Thursday, March 10, 2011

Math Education + Quantitative Job = Career Satisfaction

Few individuals in this world aspire to earn the title “geek”, but that may be soon to change given the Wall Street Journal’s listings of Best Jobs of 2011. As it turns out, analytically-minded individuals are thriving in their positions as Actuaries, Accountants, Statisticians, and Mathematicians. In fact, they very well may be the most satisfied working professionals out there.

The Jobs Rated report was developed to determine which careers offer the highest sense of gratification for the majority of workers in each profession. The ranking is determined by several criteria: work environment, physical demands, outlook, stress, and income. The best overall work situation in 2011 (meaning the highest ranking in the aforementioned categories) goes to the Software Engineer - not exactly in the statistical realm, but still reliant on a firm mathematical background. But scrolling down the list just a bit, it's important to note that Mathematician ranks number two, with an excellent hiring outlook. Actuary comes in a close third, followed by Statistician at number four. That's three of the top five rated careers belonging to math majors, each with excellent hiring outlooks.

A few years ago, I welcomed you to my dining room table for a little table talk. Back then, the conversation centered on the kids’ standing in the social hierarchy of our local high school, with my math geek son clinging to the bottom rungs of the social ladder. I was thrilled to be able to boost his self-esteem by quoting this article’s conclusions.

I’m equally thrilled to inform him once again (and you all as well!) that the mathematician’s ranking stands. Even more importantly, I’m happy to note following a career path in mathematics could very well lead to life-long fulfillment. When you find a career that offers opportunities to do what you love, work is not work. For those of you who have already chosen the quantitative path, your long-term prospects are looking good.

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