sealPurdue News

May 1996

Math degree may add up to career opportunities

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Learning mathematics provides the versatility and "technical muscle" needed in a wide variety of fields, says Carol Barrett, associate director of Purdue University's Placement Service.

The number of companies coming to campus to find mathematics graduates has risen by 20 percent during the past year. Students who combine a mathematics degree with computer science skills are especially in demand, she says. "Interested employers include high-tech companies and businesses such as insurance and consulting," she says.

Purdue math graduates have found jobs in banks, insurance companies, schools, business, industry, government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Security Agency, and numerous other organizations. Professor Richard Penney says the problem-solving and computational skills acquired in mathematics can prepare graduates for a variety of creative and challenging positions in businesses ranging from aerospace and electronics to software and telecommunications.

Furthermore, graduate schools in law, medicine, engineering and other fields look favorably on the analytical skills of math majors, says James McClure, professor of mathematics. "Many of our graduates use their mathematics training as a springboard to advanced studies," he says.

Penney, who organizes two campus events each year to inform students, parents and teachers about career opportunities in mathematics, has posted further information on career opportunities in math on the Purdue Department of Mathematics World Wide Web page at

CONTACTS: Barrett, (765) 494-3981; Internet,
Penney, (765) 494-1968; Internet,
McClure, (765) 494-2719; Internet,
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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