Are you seeking a BIG career? The BIG (Business, Industry and Government) Jobs Guide provides tips on crafting your resume, refining technical skills, and finding that perfect internship in math, operations research, or statistics. With jobs utilizing computational skills set to increase by almost 30 percent in the next decade, the BIG Jobs Guide is... Continue Reading →
Zachariah Tyree, PhD (Research Scientist at General Motors R&D) I have a PhD in Pure Mathematics. A common sentiment within this field is that Pure Mathematics sits somewhere above Applied Mathematics and quite a distance above other scientific disciplines. The ranking is even implicit in the name “Pure Mathematics”, as opposed to “Adulterated Mathematics” or perhaps “Contaminated Mathematics.” Most of my peers in graduate school were targeting positions in academia. Initially, so was I. Over time I began to reevaluate my goals, as I found I did not care for the teaching aspect of the profession. I decided instead to target industries known for hiring mathematicians, and so shifted my research area from Logic and Set Theory to Probability and Statistics, with the aim at going to work in finance.
Carla Cotwright-Williams Until a few years ago, I was a “wayward” mathematician. I thought all I could do was teach and I wanted out. While teaching is noble and one of the highest callings, I wanted to do something other than my tenure-track position. Now don’t get me wrong, I knew mathematicians did more than teach. But personally, I had not done a lot of applied mathematical work. Nothing wrong with it, I just hadn’t. (My area of research was a branch of Combinatorics called Matroid Theory.) However, when I started looking I found all kinds of employment opportunities. When I finished my PhD, there didn’t seem to be a shortage of academic jobs. You might not get a position at Research I institution, but you could find a tenure-track position at a pretty decent institution and be happy. I still see colleges and universities hiring for these positions, but when comparing the number of open positions to the number of Ph.D. graduates annually…there are not enough academic jobs. So what to do? I recommend considering jobs outside academia.