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What Are the Different Careers in Math?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many different careers in math, and many of these jobs involve practical applications of mathematical concepts. Many scientific careers depend nearly entirely on mathematical calculations, as do some careers in engineering and computer science. Careers using high levels of math might involve teaching or simply research in the sciences. A degree in mathematics can provide a strong basis for a career in any number of fields, although most people who do math of this sort are not called mathematicians as a job title.

One of the most important careers in math involves teaching math to others effectively. Math professors and teachers must not only be able to use mathematical concepts but must also be able to communicate this knowledge to a variety of audiences. People who do math academically often do research and write papers as well.

Applying mathematics to a wide range of fields has yielded a number of additional non-theoretical careers in math. These include many jobs involving computers, engineering, and even code breaking. The number of fields in which a strong understanding of mathematics is useful is astounding, but not all of these are always considered careers in math because they typically involve additional skills as well. Pure mathematics is nearly philosophical in its abstractions, and high levels of this type of math may not come into play when it comes to working as, for example, a statistician.

Another type of career in mathematics involves using math to analyze and explain situations in the physical world. Coming up with ways to look at people, the environment, and other seemingly random or irregular groups in terms of mathematics is a useful way to make logical choices when one has a set of particular conditions. Actuarial science, for example, is highly mathematical and is often considered one of the most interesting careers in mathematics because it deals with people and has real-world applications.

Physicists, astronauts, and economists each use math in different ways, but each of these could in some cases be considered a career in mathematics. The key to understanding this professional path is that careers in math make use of this knowledge in a wide variety of ways. In reality, the question of whether or not a person is working in a specifically mathematical field is unimportant considering the roles that math plays in many different careers. Musicians and composers, for example, have been known to benefit from a deep understanding of math. From working as a CEO to doing research in sociology, math can always provide a useful way to make sense of the world.

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