Start thinking about this by feeling lucky that your degree does not appear on the list of Least Job Producing College Degrees. However, being employed and being happily employed are two different things. In addition to number crunching, you likely want a job with room for creativity, professional growth, and some “I Told You So” value. Here is a list of six cool jobs you can apply for, where to apply for them, and a few goals for your future as a mathematical genius.
National Security Agent
More math majors work for the National Security Agency than any other employer in the country. The NSA employs mathematicians to design and solve algorithms and make both heads and tails of cryptographic problems. Definitely check out other government jobs while you’re at it, too.
Apply at: The National Security Agency, the Census Bureau, or the IRS
If you know how to work computer-aided design programs, you can put your math skills to use designing parts and products for various industrial uses.
Apply at: Take a tour of your kitchen and decipher the weird artistic brand names on all your appliances
Financial Aid Counselor
If you aren’t sick and tired of thinking about your own college debt, consider helping others out. You will calculate how much aid students will receive, and then help them budget out their educational costs.
Apply at: Colleges and universities—and don’t forget about online schools!
You’ve probably already considered statistics or actuarial work, but don’t forget to explore the array of related careers that might be more your style—think of these jobs like the Frappuccino to statistics’ black coffee. As a biostatistician, for example, you might help doctors conduct research to ensure that they have the right amount and type of data for their projects. You might interpret the results of medical studies, and help frame the results for use in medical advancements.
Apply at: Research hospitals or independent biotech or biomedical research facilities
Operations Business Analyst
Although you are certainly welcome to pursue a career locked in a room, frantically scrabbling formulas on blackboards (or windows, if you’re Russell Crowe), plenty of opportunities exist for those interested in power lunches and daylight. Consulting firms look for people with analytical minds and diabolical problem solving ability to oversee operations and improve efficiency for their clients.
Apply at: Consulting firms—if you’re a recent graduate these could be especially great, because these firms often have employment opportunities specifically for college seniors or recent graduates
Even if you didn’t envision yourself doing computer work, the overlap between computer science and math is so strong that they are the same major at some schools. Unlimited possibilities to create cool things with this one? Absolutely.
Apply at: Computer and engineering companies that you admire, or basically anywhere. Match.com hires developers to create software to calculate compatibility—who knew?
And, finally, here are a few jobs to work toward in the future. Or right now, if you’re a prodigy and/or have better connections than I do.
Use your math skills not only in computerized animation, but also to calculate things like perspective shifts, rotations, and 3D design.
Roller Coaster Designer
Need I say more?
Jet Fighter Pilot
Flying complex machinery at high speeds under insanely variable conditions? Sounds like a job for someone who can keep all of those variables in their head at one time—and make calculations on the fly.
What major should we tackle next? Leave suggestions in the comments below, or tweet me: @ithinkther4iamb #LoveMyMajor