Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Simple Math of U.S. Math Jobs

From the please-please-please-prove-me-wrong-but-numbers-don't-lie department:

In light of all the political jaw-boning about Science, Engineering, and Math education and careers; the huge unmet demand that is supposedly leaving so many Americans behind; we thought we’d take a look at the simple mathematical prospects for the mathematically gifted and inclined of all nations, who might take an interest in such amazing, high value jobs in the U.S., according to latest available (2011) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Occupational Employment Statistics (OES).

per 1,000 Jobs
Mathematical Technicians
Mathematical Science Teachers, Postsecondary
Mathematical Science Occupations, All Other

A "catch-all" major group called Computer and Mathematical Occupations achieves a whopping 26.557 out of 1,000 jobs (2.7%) with an impressive looking mean wage of $78,730, by conflating all the following occupations, many of which honestly have very little or nothing to do with math* in the everyday context: Computer and Information Research Scientists ; Computer Systems Analysts* ; Computer Programmers* ; Software Developers, Applications* ; Software Developers, Systems Software* ; Database Administrators* ; Network and Computer Systems Administrators* ; Computer Support Specialists* (joking, right?) ; Information Security Analysts*, Web Developers* (laughable), and Computer Network Architects* ; Computer Occupations, All Other* ; Actuaries ; Mathematicians ; Operations Research Analysts ; Statisticians ; Mathematical Technicians ; Mathematical Science Occupations, All Other.  So this mashup category is pretty much useless as an apple to apples comparison; although Mathematicians proper do ring in at a nifty mean wage of $101,320. Ignore that Marketing Manager behind the curtain at $126,190.

In contrast, the occupation code providing the greatest number of jobs is Office and Administrative Support Occupations with a whopping 166.702 per 1,000 jobs (16.7%) and annual mean wage of $34,120.

What is the highest wage OES category? Anesthesiologists, 0.260 of every 1,000 jobs (0.03%) with annual mean wage of  $234,950. There's just something aesthetically and poetically compelling about the people who put us to sleep, who keep us numbed to the real state of affairs, being the most highly compensated of all career categories.

So yeah, missy, do your math homework; and if have dreams of emigrating to the U.S., be sure to do all the hard work to get a visa, so you can capitalize on all the awesome math jobs in the U.S. Don’t worry, you can always transition to marketing after you get there with the super impressive, irrelevant math story.