People with bachelor’s degrees and advanced degrees in the mathematical sciences, which include mathematics, statistics, data science, and computational science, are in high demand. They’re being hired in virtually every sector of the economy. Finance and business, agriculture, health care, tourism and hospitality, government, research – employers in all of these areas and more are looking for employees with high levels of training in the mathematical sciences. Let’s look at two examples of particular importance to South Dakota’s economy.
Finance and Business: The financial and business worlds are awash in data. Debit cards, credit cards, online banking and shopping, and other modern financial practices generate enormous volumes of complex data. Making sense of all this data in order to help financial organizations and businesses make better decisions, better serve customers, increase profits, and create jobs can require the highest levels of mathematical sciences training. People with this training are employed as actuaries, financial engineers, business analysts, financial product developers, risk managers, marketing analysts, fraud detection analysts, portfolio managers, forecasters, operations research specialists, and in many other capacities.
Agriculture: As the world’s population grows, so does the need to increase food production. Precision agriculture is one exciting way in which this is being accomplished. Precision agriculture practices applied to millions of acres of cropland generate vast amounts of data, all the way from satellite data down to the level of individual rows of crops. Data is gathered on seeds planted, pesticides employed, yields produced, soil characteristics, temperatures, rainfall, and many others factors. Interpreting this vast amount of data can require the highest levels of mathematical sciences training. The results are used by farmers, agronomists, and others throughout the agriculture industry to help make better decisions, increase profitability, and feed an ever-growing population.
The same theme that appears in finance, business, and agriculture is present in health care, tourism, government and elsewhere – in order to make the best decisions, organizations need people with high levels of mathematical sciences training to interpret large, complex data sets. The jobs these people hold are consistently rated among the very best jobs in the nation by career specialists like CareerCast in 2015, and for many years prior to that. These jobs offer high pay, great advancement potential, and the opportunity to make important, meaningful impacts in many ways. If you or someone you know likes math and is good at it, a career in the mathematical sciences is a great choice!