Students with an interest in statistics should strongly consider actuarial science. Preparation for this career can be done by receiving a mathematics major with a statistics minor. More information about actuarial science can be found at Be An Actuary or The Society of Actuaries. The Career Services Center can assist you with your search for employment. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is also developing a file of companies that have expressed interest in hiring our majors.
Business, Industry, and Government
The opportunities for mathematics majors in business, industry, and government are excellent. In a number of instances, employers, having found mathematics majors generally bright and flexible, have hired them for positions which may involve considerable training on the job, but not much formal or direct use of their mathematical knowledge. These jobs often make use of the incisive reasoning abilities and broad problem-solving skills that are developed through effective mathematical training, as well as the strong communication skills required by the mathematics major. In other positions, mathematics majors may make considerable use of their backgrounds in mathematics, computer science, statistics, and science. The possibilities range from positions in management to jobs as programmers, actuaries, or mathematics and computing specialists. To make your college experience most valuable, you should schedule courses in areas where mathematics is applied, such as economics, sociology, psychology, general business, computer science, statistics, engineering, and the physical and biological sciences.
Graduate and Professional School
Our undergraduate degree program is an excellent preparation for a wide variety of graduate and professional school options. These include business, medicine and law, as well as programs in computer science, meteorology, economics, engineering, and other fields. Of course, our majors are also very well prepared to enter graduate study in either mathematics or statistics. In particular, students interested in a medical career are urged to speak with the premedicine advisor. Elective hours and required science hours may be used to take the courses expected at entry into medical school. A complete list of the recommended courses for the University of Mississippi School of Medicine which are not included in your mathematics' degree requirements are: principles of zoology, plant biology, two semesters of chemistry with lab, organic chemistry with lab, and three semesters of physics. Note that the physics and chemistry together fulfill the science requirement for the B.S. The additional hours of organic chemistry and two semesters of biology remain. The premedical student will also find cell biology, comparative anatomy, and physiology useful. It is easy to see that a B.S.~program in mathematics with biology minor would be an excellent preparation for medical school. Again, we emphasize the need to speak with a premedical advisor. Those students interested in pursuing a career in the law are urged to speak with a pre-law advisor as soon as possible. Some appropriate classes to help prepare for entry into law school are: logic (PHI 1113), speed reading (LSK 2013), the legal environment of business (BL 2413), and constitutional powers (PS 3063). Again, a list of suggested courses is no substitute for an early visit with a prelaw advisor.
Peace Corps and the Military
The Peace corps is almost always in need of mathematics majors. Likewise, the various branches of the armed forces actively seek out mathematics majors.
- Peace Corps
- The United States Department of Defense (DoD)
- The United States Air Force
- The United States Army
- The United States Coast Guard
- National Guard and Reserve
- Department of Homeland Security
- The United States Marines
- The United States Navy
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
There is a critical shortage of qualified high school mathematics teachers throughout the country. The shortage is most acute in rural areas in the South, especially in Mississippi. There is also financial support for students planning on entering the teaching profession. One such source is the William Winter Teacher Scholarship. For more information concerning this scholarship, write to The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, Student Financial Aid Office, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS 39211-6543. There are currently three avenues by which a student may be certified to teach mathematics in grades 7-12. These avenues are as follows:
- The student receives a degree in Math Education within the College of Education. This degree involves 36 hours of math and 36 hours of education including 12 hours of student teaching.
- The student receives a B.S. in mathematics within the College of Arts and Sciences and also takes 36 hours of education, which includes 12 hours of student teaching.
- Another method for receiving certification for teaching is the alternate route to certification.
A student may receive a non-education degree (preferably in mathematics, but it could also be in a math-related discipline) and then take 2 Praxis exams and a two or three week teaching training workshop. Information may be found by writing to The Mississippi Department of Education, at Post Office Box 771 or 359 North West Street, Jackson, MS 39205, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or phoning 601-359-3483. The Mississippi Teacher Corps has a program for certifying qualified mathematics majors. For information contact: Phone 1-800-884-7606 or 662-915-5224 Fax (662) 915-7249, Mississippi Teacher Corps Room 161 C, School of Education, P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677-1848.
There is also certifying available through the Mississippi University for Women. Contact Dr. Dorothy Kerzel or call 662-329-7376.
The MSU Career Center provides currently enrolled students the following services:
- Major exploration and career planning assistance
- Job search assistance
- Resume critiques
- Videotaped mock interviews
- Experiential learning opportunities, including Cooperative Education
- On-line registration with the Career Center provides the following:
- Resume available for review by potential employers
- Participation in on-campus interviews
- Access to jobs posted to the Career Center Web site