November 09, 2015
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts a whopping 22 percent employment growth for mathematicians from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations. The BLS reports that a person with a PhD, a strong background in mathematics and a related field, and the ability to apply mathematical theory to real-world problems will have excellent job prospects.
Here’s how the job market breaks down for some popular math-related majors.
According to the career consulting firm PayScale, the best graduate degrees in 2015 are in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields, with median, mid-career salaries of $131,700. “The top of the list has consistently been dominated by STEM degrees, especially statistics and computer science in the last five years,” said Katie Bardaro, the director of analytics and lead economist at PayScale, in a recent interview with Fortune Magazine.
The BLS projects that the employment of computer and information systems managers will grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022. As companies in fields across the board expand their wireless and mobile networks, the demand for computer software employees—from technicians to managers—will increase. Cybersecurity is a hot emerging career for computer science majors, as concern about cyber threats is expected to rise over the next decade. According to PayScale, the 15 top-paying jobs that hire computer science majors include:
Applied mathematicians use theories and techniques to solve economic, scientific, engineering, physics, and business problems. It’s no wonder that research positions are available in fields across the board—from finance, to sports and entertainment, to scientific laboratories and medical institutions.
According to the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, many organizations, corporations, and research institutions look for candidates with a degree in applied mathematics to fill scientific research positions. Examples include:
The BLS forecasts a 27 percent employment growth from 2012 to 2022 for operations research analysts. These high-level executives use mathematical modeling, data mining, and statistical analysis to assist companies in solving business problems and organizing operations more efficiently and cost-effectively—making better business decisions. A major in applied mathematics, computer science, or a related degree is required for this career.
Examples of how companies use operations research analysts:
Sustainability is one of the fastest growing career paths in the U.S., as protecting the environment becomes a growing business concern, as well as a personal philosophy. Careers in sustainability use math, science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems.
Here are eight of the highest paying careers in sustainability:
Engineering majors consistently lead the pack when it comes to top entry-level salaries, particularly with a master’s degree. According to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 9 out of 10 of the highest paying careers for college majors are in engineering fields.
There are a variety of engineering specialties, from civil engineers who design roadways, to biomedical engineers who help to cure diseases, to chemical engineers. All of these experts are employed in a wide variety of businesses as the go-to person for taking ideas from the drawing board to the real world. All engineers use many methods of numerical analysis, as well as algebra, calculus, probability, and statistics.
Exciting new discoveries in healthcare are happening, in part because of mathematicians. Engineers are using math to design new diagnostic and surgical tools. Biostatics is a fascinating emerging field that applies statistics to study diseases, genetics, and medicine in general. Biomathematicians solve problems in biology, usually by creating a model of a biological system. Rutgers University reports that mathematical modeling methods have become increasingly important in all branches of biology.
The BLS forecasts a 17 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for mathematical science occupations. Jobs that intersect math and medicine include:
No matter what career you’re interested in, it’s clear that math is somewhere in the equation. For more information and inspiration about math jobs and STEM, read Closing the STEM Gap for Girls and the companion blog, Women in Tech.