Problem solved! Mathematics offers solution for rewarding careers

Do you enjoy solving problems? Does working with numbers and formulas come naturally to you? Study of mathematics offers ample career opportunities.

“If you like problem solving, trying different things and being creative in solving problems, the processes in mathematics are really appealing,” said Professor Kristi Laird. “Many who go into math or engineering would stagnate in an environment where they see the same things each day.”

Jackson College offers a transfer program in mathematics that provides the first two years of a four-year bachelor’s degree in mathematics, science or engineering. Career opportunities
may include:

  • data science – finding patterns or trends in large amounts of data and connecting them to real world decisions.
  • actuarial science – actuaries help analyze and manage risk using analytical skills. They may work for insurance companies, financial planners and corporations.
  • teaching – mathematics teachers are in demand at all levels.
  • statistics – use statistical methods to collect and analyze data to help solve real-world problems.
  • engineering, computer science and science fields all utilize and apply mathematics extensively.

For those interested a career in mathematics, faculty suggest college freshmen come at least at the pre-calculus level. Taking as many mathematics courses as possible in high school will help. Laird said it is possible to start at a lower level of mathematics, but be prepared to study and work very hard to progress.

Careers in mathematics offer challenge and opportunity. Mathematicians, actuaries, statisticians and many engineering fields are typically among the top jobs in the country. Salaries start in the $50,000-$60,000 range, and increase with experience.

Students will need to continue at a four-year university to complete a bachelor’s degree. Those who seek academic research or teaching will want to complete a master’s degree (typically two years beyond a bachelor’s degree).