Summary: Find out how to make the shift from teaching math to a math-related career before you graduate from college.
Question: I’m a college senior majoring in mathematics with secondary education certification. After some student teaching, I’ve decided this isn’t the direction I want to take. I would like information regarding math-related careers and how to secure a position. Should I contact recruiters or reach out to companies directly?
Answer: A four-year degree in mathematics has application in a host of work settings, including education, small business, corporations, nonprofits, insurance and financial institutions, consulting firms, research organizations and government agencies. Given that the classroom isn’t the setting you’re seeking, try to define characteristics of the environment that you would find stimulating to help narrow the playing field.
If you’d like to focus specifically on mathematics, consider whether your passion is research or applied math. Potential job titles include actuary, mathematician, statistician and operations research analyst. A graduate degree would open new doors.
For details on job responsibilities, consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. Connecting with similar professional associations, such as the American Statistical Association and the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences would offer additional windows on career fields.
After you’ve researched your options, select the employers in your area that have the strongest attraction. Talk to people who work for those companies, checking with alumni for potential door openers. Take advantage of college career services and any on-campus recruiting opportunities, but don’t hesitate to contact employers directly with networking calls and a targeted resume/cover letter.
See 6 Key Job Search Assumptions for more information.Are You a Math Major? Let Us Help Calculate Your Career Path by Andrew Ostler