Math Graduates Go On To Do Great Things

Math Graduates Go On To Do Great Things

A bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from AMU can take you anywhere.

Take, for example, AMU alumna ET2 Ruth Madden (’08), who now serves in the Navy as an Electronics Technician aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Her degree has taken her, quite literally, around the world. Then there’s Daniel Hillary (’10), who has crossed professional lines a few times since graduation. He first worked for a couple different electrical engineering companies, then he went on to graduate school in Actuarial Science at Illinois State University, and now he works as a senior actuarial analyst with Humana. There’s also Lilla Lukacs (’14) to consider. She spent a year working as a Research Assistant at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) before taking a job with GutCheck as a Research Product Associate. After being accepted into three separate fully-funded PhD programs, Lilla has decided to start her PhD in Economics at University of Colorado, Boulder, in Fall 2017. And let’s not forget alumna Anne Kerian (’08), who, after graduating with a double major in Mathematics and Literature, earned both an MA and PhD in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and returned to her alma mater AMU in the fall of 2015, now as Dr. Anne Kerian, Assistant Professor of Mathematics.

The list goes on, but there’s a clear point to be made. Many think that majoring in math will only prepare them for a single career: teaching math. But in fact, the opposite is true, as demonstrated by AMU’s math graduates who are currently flourishing in a vast array of professions and fields.

That’s not to say that mathematics majors don’t also flourish in teaching careers—many of our graduates have found rewarding careers in teaching math at the primary, secondary, and collegiate levels. But it is to say that not only do career options remain quite broad when a student chooses to major in math, but also, and perhaps more importantly, a degree in mathematics can open up new horizons for interesting, meaningful, and quite lucrative work. (Zach Crockett (’13), Director of Career Services at AMU, says that according to national survey data, mathematics majors were the highest paid among the majors that AMU offers—even higher than degrees such as business and finance. Not only this, but according to a National Science Foundation survey of recent college graduates, more than half of mathematics majors actually go on to careers in business, industry, and government.)

The Mathematics Department at AMU offers a strong foundation in theory, practical application, and computation, while at the same time giving students the flexibility to tailor their education to fit their interests and goals (for instance, through electives, or a complementary major and/or minors). And, as an essential component of a liberal arts education, AMU’s courses in mathematics work harmoniously with the core courses to give students broader skill sets that are crucial to life after college—skills such as: critical thinking and problem solving, oral and written communication, quantitative and computer proficiency, and the ability to work in groups. So many of our alumni have seen the truth of this in their own experience.

“My education at AMU did an excellent job preparing me for my Masters program as well as the various jobs I've held since," says Elise Harms ('12), who holds a MA in Information Science from the University at Albany SUNY. She went on work as an accounting/warranty clerk for a home builder in the Albany area, and now she is a Customer Relationship Manager for NYS Office of Information Technology Services. "For my current position, the most useful class I took was my Senior Seminar class. There I learned how to explain complicated topics to people who knew very little about the subject, something I find myself doing every day as a Customer Relationship manager. My other classes taught me the importance of thinking critically and clear, detailed communication.”

Other graduates of the AMU Math program echo Elise's thoughts. “Not a day goes by,” Susan (née Maslak) Bales ('14) says, “where something I learned at AMU, whether in class or meeting with professors outside of class, does not enter my train of thought or help me in some way.” Susan now works as an executive assistant at the engineering firm, GDA Engineers. She hopes to return to school for a teaching degree. “So I can teach high school mathematics,” she explains, “And, hopefully, give back a little bit of what [my math professors] gave to me.”

The future looks bright for the AMU Mathematics Department. Last semester, Dr. Anne Kerian accompanied three AMU seniors to the Advancing Student Participation in Research Experiences (ASPiRE) math conference, where they each gave a short presentation. Dr. Kerian reported back: “Seeing their hard work pay off with a very professional set of presentations was truly inspiring!” 

Interested in learning more about Mathematics at AMU? Visit the Department webpage!


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