Got A Head For Numbers? 4 Career Paths For Math Nerds
What kind of geek are you? As any self-identified geek can tell you, there are many different nerd niches, and for every comic book collector, there’s an equal and opposite physics obsessive critiquing the special effects surrounding superheroes.
Whatever your most passionate interest, though, a geek’s gotta eat, and that means holding down a day job – but luckily, there’s a lot of room to express and engage your interests in the professional realm.
If you’re a member of the society of numbers nerds, amateur mathematicians, and human calculators, there are a variety of industries that would be thrilled to call on your skills.
Consider pursuing one of these four careers for roles where your aptitude will encounter ample opportunities for success.
Engineering And Software Development
These are classic nerd career paths that call on math, science, and technology abilities, and they include plenty of highly targeted roles that will take advantage of your particular skills. For example, you may not be a coder, but you might work on the physics involved in designing a robot. Or maybe you specialize in software development for mathematical or scientific functions rather than for more creative tasks. Because you have an understanding of complex mathematical topics, you’ll find there’s a lot of demand for your skills and not a lot of competition.
Accountant, Economics, And Financial Analysts
Some math nerds like abstract mathematical problems, but many others are passionate about more concrete problems. If the latter sounds like you, then working as an accountant, financial analyst, or economist might be a good path for you. These professionals work on real-world mathematical problems and help businesses, private individuals, and even the government navigate major financial problems. Even better, accountants and financial analysts follow fairly clear paths to their career goals.
If you want to be a CPA, you’ll have to do a certain number of college credits in the field and pass the CPA exam, a challenging four-part certification test. Financial analysts typically have to have additional experience in the field – most are also CPAs – and then take an additional exam to qualify.
Every industry has statistics. From the sciences to economics to education and government, best practices demand that we evaluate how our processes work, whether they’re successful, and whether that success is even meaningful – and that’s where statisticians come in. Statisticians design research and polls, calculate results and interpret those results so that the end-users can apply them in practical settings.
Do you dream of the stars, but not of going to space, or even sending others to space? Then being an astronomer might be the perfect career for you. Though typically defined as a branch of science, astronomy is almost all math, relying on the careful calculation of planetary motion, gravity, distances, and other factors to locate black holes, predict the movement of comets and asteroids, and understand the mysteries of the universe.
There aren’t enough math all-stars to go around in this world, but when it comes to advanced calculations, there’s no one we’d trust more than a fellow geek – and professionally, you’re in a position to write your own ticket. So, whether it takes you to the computer lab, a corner office, or the darkest corners of space if you’ve got the innate number sense to thrive in these industries, we salute you.