If you like solving puzzles or working with numbers, a mathematics or actuarial science degree could be your path to a fulfilling career.
U.S. News, CNN Money and Glassdoor agree: math majors have some of the best jobs in America. Math-based careers earned top rankings for salary, work-life balance, stress and satisfying work in 2021.
Graduates have applied their Roosevelt University degrees to these seven career tracks in science, business and data analytics.
Skills you’ll learn as a math major
Problem-solving. Math students analyze the strengths and weaknesses of different solutions to real-world problems.
Logical reasoning. Math majors can think critically about numbers and data to discover relationships and trends.
Computer programming. Especially with a computer science double major or minor, mathematics students will train on programming languages and algorithms.
Attention to detail. Your math courses will prepare you to be meticulous and comb out errors.
Communication skills. As you earn your math degree, you’ll practice how to clearly explain their work to others, working collaboratively to solve problems.
Careers for math majors
With a math or actuary degree, you’ll be prepared for a broad range of constantly evolving roles. The salaries listed below are the median numbers reported by the U.S. News and World Report in 2021.
Actuary: $108,350 annual salary
Actuaries manage financial risk by estimating the likelihood of future events. As an actuary, you’d work with companies like insurers or private companies to creatively mitigate risk.
Throughout their careers, actuaries take exams to continue to build their professional status. The Roosevelt actuarial science program offers courses that prepare you for six exams while you earn your bachelor’s.
Actuarial science graduate Elizabeth Gut (BS ’13) is an associate portfolio manager at Milliman Financial Risk Management LLC. She travels across the country and to Italy to visit her clients. As she pushed through qualifying exams, the Roosevelt community was there to support her.
“I had grown quite close with a small group of friends who were also sitting for actuarial exams,” she said. “We would spend evenings at school studying together and grabbing dinner from Panera.” Elizabeth passed her Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) exams and plans to continue her education.
Related actuary jobs for mathematics majors:
- Quantitative analyst
- Actuarial analyst
- Risk analyst
- Benefits analyst
Data analyst: $69,819 annual salary
Some data analysts solve problems for companies that make their services or products better, while others use their research to help build more fair public policy. Math majors will practice the skills they’ve learned in statistical analysis and data visualization.
Data scientists, often a more senior role, also use big data to look for patterns. Data scientists use more coding and machine learning to create new modeling processes. Roosevelt bachelor’s and master’s graduates work in data science for Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Allstate and Google.
Related analyst jobs for mathematics majors:
- Business analyst
- Data specialist
- Database analyst
Math teacher: $59,660 to $61,660 annual salary
Middle and high school math teachers leave a lasting impression on your students. Through patience and persistence, math teachers can spark the lightbulb moment when a student understands a subject. You’ll also be there for your students as they get through a new, confusing transition in their life.
After teaching high school for five years, math major Cherise Johnson (BS ’13) took an interdisciplinary job in education technology (edtech). She oversees core math, standardized test prep, AP Computer Science and AP German courses as the content manager for Albert.io. An avid storyteller, Cherise also takes the improv stage at clubs like Second City.
“When I'm not developing curriculum, I spend the rest of my time researching elective courses or state standards, creating marketing materials and planning social events,” she said.
At Roosevelt University, the NOYCE scholarship program supports students who are pursuing a career as a high school math teacher. Math students can also apply to a 4+1 track to graduate with a master’s in secondary education.
Related education jobs for mathematics majors:
- Math tutor
- Curriculum designer
Financial analyst: $81,590 annual salary
As a math major, your knack for quantitative reasoning can translate well to financial firms. Banking, investing and trading companies hire graduates with math degrees to analyze market trends. U.S. News and World Report ranked the position as the No. 18 best business job for 2021.
Roosevelt alumni currently work as financial analysts for insurance brokerages, manufacturers and major health care systems.
Related finance jobs for mathematics majors:
- Quantitative financial market analyst
- Financial planner
Software developers: $107,510 annual salary
Software developers pair creativity with technical know-how to develop new programs. You could spend your days writing new code for clients, or checking for bugs to maintain up-and-running programs. In 2021, U.S. News and World Report ranked software developers as the No. 2 best job.
Undergraduate students can pair their math degree with a minor in computer science for a stronger foundation for entry-level jobs. Roosevelt University students can also apply to the 4+1 program to earn a BA in mathematics and an MS in computer science in five years.
Related computer science jobs for mathematics majors:
- Junior software engineer
- PHP and Java developers
- Software engineer
IT managers: $146,630 annual salary
Information technology (IT) managers oversee the many moving parts of technology needs for their companies. With a strong background in software and technology, math graduates can become the go-to resource to keep servers and systems running smoothly, especially as remote work expands.
Actuarial science major Josh Torres (BS ’17) started his higher education journey at Moraine Valley Community College. At Roosevelt, he applied his programming skills in SAS and Python in hands-on projects at the Field Museum, where he created heat maps to help scientists analyze their data.
After earning his bachelor’s degree, Josh stayed on at Roosevelt to earn his master’s degree in mathematical statistics. Josh found an internship right after graduation that turned into his full-time role as manager of IT, data and research.
Related IT jobs for mathematics majors:
- IT systems analyst
Operations Research Analyst: $84,810 annual salary
Operations researchers use their math skills to improve processes and workflows at companies. You’ll analyze ways that big, complicated tasks could be more efficient. Operations researchers synchronize stoplights in cities to prevent traffic jams and coordinate response strategies for natural disasters.
Roosevelt alumni have analyzed and managed operations for menswear and network security companies.
Is a master’s in math worth it?
Advanced degrees in mathematics prepare you to blend your math skills with programming or statistics. You’ll get a deeper understanding of subjects like probability, statistics and data science and learn how to apply them to practical programs.
Graduate students in math also have a strong foundation to earn their doctorates and become professors. Roosevelt students have gone on to PhDs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Buffalo and Worcester Polytechnic University.