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What are some entry-level jobs for a math bachelor's degree?

I've just graduated with a bachelor's degree in math, and I'm looking for a job that I won't have to go back to school for. My degree's mostly been focused on pure math, and some dynamic systems/fractals. I've taken a couple classes in Python, and one class each in R, Java, and SPSS.

I've also taken classes across lots of areas, so any interdisciplinary jobs might be interesting. If I have to go through a little bit of training or self-study that's alright, but I'd like to start working as soon as possible. I'd also like to have a fair amount of free-time if that's possible: just not too much overtime work.

Thank you all for your advice and let me know if you have any questions for me to narrow things down!

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Subject: Career question for you

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Soumya’s Answer

Here are some entry-level jobs suitable for individuals with a math bachelor's degree:

Data Analyst: Data analysts collect, clean, and analyze data to provide insights and inform decision-making for organizations. They often work with statistical software and data visualization tools.

Actuarial Assistant: Actuarial assistants work in the insurance industry to analyze risk and develop pricing models for insurance policies. Becoming an actuary typically involves passing actuarial exams, but entry-level positions can help you gain relevant experience.

Financial Analyst: Financial analysts assess the financial health of companies, analyze investment opportunities, and make recommendations for portfolios. They work for banks, investment firms, or corporations.

Market Research Analyst: Market research analysts study market trends, consumer behavior, and competitive landscapes to help companies make informed business decisions. They often use statistical analysis software.

Operations Research Analyst: Operations research analysts use mathematical models and analytical methods to solve complex business problems. They work in various industries, such as logistics, healthcare, and finance.

Statistician: Statisticians collect, analyze, and interpret data to solve real-world problems. They work in diverse sectors, including government, healthcare, and research institutions.

Mathematics Teacher or Tutor: If you have a passion for teaching, you can pursue a career as a mathematics teacher or tutor at the elementary, middle school, or high school level.

Quality Assurance Analyst: QA analysts test software and applications to ensure they meet quality standards. They identify and report defects and work with development teams to resolve issues.

Risk Analyst: Risk analysts assess potential risks and uncertainties within an organization, helping businesses make informed decisions about risk management.

Computer Programmer: Strong mathematical skills can be beneficial in computer programming, particularly for roles that involve algorithm development and data analysis.

Research Assistant: Many research institutions, universities, and organizations hire research assistants to assist in data collection and analysis for research projects.

Entry-Level Consultant: Consulting firms often seek candidates with strong analytical skills. Entry-level consultants help solve business problems, conduct research, and provide recommendations to clients.

Banking and Finance: Entry-level positions in banking, such as bank teller or financial services representative, may be suitable for math graduates looking to gain experience in the financial industry.

Data Entry Specialist: While not directly related to mathematics, data entry positions can be a starting point for individuals looking to gain experience in data-related fields.

Government Positions: Government agencies often hire individuals with math degrees for various roles, such as data analysis, research, and policy development.
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Matt’s Answer

I think it depends on what it is about Math that you love. Do you love problem solving in a more general sense? Do you like writing code to solve math problems? Do you like working on technical problems on your own - or in a team? Do you like other Mathematicians? Do you like working with abstract concepts and models? Do you like getting the answer to a question right? Do you like working on problems that no one else has solved? If you can reflect on what it is in Math that you most love - and be open that it may not be Math at all - then I think you can take a looks at careers that give you the opportunity to combine you skill (Math) with your passion (what you reflect on) into a way to contribute and earn money. In other words - think beyond the Math - and get a level deeper - and do not forget to identify those things that light you up - when was the last time you lost track of time doing Math - that can be a good clue as to the things you love. Once you know what those things are - ask another question on here and we can help identify jobs where you can put that skill and love to work!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Matt
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Janis’s Answer

Finding the right career is really about finding something you would like to do in which you can use your skills and expertise. Try researching the career potential for different types of jobs and exploring the needed skills. If there is a match, then you should consider it. All too often, students and their advisors use an "if this, then that" linear and straight-line approach to recommending careers.

Do not worry about traversing through different industries as your career develops; there will be a commonality of baseline skills needed and developed.

