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Is a math degree good for a career?

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I am currently pursuing a degree in math. I know that there are a lot of careers that use math these days like insurance, finance, statistics, and cryptography. Is this the best degree to ensure that I get a job in one of these fields? And, if not what else should I look at? Thank you. #math #career-options #finance #statistics #insurance #college-major

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John’s Answer

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Hi Riley, from my experience in accounting and finance, math is an excellent degree to have. Without getting too specific, a math degree is very well respected within finance, but also across all companies that are interested in analytics and statistics. I had multiple friends from college who were math majors in college that ended up working in an analytics department for a large public company. From a high level perspective, starting in math will challenge critical thinking ability and ability to handle complex issues. However, I do not think there is any one job that is 'best' across all of these industries (for example: a geography major might be the best degree for cryptography, but geography may not be the best degree in the insurance industry). Some of these industries may favor one degree over another, but math, in what I have seen, is an incredibly well-respected background.

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Tim’s Answer

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Hi, Riley! I've seen a bunch of "Yes" answers, so I thought I should be a bit contrarian. My Dad got a Math degree (and a Masters in Math), and the advice he gave me was that unless you want to go to graduate school in math or do something really deep in Math (like an actuary), that it would be better for me to minor in Math instead of Major. The reason is that for entry-level jobs, it is most important to have skills that relate more directly to that job. IE if you wanted to be in Finance, get a Finance degree and minor in Math. Or if you want to be a cryptologist or cryptographer, study Computer Science and minor in Math. This is what I did-- I got a Physics degree and minored in Math. I got a job, strangely enough, as a programmer, and have evolved that career in some different positive directions. Math really teaches abstract ways of looking at problems, which is incredibly useful in a number of fields. Good luck!

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Pavol’s Answer

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Hi Riley,


definitely yes, it is indeed! I graduated in statistics and during my career so far (12 years) it has always been helpful to understand numbers. however if I can give you one advice - do not forget to learn also some soft skills like listening to people, public speaking/presentation skills, influencing, networking - those kind of skills are necessary to be successful in roles like data science and many math guys are naturally not good at but can be learned.

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Christina’s Answer

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Yes! A math major will be a good foundation and will allow you to take your career in many directions. If you are considering a career in finance or insurance, try taking a few finance, economics, accounting and accelerated statistics courses. If you enjoy those classes, you can minor in one of those subjects to help broaden your opportunities! Best of luck!

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JAYAKRISHNAN’s Answer

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Yes !! IF you have a good hand in Math you can land in very good profiles in Finance. Application of Math in finance is huge for eg: Quantitative Analysis, Financial Engineering ,Financial Modeling etc.
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JAYAKRISHNAN’s Answer

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Yes !! IF you have a good hand in Math you can land in very good profiles in Finance. Application of Math in finance is huge for eg: Quantitative Analysis, Financial Engineering ,Financial Modeling etc.
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Tanner’s Answer

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Yes it is a good degree! I graduated with a math degree and at my university, and there we were required to have a minor as well as our major, so it allowed me to have a sort of specialization. Math as an overall degree is seen as a very analytical degree, and will go great towards any analyst degree. Many big companies now a days are looking heavily into getting good analysts and data scientists, etc. If you are really interested into going into this degree path, something I found to help me with finding a job was having a lot of knowledge in technology. Some of this technology like SQL, Tableau, Excel are heavily used, and if you have experience in them they will carry you far. Tableau might be hard as it is not something that is a cheap licenses and more than likely if you can't get experience in school it might have to wait till a first or second job. Excel is quick and easy to get, and so many people use it today.

However, if you are not looking for a job in math, analytics, or some sort of data role, an actuary/insurance role, even finance/accounting then you should look elsewhere. Though if you do get into an analyst role in a big company, you can move into more business type roles where you can be a manager over other analysts given time. So even if you don't see it being a role you like over time, then there are sometimes other options out there for you.
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John’s Answer

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Certainly! Mathematics is the foundation of engineering, finance, data analytics and every form of Information Technology. The skills you develop will also assist you in problem solving and in understanding abstractions. If you combine a rigorous mathematics program with a concentration or  concentrations in applied fields you will be able to immediately put your skills to use in the real world.

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