What To Do with a Math Degree: 12 Best Careers for Math Majors

Whether you already have a math degree and are looking for ways to use it after college or you’re new to the idea of a graduate degree, this post is for you. Math degree holders can do so many things.

Mathematics provides you with the skills to teach at both the high school and college levels, to manage teams and projects, to operate as a computer programmer, or to make creative and complex business decisions. 

Math degrees cover everything from statistics and finance to actuarial science. There are many career paths open to those holding a degree in math. Check out the list below and read on to find out more about careers in mathematics.

1. Work as an Actuary

For some, a math degree can lead to a career as an actuary. It is important to know that becoming an actuary has many perks. The salaries are good and the work is challenging. If you love math and have a knack for figuring out complex problems, consider becoming an actuary. 

Upon graduating from an actuarial science degree program, you’ll have a wide range of transferable skills. As an actuary, you can earn a lot of money, but you’ll need to work hard. An actuary’s earning potential is dependent on the type of employer they work for and the kind of work they do. 

When you graduate, you will become a junior actuary and earn anywhere from $47,500 to $65,500 per year. With experience, your salary should rise, and you’ll be eligible for bonuses. It also depends on your work. As a senior actuary, you can earn as much as $111,000 to $137,000 per year.

SEE: Reasons Math Degree is Great

2. Become a Mathematician or Statistician

As a statistician, you will use math to find solutions to problems. These problems include business and the economy, health, crime, and other aspects of society that can be optimized. Regardless of the field, you can gain valuable insight into it if you can think critically. These are insights that could make you stand out. 

A mathematician or statistician who is just starting can expect to earn an average salary of $56,000 a year. This can go up to $70,000 or more with substantial experience. Average salaries can range up to $90,000 a year for mathematicians and statisticians with considerable work experience. 

The good news is that mathematicians and statisticians enjoy one of the highest levels of employment, especially in the technology sector.

3. Consider Becoming an Investment Banking Analyst

 If you have a math degree and would like to work in a financial institution and make a lot of money, investment banking is the job for you. The best part about becoming an investment banking analyst is that there are many different ways to make a living. The pay can be great, you’re always learning, and you will be working with numbers every day.

Investment banking analysts are very highly paid and in demand. If you’re interested in the field, it could be a wise career choice. Additionally, you need to put in a lot of time and work very hard in this job if you want to keep your boss happy.

As an investment banking analyst, you can earn about $75,000 to $121,000 per year, depending on your experience and some other factors.

SEE: Explore how to make money with investment properties 

4. Become a College Math Professor

I’ll start by saying that there is nothing wrong with teaching math at the college level or with working in a big business that relies on mathematics. While there are many paths for people with math degrees, many aspire to become math professors. 

College math professors are typically employed by community colleges, universities, or private schools. These schools range from very small to large research institutions. If you are already well educated in higher-level math and you like working with people and explaining things at their pace in a friendly manner, then teaching is the perfect career for you.

The job is likely very different than expected given the exciting job descriptions in television and movies, but being a professor at a university can be a rewarding career, especially since many make upwards of $100,000 annually.

SEE: Tips to make more money as a teacher

5. Work as a Chartered Accountant

As an accountant, your community will think you’re very clever, and they will always trust you because of your math skills. Once you graduate with your degree in accounting, you can work as a chartered accountant in a firm or as a tax accountant in a company. 

A chartered accountant (or CA) is an accountant who has graduated from college, passed the CPA exam, and is licensed by the state. Chartered accountants may also assist with payroll. So, you have a math degree and would like to keep on working with numbers. If this sounds like you, then you may want to consider chartered accounting. 

The average starting salary is roughly $50,000, with the average after ten years being $100,000. If you want to get into private practice, you can expect to make $150,000 a year or more, depending on the firm and the hours you’ll be working.

SEE: How to make money as an accountant

6. Become a Market Research Analyst

A career in market research is a fantastic option for students who have an aptitude for math and statistics. There is tremendous opportunity in this industry, especially with the advent of big data. There are more opportunities for mathematicians than for any other group. 

The world of market research is thriving, employing thousands of analysts to provide a greater understanding of consumer behavior. This field is always looking for fresh graduates with a math degree to help interpret survey results.

If you have an interest in working with numbers and need a job, look into this career. It’s a great time to be a market research analyst.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for market research analysts is about $60,000. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $102,000, while the bottom 10 percent made less than $37,000. 

7. Be an Economist

An economist is a professional who evaluates the economic situation. He/she evaluates the economic impact of a particular idea or project on the economy. Economists can make a lot of money depending on the type of employer and the type of job. Working for international organizations such as the World Bank pays the best. 

