Careers: Where Will a Math Degree from IWU Take You?
The future is bright for those who graduate with a degree in mathematics.
Mathematics graduates can pursue diverse career paths, including high-tech industries,
many areas of business, the medical sciences, communications, or education. Today's
computer technology has led to a great demand for people educated in computational
mathematics (such as operations research, statistics and numerical analysis) as well
as in traditional mathematics. Read more about what types of careers mathematicians have, how much they make, and why it's
one of the best business jobs, according to US News' Best Business Jobs for 2019 list.
Below is a sample of companies at which our students are having successful careers.
Actuarial Analyst at Allstate Insurance
Double-majored in Mathematics and Hispanic Studies
Math Teacher at Glenn Westlake Middle School
Majored in Mathematics
Implementation Consultant at FAST Enterprises
Double-majored in Math and Computer Science
Transportation Analyst at Caterpillar
Double majored in Mathematics and Economics
Please see our admissions site for a more comprehensive list of jobs that our majors have had.
Our students also explore their future career opportunities by completing internships
at various places such as Allstate, Amazon.com, and Target. Below is a short list
of companies our students have interned at.
Summer Intern at Citibank, Vietnam
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Major(s): Business Administration and Mathematics
Software Development Engineer Intern at Amazon
Location: Seattle, WA
Major(s): Computer Science and Mathematics
Sales Intern at Arthur Gallagher & Co.
Location: Itasca, IL
Business Analyst Intern at COUNTRY Financial
Location: Bloomington, IL
Major(s): Mathematics and Risk Management
Click here for a complete list.
A panel of data science professionals talking about career opportunities for math
STEM fields, though still fairly male-dominated, have seen a growth in the female
workforce during the last two decades. Check this out for a detailed blog about these non-traditional careers for women.
Below, you will find descriptions of a few of the many jobs in which mathematicians
are employed. These range from private industrial jobs, to government agencies, to
teaching. The fact of the matter is, a firm basis in mathematics provides the proper
analytical skills to take you just about anywhere.
Wall Street has become a major employer of math majors. Investment companies are
seeking mathematicians for jobs titled "quantitative analyst" to predict the future
for them. Trying to match the outstanding success of multibillionaire Differential
Geometer, James Simons (founder of the Renaissance Technologies Corporation and the top hedge fund, the
Medallion Fund), many investment and financial firms consider mathematicians prized
Information and Data Security
One area that is particularly "hot" these days is cryptography - the making and breaking
of secret codes. Not only the CIA, NSA, and other spy agencies are devotees. Numerous businesses also require cryptography
such as RSA key encryption. Number theory is the branch of pure mathematics which
provides the theoretical underpinnings for much of the recent progress in cryptography.
In mathematical modeling, you write down equations to describe how a real world system
behaves. The "system" might be drawn from many different fields. For example, most
financial companies hire mathematicians to study financial models and make predictions
based on statistical evidence. In physics or engineering you might be interested in
how heat is dissipated through the heat shield of a space vehicle. In physiology you
might want to apply the laws of fluid dynamics to describe how blood flows in vessels
and what happens when blood pressure is increased. In economics you might want to
predict how a strike in the automotive industry will affect other parts of the economy. As
usual, the power of mathematics comes from its ability to handle general abstract
problems and then to apply these general methods to an enormous variety of problems.
Recent breakthroughs in the study of DNA and proteins have generated a great deal
of interest in mathematical biology. Many biotech companies hire mathematics majors
because of the high (and growing) mathematical content of the field.
The proliferation of statistics in everything ranging from business to government
has induced many organizations to seek math majors. Statisticians use surveys --
for example, opinion polls -- to predict the patterns of behavior of large groups
based on relatively small samples. They ask questions such as: How can we be sure
that what we predict from our small sample is true of the population being sampled?
Probability theory provides the theoretical foundation for statistics.
One business with an extreme interest in statistics is insurance. The (highly paid)
professionals responsible for computing insurance rates are specialist statisticians
The computer industry provides many lucrative jobs for math majors. Beyond mere proficiency
in computer programming, math majors are trained to address the more fundamental issues
involved in the creation of new algorithms. Furthermore, many sophisticated applications
of computers such as creation of computer graphics and the compression of video and
audio signals (to name a few examples) involve a great deal of deep mathematics,
and as a result, many computer companies specifically hire math majors.
If you would like to give back to your community and serve children, teaching mathematics
at the secondary school level can be very rewarding. A major in Mathematics can be
paired with an Educational Studies major to ultimately certify to teach.
At the end of your undergraduate years, you may have fallen in love with the beauty
of mathematics and want to learn more. You may wish to go to graduate school in mathematics
or a related field (e.g., operation research, economics, computer science, etc.).
In graduate school, students typically get paid (albeit not much) to pursue a Master
or PhD degree. With a graduate degree, you may find a teaching or research job in
academia, or a leadership position in industry.