Employers in a data-driven world need number-savvy people, but while it seems natural for math lovers to channel their skills into a job in finance, opportunities for math whizzes are growing in other areas that are remarkably fresh and creative. If you love numbers, then you should consider these four traditional and not-so-traditional career paths.
Actuaries analyze the cost of uncertainty. They use calculus, statistics, and financial theory to determine risk potential and help governments, insurance companies, banks, and other businesses create strategies to minimize its effects. An actuary needs a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science, mathematics, or a similar analytical field and must pass a series of challenging exams to qualify for official credentials through the Society of Actuaries. The process is rigorous, but it is generally supported by employers as part of on-the-job training.
While most actuaries work for insurance companies, analysts are needed everywhere to collect data and crunch numbers for jobs from market research and database management to banking and personal finance. A bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or similar field is required, but if you are interested in business as well, there are other degree options that blend business and finance education.
Sports fans love predictions, but for coaches who want stats on this year’s draft picks and the television networks who want to know which games will draw the biggest audience, statistics are big business. Sports statisticians use their math skills to interpret data, solve problems on the field, and make predictions that help manage sports as both entertainment and commerce. Knowledge of sports and a bachelor’s degree in statistics can get you started.
Climatologists collect data and make predictions about climate patterns. They use sophisticated computer models to study how Earth’s climate changes over time and conduct research to determine what affects it. The work of climatologists requires heavy statistical analysis, and it is used by the government, the agriculture industry, and businesses to solve problems related to long-term changes in weather patterns. You start with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, physics or meteorology and follow up with a master’s degree in atmospheric science.
The future for people with math skills shines. Whether numbers are your passion or your favorite creative tool, these are only a few of the many ways to parlay a love of numbers into a very rewarding career.
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