There’s a reason that a graduate degree in math opens the doors for a range of different career paths. After all, math is the foundation for all scientific endeavors.
And the jobs open to you as a math master’s or doctoral graduate are rewarding. Careers that require an advanced math degree typically have some of the best work environments — so you can find a low-stress, high-paying, and flexible job that still lets you make significant contributions to your field.
The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the median annual wage for mathematicians was $103,720 in 2014, and employment for mathematicians is projected to grow 21 percent over the next 10 years — much faster than the average for all other occupations.
That growth is due, in part, to the booming technology industry, because mathematicians are needed to analyze the ever-growing amount of digital and electronic data that these technology companies are collecting. Mathematicians also play a large role in helping keep information secure, creating security systems to protect customers’ and businesses’ valuable and confidential information.
There are opportunities for you to use your theoretical and applied mathematical knowledge in a variety of private industries and government positions. Using the techniques and analytical problem-solving skills you gain as a master’s or PhD in math student, you can help businesses and agencies become more efficient and effective.
What master’s in math jobs are out there?
These are just a few of the jobs you can get with a master’s degree in math:
Median salary: $79,990
Statisticians help use statistical methods to collect and analyze large amounts of data. About a third of statisticians work for the federal government in agencies like the IRS, USDA, or the NSA, or for private research and development companies. To get a job as a statistician, you need at least a master’s degree in statistics or mathematics. The largest concentration of statistician jobs are in Maryland, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York.
Median salary: $79,790
Survey researchers help develop and conduct surveys, and then analyze the data from those surveys. Survey researchers are highly sought after for political polling, government agencies, and research firms, but there are also opportunities to work in technology and finance. The most job opportunities for survey researchers are in Pennsylvania, Texas, and California, but there are also plenty of opportunities across the country — including in Louisiana.
Median salary: $67,149
Systems analysts typically work with technology companies to analyze, design and implement information systems. Because of mathematicians’ ability to solve problems differently than other professions, being a systems analyst is a good fit if you are also interested in technology and programming. Often, systems analysts help guide changes because they can utilize data analysis to make decisions. Systems analysts can find work all over the country.
Mathematicians are needed in pretty much every industry, so you can find other master’s in math jobs in:
- Health and medicine,
- Education and educational testing,
- Finance and the economy,
- Video gaming,
- Manufacturing, and
- Research and development companies.
What PhD in mathematics jobs are out there?
If you have a Ph.D. in math, you are sought after in the job market. Having reached the top of your field, you can tackle some of the biggest questions facing our society — and use math to do that.
Here are some of the jobs you can get with your Ph.D. in math:
Median salary: $76,470
Most cryptanalysts have a PhD in math if they’re working in a research environment or teaching at the university level. Cryptanalysts must be well versed in studying and testing theories, using mathematical theorems and formulas to help encrypt important data. Cryptanalysts are needed in education, finance, insurance, research, communication, and technology companies, and are needed all over the world.
Median salary: $74,460 (but full professors have a median salary of over $100,000)
As a professor, you get to teach and share your passion for math with your students, helping them discover their own passion for your field. Professors at research universities are also able to conduct research that can potentially aid all of the industries mentioned in this post — whether that’s in health and medicine, the economy, or manufacturing. Professorships are available across the world, with many opportunities to work with peers at different institutions.
Physicist or Astronomer
Median salary: $103,360
Math plays an enormous role in physics and understanding the rules that govern our universe. You can find PhD in mathematics jobs in many private physics laboratories, and at large government agencies like NASA. As a physicist or astronomer, you can help find answers to some of our biggest questions — math is, after all, the language of the universe.