Seeking a satisfying career in BIG (Business, Industry and Government) is a multi-stage process.
- You start by identifying your goals and personal values.
- Then you plan what courses to study, craft a great résumé, and try out an internship.
- You learn more about career options, and research and apply for full-time jobs.
- You interview with confidence because you know the job matches your skills and values.
- After getting the position, you develop a network of mentors, and continue to grow your career.
The BIG Jobs Guide takes you step-by-step through these stages, and includes practical checklists and advice from mathematical scientists in industry. We recommend investing in a copy of the BIG Jobs Guide.
Following are some online resources that help you get started, and complement the material in the BIG Jobs Guide. The online resources are broadly aimed at college students. For specific guidance for mathematics, statistics and operations research majors, you can consult the BIG Jobs Guide.
Who you are: your “special sauce”
- Know yourself
- Create an elevator pitch
- What employers may not know about your skills as a math major
What you should study
If you are an undergraduate student, you have or will have taken required courses for your major. Beyond those, we suggest taking courses in other departments, for example, computer science, engineering, business, and economics. These will be helpful to connect your mathematical sciences knowledge with applications.
For graduate students, we also suggest taking advanced undergraduate level or graduate level courses in other disciplines.
- Suggestions for Mathematics majors
- Suggestions for Statistics majors
- Suggestions for Operations Research majors
Computing and data analytics are essential for BIG jobs. We suggest taking programming and data science courses. There are good online courses available, for example:
- Python Courses at Coursera
- Data Science Courses at edX
- Or see courses listed on page 41 of the BIG Jobs Guide
Some are free and others require payment; some lead to certification while others do not. Read the reviews and be an informed “consumer”.
What to put in your résumé
The career office at your institution should be able to help you prepare a professional-looking resume. You can also jump start the process by reading material provided at this site.
Why do an internship?
- Do I really need to do an internship? Yes!
- Types of internships for mathematics majors
- How to find an internship – advice from a working statistician
What jobs are out there?
Four popular options for students in mathematics, statistics and operations research are:
What it is like to take a BIG job
Read the articles at the BIG Math Network!
Winning at the job search
- Visit your campus career office for an individual consultation.
- Go to career fairs at your home institution and at your town.
- Create a LinkedIn profile.
- Make a Github site for your code samples.
- Network, network, network
- Connect with alumni from your program.
- Ask the director of your undergraduate or graduate program for suggestions of whom to contact.
- Ask your friends, family, and neighbors.
- Tell mentors you are interested in BIG careers, and see what connections and advice they can offer.