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Careers in Mathematics

The Dean of Math, Ian Goulden, and students welcome visitors to the new Mathematics 3 building.

More than 28,667 Faculty of Mathematics graduates are working today in 97 countries worldwide!

When you complete a degree in the Faculty of Mathematics, you'll hone your analytical and problem-solving skills – skills that are highly valued in industry. You'll also find that you're in demand after graduation.

A 2012 Globe and Mail article describes several of the information technology and creative design jobs related to math that command high salaries. These include:

  • Business systems analyst ($78,500 to $108,750)
  • Data security analyst ($83,250 to $124,500)
  • Information architect ($90,000 to $140,000)
  • Interactive creative director ($95,000 to $140,000)
  • Mobile application developer ($72,500 to $102,750)
  • User experience designer ($80,000 to $120,000)

As a comparison, refer to these salary guides for: Accounting & Finance (PDF), Administrative (PDF), Legal (PDF), and Interactive Design & Marketing (PDF) jobs.

Employers are prepared to compensate well for professionals with solid experience in areas such as enhancing and securing a firm's online presence across multiple platforms, or gathering and assembling business data.

- Lara Dodo, regional vice-president of Robert Half Technology and the Creative Group in Canada

What career options do I have with a BMath?

Graduates at work

​Buddy Betts

BMath '03, Computer Science
Software Engineer, Trion World Network

Buddy had always known he wanted to be a computer programmer, and he has found numerous applications of mathematics to the graphics side of video games - such as in doing the 3D transformations for his characters or mapping the trajectories of grenades. His favourite part of the job is player mechanics, converting the clicking of buttons on the controller to action on the screen, since it is a very visible part of the game that is easy to explain to others.

Read the full interview with Buddy Betts.

​Sana'a Hayat

BMath '05, Actuarial Science
Actuarial Analyst, Economical Insurance Group

To Sana'a, having co-op provided necessary work experience and helped her decide which division of actuarial science she wanted to work in. Working in Property & Casualty Insurance, she tries to predict future claims to ensure that the company has enough money set aside to meet those liabilities. Her work requires the technical skills she developed at Waterloo, as well as a willingness to learn and ability to deal with people.

Read the full interview with ​Sana'a Hayat.

​Michael Brown

BMath, MMath '03, Cryptography
Software Developer, Research in Motion

Michael feels that his workplace is very innovative, as elegance is encouraged to find the optimal implementation. The cryptographic algorithms he uses as a developer are often based on mathematical problems he has solved in the classroom. Michael also has an interest in music that he pursues actively, believing the creative and logical approach of composition can be applied to the problem solving in his own job.

Read the full interview with Michael Brown.

​Cecilia Cotton

BMath '03, Statistics
Graduate Student, Fred Hutchison Research Center

Cecilia is a PhD student in biostatistics and is working on a long-term study of childhood cancer survivors, where the advancements in the past forty years have caused the survival rate to rise by 30%. Her work is to collaborate with physicians and then analyze data in order to answer questions related to biology and communicate the impact of this disease to parents of diagnosed children .

Read the full interview with ​Cecilia Cotton.

Ben Redman

BMath '04, Computer Science
Software Developer, Amazon.com

One thing Ben liked about studying math at Waterloo was how it encouraged him to think logically and apply theories he learned in novel ways to develop new things. At Amazon, he is working on efficiency initiatives to reduce the website's operational costs. Because of the website's size and nature, he has routinely come across problems unseen anywhere else, which often involve changing a complicated problem to a simpler one as well as developing relations between components.

Read the full interview with Ben Redman.

​Alex Perel

BMath '06
Equity Trader, TD Securities

Alex believes that the process of obtaining a math degree not only encourages you to be systematic and analytical, but teaches a certain work ethic that is transferrable to most other fields. The company he is working at deals with a full range of investment products, such as equities, mortgages, and interest rate derivatives, and Alex is often placed in a competitive situation where he has to use his mathematical tools to look at data precisely to evaluate its importance.

Read the full interview with Alex Perel.

Kim Jack

BMath '98
Project & Operations Analyst, Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP

Kim had wanted to come to Waterloo not only because of the high recognition of its math program in the industry, but also because of co-op. Her favourite part of project management is the politics: understanding why people do the things they do as well as their likes and dislikes. She finds working in a law firm fascinating and hopes to continue doing IT in that type of company while moving up the ladder of responsibility.

Read the full interview with Kim Jack.

​Luke Moore

BMath '01, Computer Science
Senior Software Developer, Side Effects Software

Luke believes Waterloo is very good at exposing students to math and all the different options it can give you. The software he develops is used in films, and he finds it rewarding to see how the intermediate parts he builds are implemented in the final product. In 3D graphics, where he is working in, there is a lot of math involved in describing the shapes, and it gives him satisfaction to see something functional created out of all those different bits.

Read the full interview with Luke Moore.

​Robert Vinluan

BMath '05, Computer Science with Software Engineering Option
3D Graphics Programmer, Side Effects Software

Robert is currently working on his company's constantly-evolving flagship product Houdini, which is meant to provide the software and tools for digital artists to create their visual and computer-generated animation effects. Some of his projects are individual, and some require constant communication between different people as to what should be done during each stage of the production and distribution process.

Read the full interview with Robert Vinluan.

Ongoing career action

The University of Waterloo is committed to the success of its students and graduates. If you become a Faculty of Mathematics student and graduate, you'll have access to a wide selection of resources at the Centre for Career Action, offered through the Department of Co-operative Education and Career Action.

Math and computer science lead to great careers

200 careers are evaluated and ranked as the best and the worst jobs in North America. According to the Wall Street Journal online, the top jobs for 2014 are:

  1. Mathematician
  2. University professor
  3. Statistician
  4. Actuary
  5. Audiologist
  6. Dental hygienist
  7. Software engineer
  8. Computer systems analyst
  9. Occupational therapist
  10. Speech pathologist

According to the study, mathematicians fared the best because of work environments, growth potential, and income. Mathematicians and computer scientists work in favourable conditions and earn good salaries.

Compare with previous years.