By Yumeng Zhang
Mathematics is at the heart of many things we interact with on a day-to-day basis. It enables mobile networks, secures financial systems, provides basis for software languages, and much more. If you study math at university, there are abundant career opportunities for you.
Over the next 30 years, changes will happen more rapidly than ever before — and math grads will be a big part of those changes. High-paying jobs that involve math are projected to grow at a rate of 30 percent over the next decade alone. Although academic research is a common career path, so are technology, business, and banking.
Studying in a specialized, major or minor program in math can help you target the field you’re most passionate about. Let’s take a look at some of the job trends and new technologies where a degree in math will be needed.
Accounting and Finance
Numbers and technology are at the heart of many careers in finance and insurance. As computers become more sophisticated, companies will need to increase their ability to utilize data to make sound business decisions. Thus, they’re going to need grads who understand how math and technology affect business. Accounting and finance jobs include roles such as auditor, tax accountant, forensic accountant, business analyst, financial analyst, and more.
Opportunities in banking range from the world of retail banking to corporate investment banking. Whether it's dealing with mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, or creating financial models, expertise with a math background plays a significant role. While the pay is lucrative, these roles may require additional finance qualifications.
Actuaries evaluate financial risk to manage and advise clients. Combining risk analysis skills with in-depth knowledge of business, actuaries ensure complex calculations and investments are made. As actuarial roles can sometimes be client-facing, it is recommended to develop communication skills to explain complex data to non-specialists.
Cybersecurity and Privacy
Cryptography, the shield of cybersecurity, stems from complex math problems. As computers become faster and more powerful, and hackers try to breach security more frequently, new cryptographic models will need to be developed. In this field, you will work on the fundamental math and models that will create the right algorithms to safeguard our data and privacy.
AI reach extends far beyond robotics. AI has been used in vehicles and computer systems. It has also been used in medical and educational fields. As a math grad, you will be involved in developing the mathematical models and algorithms to analyze data and drive AI decision-making.
The amount of data created by people, computers, governments, and companies is growing exponentially and there aren’t enough people who know how to use them. Math grads can help make sense of all that information while working as a data scientist or statistician. You will help find patterns and uncover important cause-and-effect relationships being in the field.
Math and Medicine
The COVID-19 pandemic has alerted health organizations to improve health data collection and analysis. Math helps medical professionals understand medical phenomena such as substance abuse, medication implication, and it even helps to diagnose autism. Pursuing a career in math and medicine can be challenging and rewarding at the same time.
Academia and Research
As a mathematician, your career might be dedicated to research. This kind of work is about discovering new frontier. It is also about diving deeply into fundamental concepts. As a researcher, you might study an irrational, infinite number like Pi, or work towards a greater understanding of how it relates to natural phenomena.
Find out more about what you can do with a mathematics degree at AA&CC’s website: Mathematics | Academic Advising & Career Centre (utoronto.ca).