Careers in Mathematics...

...and Summer Opportunities/Internships also appear later on this page.

Okay. So what can you do with a degree in mathematics? Actually, just about anything. No really, we mean it -- for pretty much any list you can make of aspects you'd like in a job (dress up? just jeans? work with people? work on your own? etc.), there's some mathematical career that's right for you. One of the reasons that mathematically-trained people are needed in almost every field is that we are known for our excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Furthermore, according to the Jobs Rated Almanac by Les Krantz, many of the most desirable careers (see a cool summary here and a long list here and the 1999 and 2002 top-ten lists) are technical in nature and require some expertise in the mathematical sciences.

The American Mathematical Society maintains a page on careers, semester and/or summer opportunities, graduate schools, competitions, and other interesting things for undergraduates.

Some of the career opportunities available to a major in mathematics include:

Actuarial Mathematics - The application of mathematics, particularly probability and statistics, to the insurance industry. For more info, check out Be An Actuary. Here is also an actuarial job search site and an actuarial info and jobs site. There's a local company which deals with worker's compensation (in fact, they do it for XU). Here's their home page and their jobs page. Some of their positions are actuarial in nature and require passing actuarial exams, but others require a strong math background and don't require actuarial exams.
In particular, one can become a Research Analyst - They research compensation trends and problems internally and externally; perform statistical analyses and predictive modeling on current and proposed compenstaion scenarios; measure performace of field sales (insurance reps) against established goals; model and track incentive and bonus programs; determine economic impact of various scenarios on the Company and the individual. This job specifically requires a mathematics degree.

Applied Mathematics - Often this means working on problems in physics, chemistry, and engineering from a mathematical perspective. For more info, check the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics' career site. Most government jobs, such as with Sandia, Argonne, or Oak Ridge National Labs, NASA, or the Jet Propulsion Lab, NIST, or the Dept. of Agriculture are within applied mathematics. Some positions at the National Security Agency are applied mathematics and some are pure mathematics.

Biomathematics - The application of mathematics in the health sciences. It's an up-and-coming field, and some say it's the next big trend within mathematics. (Unfortunately, it's new enough that there are lots of graduate programs, see google, but no findable career sites as of this writing.) This includes bioinformatics, a new sort of cs/math/biology hybrid field.

Biostatistics - The application of statistics in the health sciences. Here's an overview of biostatistics careers and the UWash and Emory biostatistics careers pages.

Computer Science - A high level of mathematical ability and background is needed. Check out the XU CS program pages and consider a double major.

Financial Mathematics (or Mathematical Finance) - Mathematics used on Wall Street, for mortgage backing, financial derivatives, and stock market analysis. The U of Edinburgh has a good description of the field; here's a book list. The field is fairly new, and there are lots of professional master's programs springing up (see google and google).

Law or Medicine- A major in mathematics is a good preparation for law or medical school.

Operations Research - The application of mathematics to problems of optimization, especially in the field of business. For more info, check out What is OR/MS? and The INFORMS Career Booklet on Is a Career in Operations Research/Management Science Right for You?

Research Mathematics - The study of mathematics for its own sake. Just about any mathematics faculty member will be more than happy to chat with you about this. As a career, this almost always requires graduate school; to investigate the possibilites, think about doing something during the summer.

Statistics - The study of methods for collecting, classifying, analyzing and making inferences from data. For more info, check About Careers in Statistics at the American Statistical Association's website. Here is also a statistics job search site.

Teaching - At all levels. Here's EducationWorld's state certification listings, and UKY's state certification search for secondary school teaching. To teach at the community college level, you should get a Master's degree (either in mathematics or a Master of Arts in Teaching); to teach at the college level, you should get a Ph.D. (in mathematics, mathematics education, applied mathematics, or statistics). Here's an annotated list of K - 12 math sites.

Technical Writing - This includes everything from science reporting for periodicals to writing documentation for computer software to editing textbooks. For more info, check out Careers in Science Writing or Careers in Technical Writing or this technical writing career profile. Here's a technical writing jobs site. Here's a math-specific journalism site by MSRI. Also check out this mini-biography of Allyn Jackson, who is a technical writer with the American Mathematical Society. (Not in the mini-bio: she's trained in modern dance as well...)

What about Graduate School?

Lots of opportunities are available to those with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. In some fields, such as biostatistics, finaincial mathematics, or operations research, a professional master's degree is preferred (or at least qualifies one for a higher salary). In research mathematics, a Ph.D. is required. Keep in mind: graduate school in the mathematical sciences is often free. Most Ph.D. programs in pure mathematics have financial support available in the form of tuition waivers plus a research stipend or a part-time teaching/grading job. This is also true for Ph.D. programs in statistics, applied mathematics, computer science, and operations research. Financial support for master's degrees varies wildly from field to field and sometimes from school to school; it's rarely available for pure mathematics, but is much more available for applied mathematics, statistics, financial mathematics, and biostatistics.

Maybe gradschoolswantyou.com will provide you with a recruitment opportunity.
Here's are listings of professional master's degree programs. There are roughly 100 of them.
Want advanced work in actuarial science? Check this list of programs.
Make your own rankings for Ph.D. programs (that is, rankings based on criteria you choose)
The XU library has The Gourman Report, which is the most respected ranking of graduate and professional programs.
Here are lists of masters and doctoral programs in mathematics education.
We also have hyperlinked lists of doctoral programs in mathematics, statistics, and computer science so you can check out individual departments.

 

Books:

Great Jobs for Math Majors (review) is in the library
101 Careers in Mathematics (review) is in the library

Links to Other Math-Career-Info Sites:

http://www.math-jobs.com/ (what more can one say?)
PhDs.org Science, Math, and Engineering Career Resources
The Mathematical Association of America's Career/Employment Resources site
The American Mathematical Society's Career info for undergraduates site
Cal-State-Univ. Fullerton's Careers in Mathematics site
University of Georgia's Why Major in Mathematics?
Theodore Shifrin's Mathematics Job Opportunities
Xavier University's office of career services

 

Internships and Summer Opportunities

Wow. You're a college student, and so you have lots of skills. Why not use them during the summer? Better yet, why not do something that will also help you determine what you want to do later in life?

If you want to know what research is like, check out the NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. If you're thinking of graduate school, trying an REU is almost a must! They're lots of fun, and you get paid, too.
The Mathematical Association of America has a list of REUs as well. (Not all are NSF-sponsored.)

There's a summer program for women at Carleton College and we have a personal XU testimonial!

The American Mathematical Society has a list of summer research programs and a list of internships.

Summer Internship List at PhDs.org

What if you want some teaching experience? Try looking at some of these high-school enrichment programs---many of them hire undergrads to assist with teaching or homework.

Note that the above information is all national-type programs. More locally, we have...

Some CS co-op info can be found on the CS Co-op page.

Many insurance companies are interested in hiring mathematics students for summer internships. Call a few and just ask them whether they have positions.

The College of Mount St. Joseph runs a Summer Honors Institute. You might ask them if they hire undergraduates or know of similar local programs that do.

Of course, you can also check the XU office of career services and chat with any faculty member.