Jobs and career aspirations are one of the most daunting questions asked by family and friends. As a student, one of the ways that we can explore our industry is through internships and research opportunities. Internships give students real life experience in the field they plan to enter, and can help them identify at an early stage what fields and industries may or may not fit them.
The average employer expects students to have 2-3 internships over the course of their college career, making it even more important that students find and start applying to quality internships. Below are some common categories that a math student can consider when exploring careers and searching for internships.
Research and Applied Mathematics:
Research involves collecting and analyzing data, forming hypotheses and testing, as well as applying mathematical principles to formulate a conclusion. Research is a rather broad area that can cover, economics, business, engineering, science, and many other fields. Often undergraduate research opportunities are found at the universities or other research facilities.
Might be for you if you love problem solving, and answering unknown questions about the world utilizing math and math principles. People who are successful in research are often detail oriented, analytical, curious, committed, quick thinkers, systematic, and are generally good communicators both verbally and written.
Places to look for undergraduate research:
Primary and Secondary Education:
Education and teaching in general require patience, an understanding of mathematical principles and most importantly a love for math and students. Your duties would include creating math curriculum that adheres by state or school standards as well as creating activities that engage students. If you enjoy interacting with people on a daily basis as well as sharing your wealth of knowledge to the next generation this may be the career for you.
Might be for you if: you enjoy working with children, enjoy problem solving, and generally enjoy math and helping people understand it's history and fundamentals. People find themselves successful in this career are often very loving, patient, and informed people, that enjoy working with people.
Education Internships: Often the best way to get experience in teaching is to directly reach out to the schools and see if you can either volunteer/work as a tutor or teacher's assistant.
Business Analytics and Statistics Proper:
Simply put, statisticians and actuaries use numbers to solve real-world problems. They collect and analyze data, applying statistical theory and methods, to offer solutions in engineering, science, business, and many other fields. They often specialize in a certain area, such as economics or business.
Might be for you if you love working with large data sets, and are a natural with seeing how numbers can be used in real-world situations. People who are successful in stats generally enjoy puzzles, are detail oriented and very systematic.
Computer scientists deal with the study of information and computation and the implementation and application in computer systems. Your duties would include writing and reading code, debugging faulty programs, as well as working on a team in most cases. Many mathematicians make excellent computer scientists as mathematics and logic is the backbone of computer science.
A career in the technology sector might be for you if you are mathematical, love challenges, are creative, and generally enjoy working in groups. People who are successful at computer science generally enjoy logic, and are able to understand the tools and read and write a lot of code.
Resources and Links
Here are some excellent places to further explore to find both internship and undergraduate research opportunities.
Where to find internship opportunities:
Where to find undergraduate research opportunities:
If you want to talk about more options specific to your interests, schedule an appointment with me in Handshake.