There is an old joke that runs, “Question: Where does an eight hundred pound gorilla sleep? Answer: Anywhere he wants.”
When a student asks, “What can you do with a degree in mathematics?”, it is not much of an exaggeration to give essentially the same answer: anything you want!
Some excellent resources that give examples of myriad career paths followed by people trained in mathematics are:
- MAA Career Profiles – From 1997 to the present day, the Mathematical Association of America has been collecting profiles of individuals with mathematical backgrounds. The careers listed in this archive include educators, engineers, sales and marketing consultants, scientists, executive officers of companies and other organizations, and many others.
- AMS Early Career Profile Network – Recently, the American Mathematical Society has begun collecting profiles of recent graduates in mathematics at the bachelor’s level. This collection is part of a joint effort with departments of mathematics from around the country.
- WeUseMath.Org – This website, created by students at Brigham Young University, highlights over 40 careers that use mathematics.
- SIAM Career Profiles – The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics maintains a set of carefully chosen profiles that illustrate the wide number of career options open.
According to Jobs Rated Almanac (Editions 1 through 6), the job of Actuary has consistently been rated one of the best jobs available in the United States. You can find more information on this career that requires a strong background in mathematics and statistics at the “Be An Actuary” website.
A good overall general resource on career information is the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published each year by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics). You can search the handbook for various careers and find information just as salary statistics, working conditions and job outlook.
The following websites offer classified advertisements seeking individuals with degrees in mathematics: