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Although it might not seem like it, mathematics is integral to our daily lives. From banking and accounting to science and engineering, there are many career options for math degrees. But how comprehensive does your knowledge need to be and what careers make the most money?
Skills You’ll Need for a Mathematics Career
Before deciding if you want to pursue a career in mathematics, you need to develop specific skills. Programs in math degrees cultivate your quantitative reasoning, analysis and problem-solving skills.
These are some of the most important skills you can have when working with numbers. Math programs teach you not only how to handle numbers but also how to apply your knowledge to solve problems in everyday situations. Solving numerical problems quickly is essential to success in any career involving mathematics.
Another skill that you need is time management. Many math careers require you to complete tasks within a certain amount of time. Therefore, being able to use your time effectively is something you need to be successful in a math career.
If you’ve decided to pursue a major in mathematics, all you need to do is focus on honing these skills through your classes to prepare yourself for when it’s time to apply for a job. To get started, here are some of the most popular careers for mathematicians.
One of the most common careers you can pursue is teaching. Schools and colleges will always need teachers to help shape the next generation’s minds. If you’re the kind of person who likes working with children and young people, becoming a teacher can be a good career choice.
Remember that you might also have to pursue a degree in teaching. Many schools for younger children, in particular, require a teaching degree.
The salaries of math teachers can vary greatly depending on the kind of school and contract you decide to work with. Studies show that the average base salary is around $50,000 to $60,000 annually.
Financial planners are always in demand but are especially sought after now. As the economic situation in the U.S. and other countries begin to worsen, being an expert who can help prepare your clients for the future is more important than ever.
In order to meet their client’s needs, financial planners need expertise not just in mathematics but in finance and accounting as well. Clients will come to you for help planning how to meet their goals for their money. You’ll need to be able to help them optimize their budgets, spending and debts.
Financial planning can also be a lucrative career, but it depends on what kind of position you have and how many clients you can take care of. On average, financial planners in the U.S. make $103,000 to $104,000 per year.
Like financial planning, accounting careers also require finance and mathematics skills. However, accounting is a more professional position that covers a wide range of financial topics and generally works on a larger scale.
Accountants can find work in various places, from public accounting firms to organizations such as businesses, government agencies and non-profits. In addition, accountants cover a much broader range of finance topics. They don’t just advise clients — they directly manage their client’s finances.
For this reason, accountants must attend additional education in accounting schools, which involves passing an exam at the end of your term. The designation you obtain will depend on the country you plan to be employed in — as different countries have different accounting policies.
For example, the designation for professional accountants in the U.S. is Certified Public Accountant or CPA. The designation in Canada, the U.K., Australia and India is Chartered Accountant or CA.
The amount accountants make per year greatly depends on your education level and the organization you’ve chosen to work for. On average, they can make around $77,000 annually, but this amount fluctuates between $60,000 and $100,000.
If you need more than just finance and accounting, another career option for math degrees would be statistics. Statisticians specialize in gathering and analyzing data using computational techniques.
Pursuing a career as a statistician or statistical analyst can allow you to fulfill roles in many different kinds of organizations. These include aiding in government and scientific research, engineering projects, and marketing teams.
A position as a statistician generally only requires a Master’s degree in statistics or mathematics — however, having higher education could raise your chances of getting a higher salary. On average, statisticians make around $96,000 per year.
Operations Research Analyst
Operations research analysts are another viable career option for math degrees. These analysts look at data and create solutions for businesses. Their role is similar to statistics analysts, with the difference being they make proactive decisions based on the data they collect. In addition, this role is more associated with businesses rather than organizations.
Choosing a career as an operations research analyst requires you to present actionable plans to high-level business executives. Therefore, skills in time management and business subjects such as marketing in addition to mathematics will make you more desirable.
The average salary for an operations research analyst is around $80,000 to $90,000 per year.
The role of actuaries is similar to statisticians and research analysts in that they collect data to compute probabilities and form plans to minimize risks. However, while operations research analysts collect and use this data to solve problems more specific to businesses, actuaries attempt to forecast events such as death, sickness and natural disasters.
Actuaries can work for a wide range of clientele, depending on the role and forecasts needed. Their primary purpose is to write reports detailing the probability of the event occurring and suggest strategies to prevent or minimize the impact of the event.
The average entry-level salary for actuaries falls between $67,000 and $84,000. This can arise depending on one’s educational background and experience.
Find Your Career in Mathematics
There are plenty of career options for math degrees in various fields. From financial to scientific and analysis, there are enormous opportunities in the mathematics field. All you have to do is find the right one for you