1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Math Jobs available for Mathematicians

  1. May 10, 2010 #1
    I'm not in Uni yet. Next year, but I'm wondering: What jobs are available to Mathematicians?

    I want to do a degree in Mathematics in Uni (If you hadn't already guessed) and I'm just curious as to what career paths would be available to me upon completing my degree.

    If it turns out that there aren't many options, I don't mind. I do Mathematics because I adore the subject and not because of career prospects.

    Thank you. :blushing:
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2010 #2
    Actually there is a surprising amount of opportunities available to those with Math degrees. As far as mathematicians go though, I think for the most part they work in universities. I've heard stories of brilliant mathematicians being covertly recruited to work in government firms like the NSA (my best guess would be to work as cryptanalysts) , but I have no evidence to base this on and have no idea if its true.

    Don't let anyone tell you becoming a professor is too hard or difficult. What's difficult is landing a professorship as a research university, spending most of your time on research. But, there is certainly opportunities teaching college maths in general i.e. at a technical school, 2 year college, 4 year college, community college and even at a good deal of doctorate granting universities.

    But as I said... With a math degree you could work in many different areas, depending on the type of maths that you study (applied vs pure). Applied mathematicians generally have more to contribute to the working world, they can work with engineers and scientists in a plethora of situations. I've met someone that works for the Department of Homeland Security and he graduated with an MA in mathematics, though I have no idea what he actually does. And that draws on another point -- the mathematics degree will get you a job, but that job might not have anything to do with maths. In general companies like math degrees because its impressive and shows that you have the ability to work logically.

    The last avenue I will mention is in the financial industry. Some people look down on this path, some people go into maths specifically for it. One thing is for sure, there is opportunity for mathematicians in the financial field to make a very decent living.

    I'm just starting grad school in the fall (MA in mathematics), so I've not had the opportunity to job-hunt yet, but this is all information I've gathered over the years. I hope it helps a bit. Seems like you're on the right track; because if you love mathematics, than you should do mathematics. Good luck and have fun.
  4. May 15, 2010 #3
    You might find this website interesting:


    It lists a lot of careers that people have done after studying mathematics, as well as the upper end of salaries available. (I guess they show the upper end to make it more enticing.) Lots of jobs will be an option after doing a mathematics major, but it can help if you've demonstrated an interest in your chosen career early and have taken some relevant subjects.

    Enjoy your studies. :)
  5. May 15, 2010 #4
    Also see:

    http://www.prospects.ac.uk/cms/ShowPage/Home_page/Options_with_your_subject/Your_degree_in_mathematics/Your_skills/p!elkiXeg [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook