Careers in Mathematics

Careers in Mathematics

For an overview of careers in mathematics, click here to get information from the American Mathematical Society.


The following quotes are taken from 101 Careers in Mathematics, published by the Mathematical Association of America. In this book, 101 individuals ranging from lawyers and doctors to software engineers talk about the importance of mathematics in their careers.

I attribute much of my academic success at Columbia University School of Law to having learned, through the study of mathematics… how to analyze complicated principles. Now I practice law in one of the country’s largest law firms. I feel I have done well in my job, and I attribute much of that success to my facility with numbers and mathematical theory.
       – Jonathan Blattmachr, Law Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy

… I feel my training in mathematics provided me with the invaluable ability to apply logic, reason, and careful quantitative, as well as qualitative, analysis to my work.
       – Denise Commerata, Senior Engineer, Westinghouse Wireless Solutions Company

Most of the time some pretty fancy mathematics makes up the core of the computer program, and so people with degrees in mathematics are often sought after by software companies.
       – Judith Chapman, Senior Software Engineer, Harris Scientific Calculations

I can summarize my experience by stating that starting with mathematics I made the best possible choice. … the basis for nearly all science is mathematics, and as such it provides a platform for an extremely wide variety of career options.
       – Michael Covert, Senior Computer Systems Specialist, Chemical Abstracts Service

I am not using calculus or any other specific math course I had taken, but I am using the precision of language and the analytical and problem-solving skills resulting from completing my math major in college.
       – Sara Cullen, Senior Professional Relations Representative, Bay State Health Care

… the connection between mathematics and business became more apparent as I began working for a major corporation. My experience with Texas Instruments has allowed me to understand exactly how powerful mathematics is in today’s society…
– Arnitra Duckett, Educational Markets Manager, Texas Instruments

… I never could have imagined that my interest in mathematics would take me so far, so fast. The strength of my mathematical background has been very beneficial in helping me achieve my career goals.
       – Scott Elliott, Operations Research Analyst, FedEx Corporation

In working with … executives and managers, I realized that they were doing mathematics in very general ways… These leaders drew upon two primary ideas learned from mathematical study: first, the value of structure, and, second, confidence in orderly process.
       – Harlan Mills, Industrial Consultant, Florida Institute of Technology

My mathematical background is always being called upon for skills in logic, the ability to recognize patterns and anomalies, and the ability to organize large amounts of technical data and to extract needed information.
       – Consulting Actuary, Joan Ogden Actuaries

I thoroughly enjoy the career I’ve chosen, and I have no question that I wouldn’t be here if I had not started my training with a degree in mathematics. The analytical problem-solving skills one develops working through a mathematics curriculum are highly valuable and transferable to any future aspiration.
       – Marla Prenger, Associate Scientist, Procter and Gamble

Experience in mathematics allows for a way of thinking in a structured format. Corporations realize that many types of problems can be solved using the analytical thought process that mathematics requires. A degree in mathematics provides the analytical skills and methods of decision making that are necessary in the workplace today.
       – Dianne Purcell, Financial Analyst, KeyCorp

As I gain more experience with USAir, mathematics continues to be the central focus of all that I do. Being able to translate business situations and problems into a mathematical model is an invaluable skill to possess in the corporate world.
       – Mark Reynolds, Operations Research Manager, USAir, Inc.

I found that doing well in mathematics opened the doors to the very best medical schools. The rigorous discipline in training in analytical thought processes prepared me extremely well for medical school.
       – Arthur Staddon, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Studying mathematics gives you the tools to analyze problems and think logically, which helps in whatever profession you choose. People have great respect for a degree in mathematics.
       – Martha Weeks, Computer Marketing Consultant, Self-employed

When seeking a mathematical position, don’t be put off by titles of jobs or work units that may not seem mathematical. Mathematicians can pop up, and do mathematical work, all over the place.

       – Michael Weiss, Agricultural Economist, US Department of Agriculture