2 answers

What companies might be interested in hiring mathematics majors?

Asked Trainer, Pennsylvania

I'm interested in pursuing a mathematics major. #mathematics

2 answers

Mark’s Answer

Updated Plymouth, Minnesota

Hi Rachel,

There are actually many areas you can go into with a Mathematics degree, beyond being a math teacher. It is a top scoring degree on both the MCAT and LSAT, and I've found that a Math degree shows employers a general baseline of intelligence for unrelated positions within a company as well. Essentially, Mathematics is viewed as an elite degree which shows more on your abilities than what you've actually learned.

But if you're truly a math focused individual, there are 2 main routes to choose from. The first is the actuarial profession (like me!). Actuaries work primarily in insurance and take a series of certification tests that effectively replace the need for graduate degrees as you progress through your career. Even those who struggle with exams can easily find a home in an actuarial related field within insurance companies or consulting groups. These companies typically hire individuals pursuing certification and will hang onto strong performers who can't pass the exams.

The other area is one you've likely thought of: academia. From theoretical to applied mathematics, you can even pursue advanced degrees in quantitative analytics. This path can lead to a rewarding career in research and teaching or can veer off into banking and investments once you've proven yourself by getting published or working your way up in an organization.

Either way, you're looking at a comfortable and financially rewarding career with consistent opportunities to try your hand elsewhere. Even for the undecided, I would recommend Mathematics just to keep as many doors open as possible.

I am also an actuary. I work at a Big Four accounting firm. If you like math the exams can be a great challenge. If you have the talent for interacting with people and helping businesses solve problems, then going into consulting with an accounting firm or with an actuarial consulting firm might instead of an insurance company might be a good fit. You might want to check out BeAnActuary.com which has a lot of interesting information about the actuarial profession. #BeAnActuary

Lisa G.’s Answer

Updated Brookline, Massachusetts
You might want to check out the website BeAnActuary (http://beanactuary.org) #beanactuary. An actuary is a business professional who evaluates risk, often in an insurance company. There are also more nontraditional opportunities for actuaries because risk is so much a part of modern life. If you like what you see on the website you should know that you need to be a self starter as an actuary, so you can pass the exams required to get the credentials while you are also working in a business environment. But you don't have to go to school beyond an undergraduate degree to get these credentials.