Career Opportunities

A bachelor's degree in mathematics is designed to provide students with analytical and logical training necessary for many diverse professions. Graduates find that their skills in quantitative reasoning are in demand in many careers and are needed for many different positions, very few of which have mathematics in the job title.

Approximately 50 percent of the mathematics specialists are employed in industry, with the federal government, and in public administration. The opportunities in industry for persons trained in mathematics are many and varied, including operations research, math modeling, actuarial science and data analysis. Computer programming generates a wealth of mathematical problems in logic, combinatorics, number theory, algebra, differential equations and numerical analysis.

Mathematics majors are commonly accepted into medical schools, law schools, and graduate programs in mathematics, physics, economics, business, education, statistics and computer science. Preparation in these graduate programs may lead to careers in academia or in the business, industry or government sectors. In addition, students who combine an undergraduate degree in mathematics with graduate work in education qualify for teaching positions in high schools.

Beginning salaries for students with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics vary widely based on the candidate’s ability, performance and previous experience, as well as the particular industry, business or government organization in which the candidate is employed. Recent surveys indicate that average starting salaries range from \$40,000 to \$50,000 annually. Fortune has provided an article about the Best and Worst Graduate Degrees for Jobs in 2016 which examines the job market for the future.

Students looking for career advising should visit Career Counseling and Support Services. Career Counseling and Support Services is available to meet with students to discuss career possibilities, possible majors, graduate and professional school assistance, and more.

Students looking for internship and job postings related to math and actuarial science, and information about Arts and Sciences Career Services should visit Internship and Job Openings

View the career opportunities for each of the major tracks offered in the Department of Mathematics.

Actuarial Science Major

Actuarial Scientists evaluate the likelihood of future events, design creative ways to reduce the likelihood of undesirable events, and decrease the impact of undesirable events that do occur. This profession finds ways to manage risk by a combination of strong analytical skills, business knowledge, and understanding of human behaviour to manage today's complex risks facing society. Actuarial Scientists play key roles on management teams of companies that deal with risk. In a fast-changing world, with emerging risks and the need for more creative ways to tackle them, there are constant opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Positions are available to graduates in many different industries.

  • Insurance Industry: Graduates will calculate the costs and determine premiums for policyholders.
  • Private Corporations: Graduates are relied on their risk evaluation to frame strategic management decisions. As graduates judgement is highly valued, career paths often lead to upper management and executive positions.
  • Government: Graduates will help manage governmental programs and oversee public companies to ensure compliance with regulatory laws.
  • Other positions can be found at Colleges and Universities, Banks and Investment Firms, Public Accounting Firms, Labour Unions, and Rating Bureaus.

Prospective Actuarial Science majors can find more information from the 3 largest Actuarial Societies in North America.

  • Society of Actuaries
    • Levels of progression through Actuarial career ladder
    • Details about exam testing dates and study materials
    • Continuing professional development requirements/offerings
    • VEE credit requirements
  • Casualty Actuarial Society
    • Details about exam testing dates and study materials
    • Seminars and online education opportunities
    • View publications and research in the actuary field
  • Canadian Institute of Actuaries
    • Information about the actuarial profession
    • Review publications and research
    • Take part in seminars and education opportunities
  • Be An Actuary
    • Details about what an actuary is
    • What Actuarial Scientists do on the job
    • How to get started down this career path
    • Requirements and listings for actuary positions and internships

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Theoretical Math Track (Honors)

Theoretical Math graduates increase knowledge by creating novel principles and discovering correlations or relations between principles in mathematics that are already in use. The work of these graduates is highly influential in applications of math to real world problems. Graduates seek to clarify, through mathematics, why things are the way they are. Graduates are valued for their ability to apply their logic, mathematical modelling and experimental design skills, and manipulate, analyze, and interpret large amounts of data. Graduates can seek employment in research and scientific development facilities, varying levels and departments of the government, manufacturing industries, the business and financial sector, and more.

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Applied Math Track

Within the world of research and science, developments often arise that require mathematical theories to be developed and solved in order to progress.  Applied mathematics majors acquire a solid knowledge in mathematics as well a general knowledge in other scientific fields.  With these assets, students will have the education and expertise necessary to be successful in a variety of career fields or graduate schools.  Below is a list of organizations and departments that offer an in-depth overview of opportunities, research, and resources available for students and individuals in the applied math field: 

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Biology Math Track

Science and technology are driving factors behind math theories and research.  While students interested in the biological sciences are aware that they need a solid background in life and physical sciences, research experiences, etc., very few realize how critical it is to have a foundation and understanding of mathematics.  Below is a list of organizations and departments that offer an in depth overview of opportunities, research, and resources available for students and individuals in the bio math field:

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Financial Math Track

Financial math track provides students with a foundation of the mathematics used in financial markets. It focuses on the pricing of the financial instruments (futures, options and other derivatives) and portfolio selection. Though there are job opportunities in financial institutions for students with an undergraduate degree, students in this track are encouraged to continue with graduate study in financial math, financial engineering, computational finance, or quantitative finance. There are many professional master degree programs in this area.

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Education Math Track

After completing the math education track, students will have a solid foundation in mathematics including, but not limited to probability, analysis, linear and abstract algebra, and even the history and development of mathematical concepts over time. With this background, students will be strong candidates for any master's program or post-baccalaureate program that will lead to a teaching license (grades 7-12).

Students interested in pursuing high school teaching as a career option need to complete an undergraduate degree in mathematics and then proceed to a master’s degree (MEd) in the College of Education and Human Ecology. Upon completion, students are licensed to teach. In general, students need a 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average, and a 2.75 or better in mathematics courses.

Below are links to relevant opportunities, organizations, and resources for our educational math majors (including post-degree opportunities):

  • OSU M.Ed Program -- information regarding program licensure areas, requirements, how to apply, etc.
  • Teach For America -- a program for graduates that develops leadership and teaching skills in its corp members.  This program leads to a master's and teaching licensure while helping impoverished school districts gain access to exemplary teachers and leaders.
  • Post-Baccalaureate/Alternative Teaching Licensure Programs and Options

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