Mathematician graduates earn very well in the the public sector and the private sector. Right out of college a Bachelors in Science mathematician can make around 80k to 160k. Below is a list of jobs for a mathematician. Almost all of the degrees below need math students to gain experience and possibly minor in another major to get the level of education and experience that an employer needs.  But it’s not always that way.  Sometime an employer just sees a smart individual that would be an asset the company. Mathematics is a highly sought after skillset.  Here are the jobs that are open to a mathematician. Some require more education, others just require some experience which one can get before or potentially after getting hired.

Mathematicians are highly sought after in the career field. They have a specialized skill that employers often need.  Thus in the professional field they are very well paid and have a great deal  of choices as far as choosing a career.


Dr. Richard Cleary

How did you first get into teaching and where do you teach now?

I have wanted to be a teach as far back as I can remember. My first real teaching job was tutoring fellow students in calculus at Oneonta State College. I loved going to those help sessions and seeing people I was working with have an “Aha!” moment when they suddenly understood a concept that had been elusive. Since graduating from Oneonta State in 1978, I have taught many places: University of Massachusetts at Amherst (while a graduate student in math from 1978-80), Holyoke Community College (summer 1979), Saint Michael’s College, (1980-88 and 1992-97), Cornell University (as a PhD student 1988-92 and on the faculty 1997-2001), Bentley University (2001-2013), Harvard University (2008-09 while on sabbatical) and finally now at Babson College, where I have taught since 2013. I think this is my last stop!

I am very fortunate to have worked with students in so many different environments. There are many things that are different between working with first year students at a community college and graduate students in the Ivy League, but many teaching principles apply all the time. Basic tenets of kindness, fairness, encouragement and opportunity apply at all levels.

What kind of work do you do in your field?

In addition to teaching, I am active professionally in two related areas, applied statistics and STEM education. In the applied statistics area I have worked on problems in lots of interesting fields including fraud detection, sports analytics and biomechanics. Lots of people need help with data so statisticians can work with colleagues from other disciplines which is a real job benefit. In STEM education I have served on several national committees and projects, including work as a lead writer for the Instructional Practices Guide of the Mathematical Association of America. The Guide is a collection of strategies and vignettes to help math teachers move from lectures to more effective activity based learning. It is freely available on-line at

What is a normal day like?

One of the great things about my job is that the days can vary quite a bit and are not too routine! A constant most days is one-on-one or small group time with students who need help with technical material or more general advising. My work on scholarship depends on where I am in the ‘life cycle’ of a project. In the early stages there is a lot of reading and research to decide how to approach a problem. This is followed by my favorite part, building statistical models and seeing if they make sense. Then finally comes the writing and production stage. All are important if the research we do it so have an impact.

How long did it take to earn all of your education?

I went through high school, college and master’s degree program without a break and then taught for eight years at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. It became clear that to really advance in academics I would need to get a PhD, so in my thirties I enrolled in the Statistics PhD program at Cornell University. Being an older graduate student had some challenges but mostly the added maturity really helped. I spent four years as a full time student and finished my degree at age 36. Of course I feel like I’ve continued learning even after getting the degree.

Do you enjoy your career?

I am very happy in my career. I love working with students, I enjoy my research projects and I am particularly happy that sports analytics, which was just a hobby for a long time, has now evolved into a powerful academic subject. This means that work I used to do just for fun is now part of professional portfolio, a wonderful development!

Is there anything you wish was different ?

I wish students and parents and some employers were not so concerned with grades and rankings. I see students avoiding courses that would be of great interest to them in order to take a less interesting and less useful course just because they expect to get a better grade. Similarly I see parents pushing their kids into the ‘highest ranked’ college they can get into when the student might be happier and more successful in a different environment where they were under less stress.

What kind of knowledge would you pass onto a student?

Students have a tendency to see dozens of little unconnected facts and formulas in situations where the teacher might see two or three big ideas. Ideally I’d like to help my students see the big ideas and how to apply them. This makes the related ideas seem natural and not just an exercise in memorization. They can also see how the same big picture ideas apply across many different branches of mathematics.