Mathematicians and statisticians have diverse opportunities, from analyzing data and applying mathematical and statistical techniques to solving real-world problems in business, engineering, healthcare, or other fields.
Why Study Math?
If you love math, you already appreciate its intrinsic logic and beauty. Mathematics demands both passion and curiosity. Often called the language of science, a degree in mathematics prepares you for graduate study or a career in a math-based field, including business, computer science, engineering, finance, medicine, teaching, and just about any other branch of science, technology, and engineering.
Mathematician was ranked No. 2 for Best Business Jobs and No. 4 for Best STEM Jobs by US News Rankings.
Why Study Statistics?
Statistics is one of the fastest-growing fields in the country and is ranked No. 1 for Best Business Jobs and Best STEM Jobs by US News Rankings. There are more jobs for statisticians and college grads with strong math skills than there are people to fill them. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, though statistician positions have typically required a graduate degree in statistics or mathematics, an increasing number of positions are opening up for bachelor's-degree holders.
The world needs smart students with strong math skills who are motivated to take data, process it, visualize it, and communicate its importance to others. Companies from Google to Ford, and firms involved with medical research, manufacturing, environmental sciences, and government all rely on data for everything from market research to quality control. Work in industry or to pursue a graduate degree in statistics or an allied area, like biostatistics, epidemiology, or analytics.
What Do Math and Statistics Majors Do?
Model combustion in diesel engines. Use advanced statistics to find the genetic root of diseases. Develop communication theories needed for future quantum computers. Create a statistical model predicting debris flow after wildfires. Make a mathematical model of ingredients needed in supply-chain centers across the US.
Career Paths in Math and Statistics
So much more than crunching numbers, at its core a math-centered career is about solving problems. Choose to pursue a career as a mathematician or work in the STEM environment of your choice. Make an impact in an area that matters to you:
- Academic and research institutes
- Aerospace and transportation providers
- Analytics and forecasting organizations
- Chemical and pharmaceuticals manufacturers
- Communications service providers
- Computer information and software firms
- Consumer products companies
- Energy systems firms
- Electronics and computer manufacturers
- Engineering research organizations
- Government agencies
- Insurance companies
- Investment management firms
- Medical device companies
- Producers of petroleum and petroleum products
Find more on career opportunities in math:
- The Mathematical Association of America Careers
- The American Mathematical Society Early Careers
- Thinking of a Career in Applied Mathematics?
- Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
What Do Math and Statistics Majors Earn
Earning a degree in mathematical sciences can mean higher pay and increased job satisfaction. According to the US Bureau of Labor, the mean salary for a mathematicians is $105,600, with the top 10 percent earning close to $160,310. The mean salary for statisticians is $85,160, with the top 10 percent earning close to $130,090.
The Future of Math and Statistics
Job opportunities in math and statistics are anticipated to grow much faster than the average for all other occupations.
As big data and the use of electronic devices revolutionizes the way we live and interact with one another, the need for people with strong math and stats backgrounds will become increasingly important. Biostatisticans will need to be involved as our medical and pharmaceutical industries adapt to an aging US population. Machine learning, numerical analysis, and scientific computer will impact the ability to capture, store, analyze, and comprehend data.
Mathematics and Statistics at Michigan Tech
Big enough for opportunities—like undergraduate research projects—and small enough professors get to know you. The Department of Mathematical Sciences at Michigan Tech offers two undergraduate degrees—mathematics (BS) and statistics (BS). Students also take courses in business, including accounting and finance.
Many Michigan Tech mathematics and statistics majors—upwards of 30 percent—dual major, most commonly in physics, computer science, or engineering.
Our statistics degree requires a core of six mathematics courses, nine introductory and advanced statistics courses, three courses in a specific application area, plus general education classes. All math majors take eight core mathematics sources, plus advanced course depending on chose concentration within six areas:
Actuaries are in high demand. They are responsible for designing insurance policies and pension plans. Our courses in actuarial science prepare students to take the Society of Actuaries professional credential exams.
With plenty of available electives, our applied and computational mathematics concentration is ideal for a double major. It’s all about the kind of mathematics used in designing scientific simulations like how an airplane wing or a proposed car body will perform.
This new concentration involves mathematical and statistical modeling to improve business performance—much of the work centers on analyzing data. Business analytics students take courses in mathematics, statistics, computing, data mining, database management, and business.
Discrete mathematics is the mathematics behind computer science—a good choice for double-majoring, especially with computer science.
General mathematics is designed for students intending to go on to graduate school, with an emphasis on mathematical theory.
Since all of these areas share the same core classes, students can easily switch from one concentration to another. The curriculum covers statistics, mathematical reasoning, computer-related discrete math, and using math to understand the world.
Create the Future
Michigan Tech math and statistics graduates have found careers with employers as diverse as:
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Mayo Clinic
- National Security Agency
- Social Security Administration
- Towers Watson
- US Forest Service