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Math Teaching vs something else (math degree)

  1. Apr 14, 2010 #1
    so i'm pretty close to getting a bachelor's in general math. but i kind of want to teach as well. part of me wants to teach for a few reasons: one, the selfish reason, is that when you teach, you really understand the stuff, and i know a lot of stuff as fact, not really as understanding, although i am getting better at that. i also want to teach because so many people hate math, and i feel a large part of that is due to having bad teachers out there who don't capture the beauty of the subject.
    but, i also have to admit, part of the reason i want to teach is because i don't know what else to do with a math degree. it's supposed to be a pretty hot degree to have, or so i hear, but i don't really know what job options there are for a general math degree.
    i was thinking of getting the general, and then going back for a credential if i want to teach. my course load would be lighter if i did that, since i'm closer to a math degree than a math ed degree. but could anyone help me with what my other options are? thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2010 #2


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    Take a look at the american math society and look at some of the profiles there.

    Most jobs in industry will require honours or a PhD to get in. Some of these kinds of jobs include:

    Statisticians in the category of Biostatistician or general Statistician.

    Another kind of statistician is an actuary but it requires you to either do exams set by the institute or to do an accredited university course and get above the cutoff mark to be exempt from taking the exam.

    The NSA is the biggest employer of pure mathematicians (and possibly mathematicians in general). Code breaking, cryptanalysis, and general cryptography/cryptology require skilled mathematicians to design, implement, and test new forms of secret communication.

    One area that I am familiar with is applying math to the entertainment industry like video games or movies. Linear algebra, geometry (computational and applied), as well as analysis (both numeric and real) as well as computer science is required. I will warn you though that the pay in this area is not great and you really have to love what you do in order to do well in this field.

    Another sector of emplyment is business and industry. Applied math majors are sought after to turn "industry or business 'word' problems" into models and to give recommendations in "business speak" that business people can understand. In this kind of role good communication skills are vital. In fact I would say that most mathematicians do this kind of work on a daily basis.

    Of course there is teaching as well, which you probably already know a lot about.

    Try the AMS and look through the profiles of people. Good luck.
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