What Can You Do With a PhD in Mathematics?

Sep 30, 2018

Students who wish to gain a PhD in mathematics can have their degree concentration in areas like coding theory, dynamical systems, financial mathematics, set theory, and statistics. Graduates can secure many jobs in business and academics such as postsecondary education administrators and operations research analysts.

On the way to earning a PhD in mathematics students will take a heavy dose of courses in the theory of mathematics, mathematical logic, statistical and mathematical analysis, topology, and stochastic processes. They will not only have an advanced knowledge of all fields of mathematics, but also be educated on the ways in which mathematical equations and methods can be applied to real-world situations. This will not only open the door to an academic career, but also a career in business as well. Below you will find the job growth and median salary information for some jobs that are ideal for those with a PhD in mathematics.

PhD in Mathematics Jobs/Salary

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Postsecondary Education Administrators $92,360 10%
Actuaries $101,560 22%
Mathematicians and Statisticians $84,760 33%
Operations Research Analysts $81,390 27%
Postsecondary Mathematics Science Teachers $70,910 9%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

PhD in Mathematics Careers

Postsecondary Education Administrators

Postsecondary education administrators register students for classes and allocate the space and time required for each class. They make certain that students meet education requirements and plan commencement ceremonies. Additionally, they generate data related to students and classes, as well as maintain all academic records. Having a PhD in mathematics gives those seeking such a position the education required, and through having a background in mathematics, recent graduates will know how to generate all sorts of data.


Actuaries design, test, and implement business strategies, insurance policies, pension plans, and investments to ensure maximum profit with minimum risk. They create proposals using tables, charts, and graphs, and explain their calculations to clients, government officials, and executives. Furthermore, they estimate the probably and overall cost of events like natural disasters, accidents, sickness, and death. Those with a PhD in mathematics will have the analytical and mathematics skills required to generate such reports.

Mathematicians and Statisticians

Mathematicians and statisticians determine which kinds of data need to be collected in order to answer a specific question. They create experiments, opinion pools, and surveys to collect data that they will need to arrive at an answer. Additional, they apply mathematical theories in an effort to solve problems in science, engineering, business, and other fields. Having a good grasp on a wide range of mathematical theories, recent graduates will have the knowledge to succeed at such a position.

Operations Research Analysts

Operations research analysts locate and solve problems rated to logistics, health care, and business. They gather and organize data from sales histories, computer databases, and consumer reviews. Additionally, they use predictive modeling, simulations, statistical analysis, and other methods to analyze data and come up with solutions to business problems. Having a mathematics doctorate gives job seekers the mathematical and analytical skills to solve any problems they face.

Postsecondary Mathematics Science Teachers

Postsecondary mathematics science teachers design and teach courses in subjects such as statistics, mathematical concepts, application of standardized mathematical techniques, and other mathematics subjects. Furthermore, they will make certain that their current courses align with graduation requirements and assist students in their understanding of a particular area of mathematics. Those who have obtained a PhD in mathematics will have the degree necessary to teach at a four-year university.

While recent graduates have a good chance of securing a job as an educator at the highest level, there are also many opportunities available to them outside of academics. Regardless of the concentration a student selects, there are many jobs within the fields of both business and finance that prefer employees with such degrees.

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