Having a math degree will make your resume more attractive to employers. Many of the top economists in the country have math degrees. An economist working for the government will make around $100,000 plus benefits and work fewer hours than for a private company. 

SEE: Discover what you can do with an economics degree

8. Become an Aerospace Engineer

If you’re looking for a job in an exciting, growing field, becoming a professional aerospace engineer could be the perfect career choice for you. This group of professionals should see both job growth and income opportunities flourish thanks to modern technology and their ongoing research efforts.

Make sure that you have the necessary educational requirements, certifications, and work experience before you decide to become an aerospace engineer. Entry-level jobs in this field can be found at many companies, and salaries for workers in this field start at around $60,000. 

As a top-level aerospace engineer, you can earn as much as $120,000 a year. On the whole, if you have a bachelor’s degree in math and love to work with numbers, then you should consider aerospace engineering as your career.

9. Work as a Financial Analyst

Financial analysts are typically employed by large corporations, industry groups, and government agencies. They are responsible for analyzing how trends may affect the demand, supply, and pricing of a particular stock, bond, or investment portfolio. 

To become a financial analyst, you need a high degree of analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills. You will be required to work in a team, often collaborating with CFOs, COOs, and financial managers.

While the average starting salary is only $63,000, financial analysts who live in expensive cities are likely to earn up to $112,000. These careers offer more opportunities for those who have a background in math and analysis.

SEE: Ways to make money as a financial planner

10. Become a Data Analyst or Scientist

In recent years, math graduates have seen an unprecedented increase in demand as analysts and data scientists. Data science has emerged as a new and exciting career option for those who like solving complex problems.

A data scientist is a person who mines data, analyzes it, and uses it to solve complex problems. Data scientists are in high demand and earn a good living. 

On average, the salary for a data scientist is $120,000 a year, but the median salary varies from $91,460 to $157,000. There is a huge difference between the median and average salaries, so it should be clear that some data scientists earn a lot more than the average.

SEE: Explore the best data visualization tools

11. Be an Astronomer

Astronomers fall into three categories. Those who work in academia, those who work in industry, and those who work in research. Those who work in academia can expect a modest salary (under $100,000 annually) but are often rewarded with tenure and promotion. 

Astronomers who work in the industry typically make a little more than their academic counterparts, often in the mid-six-figure range. Those who work in research typically make about the same as their academic counterparts but are often compensated with a stipend or research grant.

12. Work as a Software Developer 

If math is your jam, you have a great future in the field of mathematics. But did you know there are tons of other careers available for you that use the skills learned in your math courses? Ironically, many of the skills you obtained for your math degree work very well in software development. 

Software development positions can be highly lucrative, with some positions offering annual salaries exceeding $100k. However, many factors will affect the amount of money you can make as a software developer. 

The most important of these factors is the skills and talents that you bring to the table. Therefore, while you need to have a solid foundation in programming languages, it is also important to learn new languages, frameworks, and tools to remain employable.

SEE: Learn how to make money with software development

FAQs

Are math majors in demand?

Yes. Mathematics majors are in demand in several fields, including chemistry, computer science, engineering, economics, and medicine. Mathematics is the backbone of science and technology. Most scientists and engineers need knowledge of mathematics. And, math is a great major if you want to pursue a career in business and finance.

A degree in mathematics teaches you what?

Mathematics is not just about numbers and equations; it is about logic, about understanding both the big picture and the small details. Mathematics degrees give students the skills needed to understand and apply the principles of mathematics to solve real-world problems. These skills are often applicable to a wide range of professions and industries, including banking, actuarial science, government, and many others. 

Why is mathematics important?

Mathematical thinking is a powerful tool that applies to many aspects of life. It isn’t just useful in school or at work; it can also help you structure your thoughts and make better decisions in other ways. Besides, mathematics provides the tools to study and solve problems in a systematic way that isolates the variables.

SEE: Explore the importance of general education courses

Final Thoughts 

Math majors have a wide variety of career possibilities. In most cases, these options require a graduate degree, so you have time to decide if this is the right direction for you. Check with a guidance counselor or an academic advisor at your university for more information. 

In addition, they can direct you in the right direction, and perhaps connect you with an alumnus who is working in the field which interests you most. You can also find resources online. Start looking into possible careers right away.

Math can be a difficult subject for some people. If you or someone you know is struggling with mathematics, there’s an article on the website that might be of help. Read the article on how to get better at maths to explore strategies to improve your math skills. 

Furthermore, if you’re planning on getting a college degree and you’d like to find out what your prospects are after you graduate, the website has a section on that subject. You can explore the degrees pages. I am certain you and some of your friends will find the information helpful. Spread the word.

Thanks for reading.