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What kind of careers are good for somebody who enjoys math?

  1. Oct 12, 2015 #1
    I am in my last year of high school and I am starting my application process to university.

    I was considering becoming a actuary, but I heard that the success is based heavily on how well you do at the exams, and studying for the exams is long and tedious. Also I heard that having a degree in actuarial science is a lot more confining than having a degree in something like finance. Now I am not so sure.

    What are your thoughts? What are some other careers that are good for people who enjoy math? Right now I am just staring at the page where it says to pick your first and second options for university because I have no idea what to pick.....

    (also please excuse my English, I am still learning :D)
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2015 #2

    Rio Larsen

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    Maybe you could go into engineering? If so, there are lots that you can find here. More or less, engineering is applied math and applied science (where you use math and science to accomplish something rather than math and science just for new knowledge). A good engineering university is MIT, located in Cambridge, MA. Engineers design things, from soap to scramjets.

    You could also become a mathematician. A good university for that is Stanford. Mathematicians do math and "discover new math," so to speak (proving new theorems, creating new math, etc.); they expand the mathematical knowledge of themselves and the world. It's pure math, which means math just for new knowledge rather than to create new technology.

    From a quick glance, your English was great! It was understandable. Are you not American or British? :smile:
  4. Oct 12, 2015 #3
    Thank you very much for your response! I was thinking of engineering, but it seems that I am not very good at doing the physics and it seems that a lot of engineering needs physics :( I will be sure to do more research on what you have suggested!

    I am doing a exchange program in Canada at the moment. If I am speaking truthfully, I am actually using google to translate a lot heheh
  5. Oct 12, 2015 #4
    I work as an engineer and I have never used any math or physics. There are so many different kinds of engineering jobs that you really need to consider each field and positiom individually. I would love a job that uses math, but in my estimation they are few and far between. I believe the need for employees with math ability is exaggerated. Statistics seems to be a subset of math that is more employable than others.
  6. Oct 12, 2015 #5
    Really? What do you do?
  7. Oct 12, 2015 #6
    I am a process engineer at a semiconductor fab. I have yet to met any engineer at my fab that does any math or science. In fact, I meet with some of my old classmates over beer and we lament that there is no math or science in our jobs and we don't know where to find a job that does require math or science.

    I am sure this is where somebody will chime in with all the amazing math and science they get to do at their job without even a PhD... ;p
  8. Oct 13, 2015 #7
    This is where I will chime in and say you have a narrow view of what science is; my guess is you are doing science (maybe not math) to some degree but it is so routine it's not what your temperament would call science and so you're painting a more murky picture than is necessary.

    The amount of math and science I do at my non-Phd engineering job is great than 0, same with a few college friends of mine; but I feel I have a more general picture of what 'science' entails.
  9. Oct 13, 2015 #8


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    So I'm an EE and I use math, but not nearly as much as in college.
    Math is simply a tool. While many times I need to develop a mathematical model, a lot of times that process is done rather quickly. A large part of my job is determining how to apply that mathematical analysis, or working with the physics of the system. Many engineers use math (mostly in design). But it is not like college where you are solving a problem to solve a problem. You use math to get where you need to go.
  10. Oct 14, 2015 #9
    Computers do math. People solve (real) problems.

    Solving math problems doesn't count as solving real problems.

    There are a few exceptions to this (academia the obvious one), but they're pretty rare overall.
  11. Oct 14, 2015 #10
    Are you in the US? In some countries a degree in actuarial science is the only way to become an actuary.

    In the US I strongly advise people to go statistics instead of actuarial science, and agree that an AS degree is too restrictive.
  12. Oct 21, 2015 #11
    I think in reality business kills engineer.
  13. Oct 22, 2015 #12


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    To the OP:

    You said that you are currently in an exchange program in Canada. If you don't mind my asking, do you plan on attending university in Canada as well?

    In terms of types of jobs available for those who enjoy math, there are really a variety of jobs where mathematical ability is important, including actuarial work, statistics, computer science/software development, accounting/finance, various branches of engineering, meteorology, etc. How much you would actually use any given branch of math will depend on the specific job -- actuarial work and statistics tend to be more heavily mathematical in comparison to other jobs, in addition to certain computer science fields (e.g. numerical analysis/simulation).

    The key isn't so much that you would spend time solving equations in your job, but using the analytical and problem-solving skills that you develop in a math program to a given situation. I'm a statistician working in the pharmaceutical & health care sector, and my job frequently involves the type of problem-solving skills that my math program taught me.

    Hope this helps. Best of luck to you!
  14. Oct 23, 2015 #13
    I did a math degree at an English university then had a career in trading in Wall Street. Lots of math there, mostly probability and statistics. In addition with the advent of conputerized trading, there's a need fur programmers.

    i did not decide about my career choice until the third year of university. The key is to study something you enjoy ( why not math) and get into s good school that find recruit at.
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