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Career Information

Mathematicians are found in a variety of areas. They are found in well-known companies such as IBM and AT&T Bell Laboratories, in government agencies such as the Bureau of Census and the Department of Agriculture, in the arts as sculptors, musicians or in television, in the professions like law and medicine, and in elementary, secondary, college and university education. Mathematicians are also found in some surprising places like the FED EX Corporation and L.L. Bean. Degrees for mathematicians range from bachelors to Ph.D. and often a bachelor's degree is more of a starting point than an end itself.



Academic Employment

According to Department of Labor, employment of school teachers is expected to grow by 12 percent between 2006 and 2016, about as fast as the average for all occupations. However, because of the size of the occupations in this group, this growth will create 479,000 additional teacher positions, more than all but a few occupations.

University and college teaching have always attracted many mathematicians. In most four-year colleges and universities, the Ph. D. is necessary for full time faculty status. However, those with master’s degrees are also hired to teach at the college level.

Non-academic Employment

A wide variety of nonacademic careers are found in industry and government. Computer science and the sciences such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, and physics, rely heavily on mathematics. With recent advances, each of these disciplines is increasingly using mathematical models. Mathematics is the foundation for actuarial science and is being utilized more in the social sciences, especially economics and psychology. Opportunities are also available in electrical or mechanical engineering and operations research.

Bachelor’s Degree Opportunities

The main areas of nonacademic employment are Accounting and Finance, Computer Programming, Sales and marketing, Management and Related Positions, Actuarial, Computer Systems Analysis, Engineering, Statistics, and Mathematics or Modeling. Nonacademic occupations are also found in other areas of science, computer science, health, social services and other technical areas.

The AMS, MAA, and SIAM Mathematical Sciences Career Information web page provides profiles of individuals who have pursued a variety of careers in nonacademic environments. Here are some examples of what is found on the AMS website. For more detailed information, visit

Here are some examples of the AMS website.

Accounting & Finance

Cost Estimator, Naval Sea Systems Command, Crystal City, VA, prepares cost estimates for Navy shipbuilding construction and develops the rates for labor and overhead used to derive the total cost of construction.

Partner, Gordian Group, L.P., New York, NY, works with troubled companies by helping them develop and implement financial plans that allow them to continue in business.

Research Assistant, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC, is on the front lines of the monetary policy; works to attract new graduates who intend to move on to graduate school or Wall Street in two to three years.

Management & Related Positions

Consultant, Price Waterhouse, Bethesda, MD, constantly works with large amounts of data and performs analysis in the Management Analytic Division.


Investment Actuary, Westfield Companies, Westfield, OH, oversees the company’s asset/liability management processes.

Actuary, American Equity Insurance Company, Scottsdale, AZ, assembles and analyzes statistics to calculate probabilities and, thus set rates, for the company.

Consulting Actuary, Muetterties, Bennett and Associates – Consultants in Casualty, Mountain Lakes, NJ, spends time on traditional actuarial tasks and many no-actuarial tasks such as marketing and maintaining the company Web pages.

Assistant Actuary, CIGNA Corporation, Philadelphia, PA, provides support to business people in a non-technical environment; that is, communicates technical information to other employees and customers in a way they can understand.

Computer Systems Analysis

Computer Specialist, Department of the Army, Rock Island, IL, uses problem-solving skills as part of a team if UNIX systems administrators.

Mathematics or Modeling

Air Pollution Meteorologist, Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission, Austin, TX, works on projects to incorporate date from a new weather satellite earth station into models used to forecast atmospheric conditions.

Master’s Degree Opportunities

Following are some examples of jobs acquired by people with master’s degrees in mathematics. For more information see


Project Scientist, Silas Mason Company, Inc, Amarillo, TX, performs statistical analysis and administrative support for programs providing safeguards for the assembly and dismantling of nuclear weapons.

Statistician, National Cancer Institute, Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, Frederick, MD, works in support of both basic and applied research in biology and medicine and currently working on a project developing models of interactions between macromolecules.

