My eldest is looking at a math degree and a career in math. What sites can I send him to in order for him to learn more about the possibilities?
“Careers in Mathematics” is the short version of a paper given by the math chair from SWBU. It has relevant quotes, lists of careers in areas that not everyone thinks of as math, and book titles.
101 Careers in Mathematics looks like a good book. At $30+ it ought to be good. I wonder if I can get it through interlibrary loan?
Great Jobs for Math Majors also looks interesting. It is reviewed by the MAA here. They have good things to say about it, including a recommendation that it and the book above be owned by all undergrads in math.
Mathematical Scientist at Work isn’t available as a new book, but can be ordered off Amazon.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook has some good information. Under “mathematicians” they say:
Bachelor’s degree holders with a strong background in computer science, electrical or mechanical engineering, or operations research should have good opportunities in related occupations.
A bachelor’s degree in mathematics is the minimum education needed for prospective mathematicians. In the Federal Government, entry-level job candidates usually must have a 4-year degree with a major in mathematics or a 4-year degree with the equivalent of a mathematics major—24 semester hours of mathematics courses.
In private industry, job candidates generally need a master’s or a Ph.D. degree to obtain jobs as mathematicians. Most of the positions designated for mathematicians are in research and development laboratories as part of technical teams.
Many colleges and universities urge or even require students majoring in mathematics to take several courses in a field that uses or is closely related to mathematics, such as computer science, engineering, operations research, a physical science, statistics, or economics. A double major in mathematics and another discipline such as computer science, economics, or one of the sciences is particularly desirable to many employers.
For work in applied mathematics, training in the field in which the mathematics will be used is very important. Fields in which applied mathematics is used extensively include physics, actuarial science, engineering, and operations research; of increasing importance are computer and information science, business and industrial management, economics, statistics, chemistry, geology life sciences, and the behavioral sciences.
Mathematicians should have substantial knowledge of computer programming because most complex mathematical computation and much mathematical modeling is done by computer.
Job Bank USA says: “Employment of mathematicians is expected to decline through 2012, reflecting the decline in the number of jobs with the title mathematician. However, master’s and Ph.D. degree holders with a strong background in mathematics and a related discipline, such as engineering or computer science, should have better opportunities.” That seems fairly straightforward, right? But then, later in the same article, they say this in another way: “The most successful jobseekers will be able to apply mathematical theory to real-world problems, and possess good communication, teamwork, and computer skills. …Private industry jobs require at least a master’s degree in mathematics or in one of the related fields.” So a master’s in math or a related field is necessary.
My alma mater, Purdue, has a website for math majors. “What can you do with a math degree?” offers lots of good websites. (And some not so good.)