Math is everywhere: It can lead to some thrilling jobs, too

By Logan A. White
Times-News correspondent 

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[Logan A. White / Times-News correspondent

Editor’s note: Majors Unmasked is a monthly series exploring some of the most fascinating career paths that stem from common college majors.

Graduation time is here. Some of your biggest collegiate choices are just around the corner.
Do the many majors have you overwhelmed?
May’s featured major is mathematics — a subject often dreaded by students but critical to even the most basic necessities of a modern lifestyle. While the theoretical side of math can be complicated and confusing, the real-life applications make it a worthwhile career. From car safety and skyscraper stabilization to rocket launches and personal robots, math is everywhere. Let’s discover some of the more thrilling jobs this major can lead to.
1. Epidemiologist: When there’s a disease on the loose in a community, it’s critical that doctors and public health officials have data on the spread and reach of the pathogen. This is where epidemiology becomes essential. These mathematicians focus on the statistics and data of an epidemic, compiling and analyzing the patterns of an outbreak. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this career requires at least a master’s degree, but the educational effort is worth the lives saved.
2. Meteorologist: From extreme events like tornadoes and blizzards to long-term weather trends and the daily weather report, meteorologists deal with all aspects of our planet’s atmosphere. In this field, you can chase storms in the Midwest or analyze the effects of global warming, all in the same day. While you can land a job with a bachelor’s degree, most atmospheric scientists go on to pursue graduate-level education before getting their heads in the clouds, according to EnvironmentalScience.org.
3. Cryptographer: If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a Bond-esque hacker or guarding the secrets of the internet, this is the job for you. Preventing online identity theft, deciphering encoded communications, and creating new security programs are all in the job description of a cryptographer. Like the other careers mentioned above, cryptographers typically obtain higher education, but the thrills and challenges of cryptography are worth the wait, according to cyberdegrees.com.
If you think mathematics might be the career for you, don’t hesitate to pursue your interests. This major can take you from the edge of space to the depths of the cyber world. College can be complicated, but unmasking your major doesn’t have to be.

 Logan A. White is a Teens & 20s writer and a home-schooled high school graduate. She currently trains in Cary Ballet Conservatory’s professional program.

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