Careers in Math & Stat

Careers in Mathematics and Statistics

Mathematicians find employment in areas such as education, finance, the physical sciences, and the applied and health sciences. In non-teaching careers, mathematicians analyze problems and formulate them in mathematical terms to provide solutions that can further research and development or to help government or industry to make decisions.  A student interested in a career in mathematics should choose a degree program with a mathematical specialization, possibly combined with a related subject such as computer science, physics, biology or economics.

What can you do with a degree in mathematics or statistics?

Many mathematics graduates enter the teaching profession.  There is a high demand for qualified mathematics teachers at the secondary (high school) level.  Teaching at the post-secondary level (college or university) requires a post-graduate degree usually
combined with research.

Applied Mathematics
Government agencies and business and industry are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of hiring persons who have a strong background in mathematics, usually along with considerable knowledge in some other area such as computer science, economics, geography, biology, chemistry, physics, etc.  In this age of computers and technology, many jobs require a high degree of knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering, and often mathematicians form an important part of the research and development wing of engineering consulting firms, oil companies, geophysical exploration operations, companies who specialize in advising big hospitals or other large scale operations on how to maximize their efficiency.   Many research laboratories employ mathematicians as part of their staff and many government agencies at all levels (municipal, provincial and federal) do the same.

A specialization in statistics involves the study of random phenomena and provides a rational basis for making inferences and decisions in the face of uncertainty. The subject includes the study of probability, methods of data collection and data analysis, and principles of experimental design.  There is a growing demand for professional statisticians in many areas.

Professional statisticians can be involved in many activities. The best known are the collection, summary, and interpretation of data on national or regional issues (unemployment figures, market surveys, population growth, etc.). Many statisticians, however, are employed as consultants to research scientists in many disciplines (agriculture, health sciences, environmental studies) providing advice on experimental design, data analysis and mathematical modelling.  People with statistical training can find themselves working in economics (econometrics), psychology (psychometrics), health sciences (biostatistics and epidemiology), plant or animal breeding (quantitative genetics), engineering (quality control, reliability), or public policy (risk-benefit analysis).

Here are a few websites where you can find more information on careers in mathematics and statistics.  (Canadian Mathematical Society employment site) (American Mathematical Society career information) (Mathematics and statistics career profiles) (American Statistical Association career center) (Career resources from the Association of Women in Mathematics) (Career information from the Society of Actuaries)