Why Major in Math

What can you do with a degree in mathematics?

A lot! The training and analytical skills acquired in studying mathematics are precisely what many companies and professional schools look for.

Can you be more specific? What kind of jobs have recent Notre Dame Math graduates gotten and where do they work now?

Over the past few years about forty percent of the Math graduates took jobs as actuaries or technical analysts with business consulting or insurance companies. Math graduates have also gotten jobs as computer programmers, software engineers or information technology consultants with high tech firms around the country. Others work at the National Security Agency. The November 10, 2000, article Working Your Degree: Mathematics in the CNN Financial News reports " … insiders say the undergraduate degree in mathematics remains a solid springboard for career advancement – especially when coupled with courses in computer science or economics."

That's promising, but are these good jobs with a future?

Yes! In addition to higher pay, a math major's employment promises higher levels of job satisfaction. JobsRated.com (or equivalently CareerCast.com) ranks 200 jobs according to environment, income, outlook, physical demands, and stress. Based on these criteria, "Mathematician" has taken the number one spot in the list in a number of years - outranking jobs in medicine, finance, engineering, and law. Other highly placed jobs on the list, "Actuary" and "Statistician", are also careers for which an undergraduate degree in mathematics is extremely valuable.

The top 10 jobs of 2014:

  1. Mathematician
  2. University Professor (Tenured)
  3. Statistician
  4. Actuary
  5. Audiologist
  6. Dental Hygienist
  7. Software Engineer
  8. Computer systems Analyst
  9. Occupational Therapist
  10. Speech Pathologist

This means that 5 of the top 8 jobs are natural jobs for Math Graduates.

Employers include:

  • Anderson Consulting, & Associates
  • Travelers
  • Deloitte & Touche
  • William M. Mercer
  • Allstate, and many others.

I may want to be a college professor or teach high school. Is that possible with a math degree from Notre Dame?

Definitely! Many of our graduates have gone on to graduate school in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics or Statistics to such distinguished universities as Stanford, Harvard, Chicago, Michigan, Northwestern, Berkeley and Oxford. Also, 10%-20% of the Math majors graduate with secondary education certification. Our Math graduates have also gone to medical school, law school, or an MBA program. For more information visit our Honors Math/SUMR site.

How Do I Learn More?

  • Email Director of Undergraduate Studies

    Email Prof. Sonja Mapes, Director of Undergraduate Studies in Math, for an appointment at smapes1@nd.edu. Also check out the following online resources: Undergraduate Studies in Mathematics at Notre Dame – Find out about the possible concentrations, and degree requirements.

  • Be An Actuary

    Find out more about one of the top-rated careers in America at this informative site provided by the Casualty Actuarial Society and the Society of Actuaries.

  • Association for Women in Mathematics

    With support from the Exxon Education Foundation, this brochure was created by the Association of Women in Mathematics to encourage individuals to look at the mathematical sciences as a possible career choice. It includes profiles of 15 mathematicians, all women! Available on-line at http://www.awm-math.org/ctcbrochure/toc.html

  • Mathematical Sciences Career Information

    Amer. Math. Soc./Math Assoc Amer./Soc. Industrial and Applied Math Project for Nonacademic Employment. This site contains extensive information about nonacademic careers including over 70 profiles of nonacademic mathematicians (four new ones are added each month) and lists of skills required for different types of positions. The featured mathematicians have a variety of backgrounds – from bachelors to doctorates. http://www.ams.org/careers/

Careers in Statistics