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So you want to be a Mathematician…
or something like that

We sent a few members of our MathCON team to MAA MathFest Chicago in July, and they wanted to share some of what they learned. Our bright and shining intern (dual mathematics & economics major), Yolanda, really loved the sessions that showed her what a career in Mathematics can look like and what you need to know to get there. Careers in mathematics are diverse and rewarding, ranking as the number one career for job satisfaction according to CareerCast’s list of Best Jobs.

Yolanda and other Mathfest attendees heard from experts working at Facebook, the National Security Agency, Zurich and St. John’s University. Yes, even Facebook offers a variety of careers for Math majors!

Here are some of the things we learned at MathFest:

  • Prerequisites are important

If you want to be a mathematician, there a few things that you need: an interest in math, a strong

academic background and problem-solving skills. It’s also helpful if you have in interest in a

specialization such as Computer Science, Finance, Economics, or Marketing. Keep an eye out for

these courses in college, and think about looking into other educational resources such as:

  1. Code Academy
  2. GitHub
  3. Khan Academy
  4. Coursera
  • Think about what type of math career you want, you have options!


Doing your homework and getting a better idea of what you want to do with those mad math skills is crucial. To help you get started, here is a list of jobs you might obtain with a Math degree:

Actuarial Analyst
As an analyst, you will use statistical formulas to assess risk. For example, in life insurance, this could involve working out average life expectancies for different groups in the population to determine the policy premiums that should be charged.”

Chartered Accountant
Chartered accountants offer financial advice, audit accounts and provide trustworthy information about financial records. This might involve financial reporting, taxation, auditing, forensic accounting, corporate finance, business recovery and insolvency, or accounting systems and processes.”

Data Analyst
“Data analysts are in high demand across all sectors, such as finance, consulting, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, government and education.”

Statistician
“Working as statistician means dealing with data and helping to find practical solutions to problems. If you are keen on numbers, IT and like compiling information, this could be the role for you.”

Systems Developer
The work undertaken by systems developers is generally of a highly complex and technical nature and involves the application of computer science and mathematics in an environment which is constantly evolving, due to technological advances and the strategic direction of their organisation.”

 

  • Know what tests you need to take

If you’ve decided what career route you want to take, look into what sort of courses and tests you might need. Here are a few examples:

Actuary: Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA)

Financial Services: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Financial risk management (FRM)

Accounting: Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

 

  • Get an internship (or three)

Internships are very important and necessary for students to be equipped for the workplace. Not sure where to begin? Here are a few tips for finding your next internship:

Networking is very important. Reach out to your professors, alumni, friends, etc.

Attend a Student Career Fair

Take advantage of the resources your university offers (i.e. University job board, career counseling)

Search online: There are a number of sites worth searching for internships, including

 

If you’re going to get a good internship and, later, a good job, a great resume and LinkedIn profile will help you do that. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but here are a few tips and tricks (Why LinkedIn):

Keep your resume updated frequently

Use professional writing

Revise again and again. And then again.

Have other people look at it, both friends and professionals

Ask for help from school career center/professors/alumni

Use resources and resume templates available online

 

  • Be prepared for the interview

After sending in all of your applications, you might be invited to a handful of interviews. The best advice we can give you is to be yourself, be prepared, and remember to:

Wear business professional clothes

Do a mock interview before the real one

Make sure you’ve researched the company you’re interviewing with before the interview.

Look up resources on common interview questions for different career paths at sites like Glassdoor and Vault

 

  • Don’t forget to be awesome

Making all these decisions and starting college or a career can be scary, but guess what? You’re not the first one to have done it! Do what you love, stay curious, and go be that cool mathematician you’ve always wanted to be.

Do you have something to add or share? Leave us a comment, and follow us on our social media!

Thanks for the math love and thank you #MMAMathFest! #mathcon2018

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