What is Mathematics All About?

Mathematics is the science of quantity, space, and structure. It is most fundamental of all sciences, having applications in almost every area of human endeavor including biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, engineering, finance, geology, operations research, and physics. A major in mathematics is an excellent background for graduate study in business administration, or research in any of the sciences.

Sampling of Skills Needed

Critical Thinking: Reasoning, analyzing, ability to think conceptually, understanding components of complex problem research and development: research methods, research theory, statistics, evaluating evidence, examining electronic data sources, development systems for processing data.

Communication: Writing, teaching, speaking to groups, presenting research findings, reading critically, ability to express ideas and relationships in numbers and words, translating mathematical formulations and electronic data into generally understood language.

Additional Transferable Skills: Managing, interpreting, editing, advising, organizing, original solutions to problems, detail orientation, advising on program design.

Some Types of Employers

  • Banks
  • Accounting Firms
  • Insurance Companies
  • Investment Houses
  • Health Agencies
  • Aerospace
  • US and State Governments
  • K-12 Schools
  • Libraries
  • Computer Firms
  • Engineering Firms
  • Corporations/Businesses
  • Colleges/Universities


Statistician - examines theories, such as those of probability and inference, to discover mathematical bases for new or improved methods of obtaining and evaluating numerical data.

Actuary - applies knowledge of mathematics, probability, statistics, principles of finance and business to problems in life, health, social and casual insurance, annuities, and pensions.

Weight Analyst - analyzes and calculates weight data of structural assemblies, components, and loads for purpose of weight, balance, loading, and operational functions of ships, aircraft's, space vehicles, missiles, research instrumentation, and commercial and industrial products and systems.

Research Analyst - conducts analyses of management and operational problems and formulates mathematical or simulation models of problems for solution by computers or other methods.

Mathematician - conceives and develops ideas for application of mathematics to a wide variety of fields, including science, engineering, military planning, electronic data processing and management.

Some other related occupations:

  • Banking
  • Data Processing
  • Teaching
  • Scientific Programmer
  • Actuary
  • Statistician
  • Economic Analyst
  • Computer Programmer
  • Professor
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Accountant
  • Meteorologist
  • Estimator
  • Urban Planner
  • Hydrographer
  • Engineering Analyst
  • Draftsman
  • Appraising
  • Fund Raiser
  • Quality Control Supervisor


Encyclopedia of Careers

Occupational Outlook Handbook

What Color is Your Parachute?

Federal Jobs for College Graduates

College, Knowledge, and Jobs

The Complete Job Search Handbook


Mathematical Association of America -

Mathematical Sciences Career Information -


Salaries range greatly from one occupation, position, and work setting to another. According to the Summer 2008 NACE national salary survey for Bachelor's Degree Candidates in Mathematics averaged $49,736.


American Mathematical Society
P.O. Box 6248
Providence, RI 02940-6248
(Tel) 800-321-4AMS
(Fax) 401-331-3842

Mathematical Association of America
P.O. Box 91112
Washington, DC 20090-1112
(Tel) 800-331-1622
(Fax) 301-206-9789

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
3600 University City Science Center
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2688
(Tel) 215-382-9800
(Fax) 215-386-7999

Career Planning and Information:

Cool Math: careers in math -

Women in NASA -

PLUS Magazine (math journal) - great descriptions of job options -