician
  • Budget Analyst
  • Cartographer
  • Compensation/Benefits Specialist
  • Computer Applications Specialist
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Credit Analyst
  • Cryptographer
  • Data Analyst
  • Data Base Manager
  • Data Processing Manager
  • Economic Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Consultant
  • Financial Manager
  • Financial Services Sales Representative
  • Information Systems Analyst
  • Insurance Agent
  • Insurance Underwriter
  • Inventory Control Specialist
  • Investment Manager
  • Loan Counselor/Officer
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Meteorologist
  • Operations Research Analyst
  • Production Planner
  • Professor
  • Psychometrician
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Real Estate Appraiser
  • Risk Manager
  • Securities Analyst
  • Statistician
  • Surveyor
  • Teacher
  • Traffic Technician
  • Urban Planner

FURTHER INFORMATION

For more information, or to set up an appointment, contact the Math Department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies.

 


Updated GS, September 2011