Applied mathematicians and statisticians use advanced mathematical and statistical models to optimize business processes, collect and analyze data, forecast and assess financial risks, and generally apply mathematical techniques to solve real world problems. They are employed by government and private industry under a variety of different job titles, including actuary, mathematician, operations research analyst, and statistician.
Mathematics professors teach mathematics classes beyond the high school level in community colleges, technical schools, and public and private colleges and universities. They also conduct scholarly research in their field and publish books and articles. The balance between teaching and research depends on the type of institution.
The need for individuals with strong mathematical skills is expected to continue to grow as government and businesses emphasize the use of big data and analytics. The projected job growth rate for actuaries is 18% through 2024 and 30% for operations research analysts, for example, much faster than average. These careers also have higher than average starting salaries. A Bachelor’s degree in mathematics is also widely viewed as an excellent gateway to professional graduate degrees in law, medicine, and business, because it prepares students to think analytically and solve problems.
The overall need for postsecondary mathematics teachers is expected to grow 14% through 2024, faster than average job growth.
What Hours Would I Work?
Most individuals in applied mathematics careers work full time in an office setting. College professors work in an academic setting and often have flexible schedules. Classes may be taught during the day, evening, or online, and may or may not include summer teaching.
Where Can I Live?
Advanced mathematics jobs can be found throughout the country, but most will be available in large urban areas, such as the Washington DC metro area, Richmond, or Charlotte. Postsecondary mathematics teachers are employed at colleges and universities across the country, including in southwest Virginia and throughout the state.