What Can You Do With a Mathematics Degree? (Plus Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A degree in mathematics shows your competency in understanding and applying complex mathematical concepts. Earning this degree can help you find a position in many industries, including finance, economics and health care. If you're interested in earning a mathematics degree, learning more about potential careers and what you learn in a mathematics programme can be beneficial. In this article, we explain what you can do with a mathematics degree, list important skills for earning one, detail what you may learn during a mathematics programme and provide 15 careers you can pursue with a mathematics degree.

Related: What Can You Do With a Finance Degree? (Plus 14 Common Jobs)

What can you do with a mathematics degree?

If you're a recent graduate or you're considering studying mathematics, you may be interested in learning what you can do with a mathematics degree. A mathematics degree is an official credential that shows your competence in performing and understanding calculation and theory, and you can use it to earn positions in the workforce.

You can use a mathematics degree to become a mathematics teacher, conduct research in an academic setting or pursue a position in a mathematics-related field. Some industries you may work in include business, economics and finance. You may also work in law or health care, depending on your skills and specialities.

Related: FAQ: What Can You Do With an Economics Degree? (Plus Salary)

Important skills for earning a mathematics degree

These are some important skills for earning a mathematics degree:

Research

Research is the process of gathering information and learning more about a subject. Students in a mathematics programme may research information about previous mathematics experts and their theorems. You may also develop your own calculations and theories during a programme, and excellent research skills can help you do so.

Communication

Communication is the ability to articulate and understand information when conversing with another person. This is an important skill for students learning about mathematics because they often collaborate with others to finish projects. Communication is also helpful for speaking with professors and understanding information during lectures.

Related: How to Improve Communication Skills (With Definition and Examples)

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to assess a situation, identify problems and suggest viable solutions. This is an important skill for mathematics students because it allows them to overcome obstacles in their learning and effectively solve equations. Critical thinking allows them to learn more and develop new methods for solving problems.

Patience

Mathematics students can use patience when managing difficult problems or subjects. This is a skill that allows you to remain calm and prepared even in difficult situations. Patience can help students in mathematics programmes by helping them work with others and allowing them time to work through difficult equations and concepts.

Persistence

Persistence is a skill that mathematics students use to continue trying to solve a problem when it's difficult. It may take several times to find the correct solution, and persistence allows the student to endure and continue trying new methods for solving it. Mathematics students improve their patience by being present and taking breaks while working.

What do you learn about in a mathematics programme?

Mathematics programmes prepare students to understand and apply mathematical concepts. The mathematics degree can be useful for many positions in which statistics and mathematics are important. These are some courses you may take during a mathematics programme:

  • General mathematics

  • Applied mathematical concepts

  • Linear algebra

  • Introduction to statistics

  • Computation

  • Probability and statistics

  • Understanding complex variables

15 mathematics degree career options

If you choose to complete a mathematics degree, these are some career options you can pursue:

1. Cost estimator

National average salary: $3,022 per month

Primary duties: A cost estimator is a professional who gathers and assesses information to determine how much time and funding a project may require. The cost estimator strives to ensure each project has a reasonable budget and stays within it. They often work in civil engineering, manufacturing and project management.

2. Budget analyst

National average salary: $5,249 per month

Primary duties: A budget analyst is a financial professional who focuses on the creation, maintenance and adjustment of budgets. They often work with large companies to determine areas in which the company can reduce their budget and increase profits. Budget analysts are an important part of the financial preparation for an organisation.

3. Insurance underwriter

National average salary: $3,668 per month

Primary duties: Insurance writers assess and analyse clients and their potential risks in relation to insurance. This can include determining how likely a person may be to get into an accident or use their insurance. The underwriter determines the details of the insurance package and strives to produce the least amount of risk possible for the company.

4. Statistician

National average salary: $3,797 per month

Primary duties: Statisticians can work in large organisations and research facilities to gather information and analyse it. They often use the information they find to deduce solutions for problems and suggest methods for improving situations. A statistician may design experiments, issue polls or distribute surveys to gather more information about public opinion.

5. Accountant

National average salary: $3,802 per month

Primary duties: An accountant is a financial professional who creates budgets, monitors expenses and completes taxes. They can work for small and large companies to provide financial advice and reduce expenses. They also record transactions like deposits and withdrawals from the company accounts.

6. Mathematician

National average salary: $4,305 per month

Primary duties: A mathematician is a skilled professional who uses their knowledge to develop ideas and theories. They can work in many industries, including government, engineering and finance. Mathematicians may share many duties with statisticians. They often provide insights by using data and gathering information.

7. Market researcher

National average salary: $4,604 per month

Primary duties: A market researcher gathers information about the consumer base to determine the best ways to market products and promote services. They develop strategies for sales and discounts based on the information they gather from clients and determine how to allocate marketing funds. The market researcher may write reports about their findings and present them to the rest of the marketing team.

Related: What Is Market Research? Definition, Types and Examples

8. Operations analyst

National average salary: $4,825 per month

Primary duties: An operations analyst assesses a company's current strategies and methods for operation and determines which areas can improve. The operations analyst considers all aspects of the supply chain and how the company leadership operates. They gather information about ideal operational strategies and provide briefings to leaders within the company.

9. Financial analyst

National average salary: $4,919 per month

Primary duties: A financial analyst uses technology to gather information about an organisation's finances and assess them. They can draw conclusions from trends in the data, like identifying that customers spend more during holiday seasons, or use services less during summer. These conclusions can help companies alter their operations and market more efficiently to clients. Financial analysts also focus on investments and earnings.

Related: A Guide on How To Become a Chartered Financial Analyst

10. Financial advisor

National average salary: $5,105 per month

Primary duties: Financial advisors use their knowledge of mathematics and finance to provide function advice. They can work with organisations and individuals to help them best allocate their resources. A financial advisor understands the financial environment and can provide information about how the market may act based on previous events in the economic landscape.

11. Research scientist

National average salary: $6,687 per month

Primary duties: A research scientist gathers information and conducts experiments to learn more about the subject they study. A mathematical research scientist may develop methods for calculating phenomena or create new equations. For example, a mathematical research scientist may strive to create a perfect method for calculating black holes or dark matter.

12. Database administrator

National average salary: $6,701 per month

Primary duties: A database administrator is a technical professional who manages the aspects of a company database. They encourage practises that support safety and guard against security breaches. A database administrator provides log-in information, updates software and collaborates with other technology professionals in the organisation.

13. Actuary

National average salary: $6,904 per month

Primary duties: Actuaries calculate risk and the cost of associated risks. They determine how likely an event is to happen and develop predictions for how that event may affect the company they work for. Many actuaries work with companies and businesses to help them choose insurance and protect their assets.

Related: What Is an Actuary? Stepped Guide on How To Become One

14. Economist

National average salary: $6,925 per month

Primary duties: Economists are professionals who evaluate the current market and develop theories to explain how it works. They may provide information about how the economy fluctuates and how new technologies affect it. Many economists work in academic settings to provide instruction to students. They can also work with companies to help them allocate their investment funds and prepare for economic fluctuations.

15. Mathematics professor

National average salary: $14,639 per month

Primary duties: A mathematics professor is an educational professional who works in a university to instruct students. They prepare courses, design curriculum and collaborate with other educational professionals to create department standards. Many mathematics professors work closely with their students to help them develop their own theories and specialisations. These professors hold office hours, publish academic papers and hold lectures during their typical workdays.

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