For example, your skills can be used in advertising, research, manufacturing, etc. The answer lies in what you want to do, not who you want to be. The other approach is to engage a Career Strategy Consultant to help you. For example, my degree is in Microbiology, but I ended up in Financial Services, Information Technology, and, more recently, career strategy.
Thank you comment icon Thank you Janis! Those are all really good points I should keep in mind. Matt
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Andrew’s Answer

A bachelor’s degree in mathematics, coupled with a few computer languages such as Python, R, Java, and SPSS, should be a good candidate for many job openings in technical areas.

It should be appreciated that an undergraduate degree in mathematics is to prepare you for further study of mathematics in graduate school. Despite its general nature, you are trained in the quantitative and analytical skills that are treasured in many jobs. You should consider this training as your calling card for future job endeavors.

Now, the question comes down to what your passion is. What kind of job do you want to pursue. It may take some trial-and-error to find the one that you really love. Do not be afraid of trying.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Andrew! Matt
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Chris’s Answer

Python/R is a great starting point to jump into data analytics or data science, depending on where your interests lie. Both continue to be booming fields with opportunities for college grads. Many graduating students benefit from bootcamp-style training programs that focus on giving you job-readiness skills. Career Karma (https://careerkarma.com/) is a great site that aggregates bootcamp information for comparison, and can help you understand what opportunities are out there.
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Scott’s Answer

As someone who followed the exact same path as you, I honestly had the same question. I ended up looking into actuarial science as I was able to apply a lot of what I learned in my math courses and apply to a field high in demand. I found the actuarial field to be quite interesting as well. As a result of this, I've ended up working in insurance and performed data analytics for pretty much every aspect of the insurance life cycle. I never thought I'd made a career in insurance, but I've found the industry quite interesting and have the opportunity to work with a lot of very intelligent individuals.
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Nan’s Answer

A bachelor's degree in mathematics opens up various entry-level job opportunities across different industries. Here are some entry-level positions suitable for individuals with a math bachelor's degree:

Data Analyst:

Analyze and interpret data to provide insights, make recommendations, and support decision-making within an organization.
Actuarial Assistant:

Work in insurance or finance industries to analyze financial risks, assess probabilities, and help determine insurance premiums or pension plan contributions.
Statistician:

Collect, analyze, and interpret numerical data to identify trends, patterns, and relationships that can inform decision-making in various fields.
Financial Analyst:

Evaluate financial data, prepare reports, and provide insights to guide investment decisions, budgeting, and financial planning.
Operations Research Analyst:

Apply mathematical and analytical methods to optimize decision-making processes in business and industry.
Market Research Analyst:

Analyze market trends, conduct surveys, and gather data to help companies understand consumer preferences and make informed business decisions.
Quality Assurance Analyst:

Work in manufacturing or software development to ensure products meet quality standards through data analysis and process improvement.
Risk Analyst:

Assess and manage risks within a business or financial institution, using mathematical models to evaluate potential outcomes.
Teaching or Tutoring:

Pursue a career in education, either as a high school math teacher or a tutor, helping students understand and apply mathematical concepts.
Technical Writer:

Translate complex mathematical concepts into clear and understandable documentation, manuals, or guides.
Entry-Level Researcher:

Work in research roles, assisting in academic or industry research projects that involve mathematical modeling and analysis.
Healthcare Analyst:

Analyze healthcare data to identify trends, assess the efficiency of healthcare delivery, and support decision-making in the healthcare industry.
Government Analyst:

Work for government agencies, analyzing data to inform policy decisions, evaluate program effectiveness, or support regulatory compliance.
IT Support Specialist:

Apply problem-solving skills in troubleshooting and resolving technical issues, particularly in areas that require a logical and analytical mindset.
Environmental Analyst:

Analyze data related to environmental issues, such as pollution levels, climate change, or conservation efforts, to support environmental decision-making.
When pursuing entry-level positions, consider internships or co-op programs to gain practical experience and enhance your employability. Networking, attending career fairs, and building a strong resume can also increase your chances of securing a suitable entry-level job in your field of interest.
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