The career of a mathematician in all of its various forms has been rated as one of the top five jobs by The Jobs Rated Almanac
. Mathematicians are typically held in high regard on the basis of their demonstrated proficiency with numbers and formulas, and with logical problem-solving skills. Careers for mathematics majors cover a wide range of opportunities. Mathematicians are employed by banks, investment companies, and insurance companies where quantitative skills are essential. Mathematics teachers continue to be in demand.
Computers are utilized in a mathematics classroom. Mathematical software allows mathematics to be studied in three representations: numeric, symbolic, and graphic.
Students currently have access to the college's network of interconnected computers and a large mathematics classroom. The new computer-equipped classroom gives students access to a large lab which uses mathematics software. While a great deal of work in mathematics still uses pencil and paper, students are no longer restricted to those tools. Calculators and computers provide efficient means of solving a wide range of problems, giving students the chance to concentrate on underlying principles. Students are encouraged to take advantage of these whenever possible.
Students who choose to do so may apply to participate in the Oak Ridge Science Semester at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Students spend part of their time during the semester taking mathematics and science courses, and part of their time working with ongoing research projects at the National Laboratory.
Summer internships and research opportunities are often available for undergraduate mathematics students. These are typically sponsored by the National Science Foundation and other government research agencies, and give students the chance to engage in hands-on research activities at a large university. Usually housing and meals are provided, and students are paid a stipend for their summer work.
Graduate School Opportunities
Graduate school programs in mathematics actively seek qualified students. Assistantships and fellowships are available which waive tuition, and pay the graduate student a stipend.
Mathematics graduates area also recruited by other graduate programs. Students with good quantitative and problem-solving skills are well suited for graduate studies in business administration (the M.B.A. degree) and law, as well as graduate programs in engineering and computer science.
Those preparing for secondary level Mathematics teaching must complete the major as specified above and MATH 324. The additional requirements for certification are described in the Education Department section of the catalog.