If you are a math whiz and enjoy solving problems, you might consider a job in mathematics. As a mathematician, you have many job options that pay well and provide a good working environment. These are often desk jobs in secure companies that require minimal travel.
Operations Research Analyst
Operations research analysts use advanced methods of analysis to help companies solve problems and make better decisions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They also allocate resources, measure performances and design production systems. Many work for companies that provide professional, scientific, and technical services. These analysts are also prevalent in the finance and insurance industries as well as in government agencies. Operations research analysts typically hold a degree in mathematics, often at the master's level. They earned a median salary of $70,960 a year as of 2010, according to the BLS.
If you are good at determining the financial impact of risk and uncertainty, consider a career as an actuary. Actuaries use mathematical and statistical theories to solve business problems. They assess the probability and likely economic cost of an event such as death, sickness, accident, or natural disaster. They also assemble and analyze data with an aim of maximizing returns on investments for insurance policies, investments, pension plans and other business strategies. The median salary for actuaries in 2010 was $87,650 a year, the BLS says. Courses in mathematics, statistics or actuarial science, along with the successful completion of an actuary exam and internship, are necessary for the job.
The BLS reports that mathematicians earned a median salary of $99,380 per year as of 2010. Most of them either worked for the federal government or for organizations that provide scientific research and development services. Those who specialize in theoretical mathematics develop new math principles, while those in applied mathematics work to improve existing principles or develop techniques that solve economic, scientific, engineering and business problems. You usually need a Ph.D. for these jobs. You should also have critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills.
Statisticians collect and analyze data, looking for patterns, trends and probabilities. They create mathematical models, using their analysis to explain the reasons events occurred. To become a statistician, you'll need to obtain at least a bachelor's degree in statistics or mathematics. To move up in the field, an advanced degree is essential. Many statisticians also study other fields that reflect their professional direction. For example, they might also study biology if they plan to work in agriculture, the medical field or forestry. The BLS reports that statisticians earned a median salary of $72,830 in 2010. Like any occupation, salaries vary depending on where they work. Statisticians employed by universities earned median salaries of $65,020 annually in 2010, while those employed by earned $94,970.
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- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Operations Research Analysts
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Actuaries
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Mathematicians
- Escholarship: Cliodynamics: The Journal of Theoretical and Mathematical History
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Statisticians
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