Systems Analyst, Ford Motor Company, Ypsilanti, MI, collect data and performs analysis that will result in the improvement of the production processes of the Electrical and Fuel Handling Division of the plant.

Mathematics or Modeling

Vice President, D.E. Shaw & Co., New York, NY, develops new trading models that are part of the automated trading strategies used by the company.

Mathematician, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, collaborates with scientists to develop models of biological phenomena, such as a recently developed model looking at an aspect of kidney function.

Computer Programming

Senior Scientific Analyst/Programmer, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, Swedeland, PA, applies mathematics and computation to various problems in pharmaceutical research with much effort in support of the analysis of human genome data.

Management and Related Positions

Senior Technical Specialist, Northrop Grumman, Pico Rivera, CA, leads a group of engineers and scientists on the design and analysis of systems produced by the company.

Systems Engineering Manager, Sun Microsystems, Boston, MA, manages a staff of systems engineers that provide technical support for systems sold to the Federal Government; this often mean reworking mathematical algorithms to optimize code run times.

Media Specialist, DeMasi Middle School, Marlton, NJ, helps support the curriculum, provides resources and instruction in informing processing skills, and solves problems associated with managing the media center.

Sales and Marketing

Associate Director of Clinical Research, Institute for Spine and Biomedical Research, Plano, TX, collaborates with medical personnel in area hospitals, as well as companies, to develop new health care products.

Doctoral Degree Opportunities

The AMS, MAA, and SIAM Mathematical Sciences Career Information web page provides a list of doctoral degree holders and a specific description of their occupation. Below is a list of these professions. For detailed information on any of the following job descriptions, visit

Research or Mathematical Modeling

Chief Scientist, PRC Inc., a Subsidiary of Litton Industries, McLean, VA, leads research and development efforts in the areas of computational linguistics, information science, and artificial intelligence.

Research Staff Member, Institute for Defense Analyses, Princeton, NJ, works in the are of cryptography, the writing and deciphering codes, and signals processing.

Senior Research Scientist and Applied Math Technical Group Leader, Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, does probabilistic modeling for waste tank safety analysis and develops numerical wavelet methods for computational chemistry.

Vice President, Ecodynamics Research Associates, Inc., Albuquerque, NM, works on Air Force project producing computer models and simulations to help address the environmental clean-up of sites around the world contaminated with spilled jet fuel.

Statistician, Lockhead Martin Energy Systems, Oak Ridge, TN, provides statistical support for environmental restoration projects at Department of Energy sites where nuclear material is stored


Research/Software Design Engineer, Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA, works on software development projects.

Engineering Specialist, The Aerospace Corporation, Herndon, VA, works on the development of numerical methods for space vehicle trajectory simulation tools.

Financial Engineer, Summit Systems Inc., New York, NY, develops and implements an office risk-management system used primarily by investment banks.

Management and Related Positions

Manager, System Requirements Analysis, Lockhead Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems, Fort Worth, TX, oversees people who perform modeling and analysis to evaluate competing fighter aircraft designs.

Chief Operating officer, Petrotechemical Open Software Corporation, Houston, TX, leads the development of technical computing and data standards for the oil industry.


Other sources of infomation:

American Mathematical Society

P.O. Box 5904
Boston, MA 02206-5904 
(800) 321-4267 
Website e-MATH:


American Statistical Association

1429 Duke Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3402
(703) 684-1221


Association for Women in Mathematics

4114 Computer & Space Sciences Building
University of Maryland College Park, Maryland 20742-2461
(301) 405-7892


Mathematical Association of America

1529 Eighteenth Street N.W. Washington, DC 20036
(202) 387-5200


National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

1906 Association Drive Reston, VA 22091-1593
(703) 620-9840


Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

3600 University City Science Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-2688
(215) 382-9800

by Clark, Leslie A. last modified Jan 28, 2015 01:24 PM


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