Why Study Math?

Careers in Mathematics

There are lots of exciting careers that use mathematics—some that might surprise you! Mathematics is used in a wide range of fields and many employers seek out math majors because of their reasoning skills and problem-solving ability.

The Mathematical Association of America has a list of career profiles and interviews with math majors. Here are some examples:

Teaching of mathematics at the K-12 level is one of the highest-demand fields and the need is expected to growing rapidly.

Actuarial science takes mathematics and statistics and applies them to finance and insurance. Actuarial science includes a number of interrelating disciplines, including probability and statistics, finance, and economics.

Operations research is an interdisciplinary branch of mathematics which uses mathematical methods to arrive at optimal decisions to problems in maximizing or minimizing things like costs or profits.

Cryptography is the practice and study of hiding information.  Not just for spies anymore, cryptography applications include the security of ATM cards and computer passwords.

Biomathematics models biological processes using mathematical techniques with applications to cellular neurobiology, epidemic modelling, and population genetics.

Computer science positions highly prize applicants with strong mathematics backgrounds because of their training in logical and precise thinking.

Scientific research very much depends upon mathematicians to construct the models which explain physical observations.

Engineering careers, from aerospace to nuclear, depend upon solid mathematical training.

Careers that Use Mathematical Skills

Law: Statistics is becoming crucial as court cases address increasingly complex problems. Statisticians analyze data that can help a judge or jury decide whether someone is guilty of a crime; discrimination cases usually involve statistical studies; intellectual infringement cases often involve consumer recognition statistical surveys; medical statistics are crucial in judging whether a drug or medical device has toxic effects and was the probable cause of a disease contracted by the plaintiff; forensic statistics is a growing branch of applied statistics.

Finance: Mathematicians model the ways in which individuals, businesses, and organizations raise, allocate, and use monetary resources over time.

Medicine: Statisticians play a key role in the drug experimentation process leading to drug approval; statistical thought is vital to all clinical trials; the entire analytic epidemiology field is based on the use of mathematical models; statistics has played a pivotal role in the development of nursing science; most modern genetic studies depend heavily on mathematical models. 

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