There is a strong demand for people with good quantitative skills. Various career rating sites rated math related jobs as the best available. For example, CareerCast lists the top four jobs in the country as mathematician, university professor, statistician, and actuary (see below). Forbes: Best jobs for 2014 says:
Most jobs for mathematicians used to be confined to the cloistered halls of academia. But in the age of big data, an increasing number of companies are hiring mathematicians to crunch numbers for all sorts of projects, from energy firms that need to figure out the most efficient ways to get products to distributors, to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which must calculate how best to spend agency money. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job opportunities for mathematicians will grow 23% between 2012 and 2022 and it pegs the median 2012 mathematician’s salary at $110,000. Those statistics land mathematician at the top of career advice and job listing website CareerCast’s 2014 list of the 10 best jobs in the U.S.
Here are some other websites that describe the range of jobs you can have with a mathematics or statistics degree. NOTE: This information is provided as a resource; I do not endorse any of the organizations and cannot vouch for their reputations.
Mathematics Association of America career info lists statistician, actuary, computer science, operations research, biomathematics, cryptography, teaching, and finance among math careers.
American Statistical Association career info discusses careers using statistics.
ThisIsStatistics discusses careers using statistics.
The Math/Stat Department at American University has a few courses in Data Science; in Fall 2017 there will be more courses and the ability to get a certificate, a minor, or a major.
Information about Data Science describes this new field that combines statistics and computation.
Actuarial Science is a great career that involves using mathematics and statistics to analyze data and predict trends. The traditional job for an actuary was with an insurance company, where one would model costs from auto accidents, fire, natural disasters, life and health insurance, etc. These models are used to set premium prices. Now there is a need for people with these skills in government agencies, large private companies and unions.
Various job rating surveys have rated actuary as one of the best jobs in the future. This is because there is a long term demand for these positions, they are secure long term careers, opportunities to advance, strong salaries (above those of economists, attorneys, accountants or professors!), safe working conditions, etc.
If you are interested in actuarial science, you should take the following courses: Math 221 (Calculus I), 222 (Calculus II), 223 (Calculus III), 501 (Probability), 565 (Math. Applications of Interest and Derivatives); Stat 202 (Basic Stat), 302 (Intermediate Stat), 502 (Introduction to Mathematical Statistics); and CSC 280 (Introduction to Computer Science). Some of these, e.g. Math 501 and Math 565 prepare you directly for two of the actuarial exams.
Below are some links to websites that can give you more information.
- Why be an actuary?
- Be an actuary website
- Information on the actuarial exams
- Actuary jobs and internships
- Society of Actuaries
- Casualty Actuarial Society
Internships, jobs, and summer programs for students
Look at the links above for Statistics and Actuarial Science for internships in those special fields. Below are some links to websites that can give you more information.
- A listing of programs for students Main listing for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs). You can view programs without registering by clicking on the red View Programs menu at the top of the page.
- Statistics and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute, Research Triangle, North Carolina They host a range of events for a range of audiences. Look on the right hand side Events list for ones that mention students.
- Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley, CAMostly faculty oriented, but some programs for students. Click on the box for Students near the bottom.
- Park City Mathematical Insitute, Utah Some programs for students, click on Summer sessions along top menu.
- Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics, UCLA Some programs for students, look under the Programs tab
- Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications, Minneapolis Some programs for students, look under the Programs/Activities tab
- US Department of Education Information on teaching, in particular geographical areas where there are teacher shortages.
- MathTeaching.org Resources for potential teachers.
- Southern Teachers Agency Teaching jobs at private/independent high schools in the southern U.S.