Next Step for Prospective Students:

Careers in Mathematics

Majoring in mathematics is not about learning a specific profession, like, for example, learning to be a mechanic or an electrician. Learning mathematics exposes you to a unique way of thinking. It teaches not only certain mathematical knowledge, but also how to apply this knowledge in every day life. Critical thinking, logical reasoning, problem solving, and communicating complex ideas are all skills that you learn by doing mathematics. These skills are in demand in every field, even when the job itself doesn't require mathematics. In fact, many employers deliberately seek out mathematics majors because they know that students who have studied mathematics come with a unique set of skills.

For example, a few years ago Google sought out people with a strong mathematics background by posting the following billboard by the side of the highway in several US cities:

Those who knew the answer to this mystery billboard and typed it in to their browsers were brought to a webpage with math puzzles to solve; those that answered correctly were asked for their resumes.

Math Careers

There are many careers that use mathematics. If you are interested in teaching, an undergraduate degree in mathematics may lead to a teaching job in elementary or high school. A graduate degree in mathematics will be required for a position in higher education. There are also many others choices for you to consider: mathematician, statistician, actuary, financial analyst, research analyst, software designer and developer, consultant, engineer, financial engineer, cryptographer, scientist, etc. An associate degree in mathematics may be also a good start for a pre-medical or pre-law school. The list is practically endless.

For a list of careers that use math, their earnings potential, a description of the level of math they require, and interview with real people in these jobs, take a look at the website When Will I Use Math?.

You can find a lot of useful information on a CUNY Math webpage. You can also explore further your options for a career at Sloan Career Cornerstone Center. In addition, it would be very beneficial to read about Day In The Life article at the same center.

Here is what people in different fields have said about mathematics and their career:

I thoroughly enjoy the career I've chosen, and I have no question that I wouldn't be here if I had not started my training with a degree in mathematics. The analytical problem-solving skills one develops working through a mathematics curriculum are highly valuable and transferable to any future aspiration.
       - Marla Prenger, Associate Scientist, Procter and Gamble

Experience in mathematics allows for a way of thinking in a structured format. Corporations realize that many types of problems can be solved using the analytical thought process that mathematics requires. A degree in mathematics provides the analytical skills and methods of decision making that are necessary in the workplace today.
       - Dianne Purcell, Financial Analyst, KeyCorp

As I gain more experience with USAir, mathematics continues to be the central focus of all that I do. Being able to translate business situations and problems into a mathematical model is an invaluable skill to possess in the corporate world.
       - Mark Reynolds, Operations Research Manager, USAir, Inc.

I found that doing well in mathematics opened the doors to the very best medical schools. The rigorous discipline in training in analytical thought processes prepared me extremely well for medical school.
       - Arthur Staddon, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Studying mathematics gives you the tools to analyze problems and think logically, which helps in whatever profession you choose. People have great respect for a degree in mathematics.
       - Martha Weeks, Computer Marketing Consultant, Self-employed

I am not using calculus or any other specific math course I had taken, but I am using the precision of language and the analytical and problem-solving skills resulting from completing my math major in college.
       - Sara Cullen, Senior Professional Relations Representative, Bay State Health Care.

Mathematics Department|Office Directory|Contact & Office Hours

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The City University of New York

Borough of Manhattan Community College
The City University of New York
199 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007
212-220-8000 | Directory

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