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The Best Jobs of 2014

By Kyle Kensing

For a mathematician like Jessika Sobanski of San Diego, numbers unlock a world of career possibilities.

“There’s a huge, huge range of opportunities for mathematicians,” says Sobanski. “Some can go the education route, but there's much more.” Hiring demand also is very high among corporations, government agencies and the non-profit world, she says.

In fact, the field’s versatility is a primary reason it outscored the competition and ranks No. 1 in our 2014 Jobs Rated report.

Sobanski founded KidCourses.com and MathLibs in the 1990s after working as a content reviewer for The Princeton Review and as an MCAT teacher. Focusing her attention on educating children in math has been especially rewarding, she says.

And the value of education is evident at the top of our Jobs Rated report.

Checking in at No. 2 just behind mathematician is tenured university professor. The top-ranked environment, high income-earning potential and lower stress than many other fields makes tenured professor a desirable career.

 

Of perhaps even greater value is the reward of teaching, which Sobanksi touts in her mathematic work—particularly with girls. Guiding women into careers in science and math is a hot-button issue, one that First Lady Michelle Obama addresses regularly.

“Supporting women STEM students and researchers is not only an essential part of America’s strategy to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world; it is also important to women themselves,” she said in a statement.

The outlook for STEM careers, including in math, is very positive. Math is experiencing something of a renaissance period, and analytics are the driving force. Mathematical analyses of trends are used to gauge many activities, ranging from internet-user tendencies to airport traffic control.

“Conversion rate optimization: everything going on in that space is huge. Whether it’s new product sales, a start-up [business model] or an established TV station, everything is based on numbers,” Sobanski explains.

Companies contract mathematicians who can spot these trends, and Sobanski says it has made for lucrative possibilities. Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that in 2013, the median annual pay scale for mathematicians was $101,360. And at a projected growth rate of 23% by 2022, the field’s outlook is bright.

The exponentially growing popularity of mathematics may not be any more noticeable than in sports, where statistical analysis shapes how fans view their favorite games and how general managers build teams. To that end, ESPN.com recently launched FiveThirtyEight.com, a former New York Times website that accurately predicted election results based on statistical polling data. The site’s new incarnation tracks statistical trends in sports as well as politics, and provides more evidence that the mathematic boom is real. Of course, our Jobs Rated report also makes that point, as statistician and actuary are both in this year’s top 10.

Healthcare and information technology also are two of the strongest sectors despite economic turbulence, and their stability are reflected in the Jobs Rated report. The BLS estimates the unemployment rate in healthcare was 4.1% at the end of 2013, 2.6% lower than the general workforce rate.

In the coming decade, the BLS projects five million new healthcare jobs added to the economy. Dental hygienist and audiologist are two fields with particularly strong outlooks, and both rank in the Jobs Rated top 10, as do occupational therapist and speech pathologist.

In information technology, the unemployment rate was 4.8%, and two IT jobs rank among the 10 best: software engineer and computer systems analyst.

Indeed, 2014 is a great time for careers in technology, education and the sciences, as our top 10 jobs illustrate.

Best Jobs of 2014: 1. Mathematician

BLS Median Annual Salary: $101,360
Projected Job Growth by 2022: 23%
Jobs Rated Score (the lower the better): 63

Careers in mathematics are diverse and rewarding. Mathematicians rank among the more well-compensated in the 2014 Jobs Rated report. The field also has a positive outlook for continued future growth.


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Math is the basis for almost

Math is the basis for almost every well-paying job: accountant, stockbroker, engineer, scientist...and having more Math majors will make us more competitive with other countries.

The MBA got you the job. The

The MBA got you the job. The history major got the degree. 

College major

My son is finishing his second year as a math major. He has second guessed this decision recently. I hope this article will encourage him to continue in the math field. He's unsure of what jobs are available to a math graduate. He is also persuing a double major in business finance.  Is this a good combination?

Search information on Maths

Search information on Maths Assotiations on your country, there'll appear wich percentage of mathematician works on each type of jobs but think that in spain (the only place I have information now), only 30% of mathematicians are teachers (schools and universities), the rest work in banks, investigation, etc

That is a great decision.

That is a great decision. Most jobs are in business analysis. Those skills will be a tremendous asset regardless of industry. 

jobs

Please get her to turn to math ....ask her why would she spend 40-60 thousand dollar on an education where she only makes 18-25 thousand a year maybe!!

Hey I'm a history major, with

Hey I'm a history major, with a degree from U WA and right now I'm working with JP Morgan and I make ~$100 K a year. Sure, education is important but what people study at an undergraduate level does not necessarily reflect how much money they will be making in the future. For me, it's all about my MBA I got from U Penn

I keep telling my daughter,

I keep telling my daughter, who's a freshman in college, that she should focus on math or science, which she is good at. But she likes the liberal arts. Hopefully she'll listen to me after I show her this study!

She should pursue her passion...

We spend the majority of our waking hours at work, so it's important to love what we do. If she can study what she is interested in, she will be happier and more passionate about her work... more than anything, people need to learn to follow their heart, not the almighty dollar. p.s. My undergrad is in social work, and I'm now making over $100,000/year in a different, but related, field. More importantly, I'm passionate about my job and wouldn't be here had I not started out in the low paying but worthy field of social work - because my heart is in the social sciences and at the end of the day, I want to know I'm making a difference in the world. My paycheck is just a bonus.

Tell her you'll only pay for

Tell her you'll only pay for the math oriented major, and if she wants to study liberal arts, she's on her own.

Horrible Idea

Why would you want your child to be miserable by denying to pay for an education in a field she loves?  No quicker way to kill her enthusiasm for education and set her up for failure.

Maybe try convincing her to

Maybe try convincing her to minor in what she wants but major in a math or science field. Or maybe work an internship in what it is she's interested in to get a feel if it's a job she could do long term.  

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