Why you should learn to love maths

January 6, 2009

In a new survey of the best and worst jobs by CareerCast.com, the numbers add up to a trifecta for math: the top three rated jobs are, in ascending order, statistician, actuary and, mathematician.

Indeed, it is inarguable that math-skills dominate the top ten list, with biologist, software engineer, and computer systems analyst occupying the fourth, fifth and sixth slots and accountancy the tenth.

In an interesting commentary on the findings in the Wall Street Journal, the reasons behind the triumph of math-related work include the calming effect of problem solving, general low stress, the ability to work from home (which translates into not having to work in unpleasant conditions), and good pay.

Being a lumberjack was rated as the worst job for reasons of danger, poor pay, and no real opportunity for career progression; still, the Journal managed to find a lumberjack to counter the findings:

“It’s a very rewarding job, especially at the end of the day when you see the work you accomplished,” he says. Mr. Nellans, 35, didn’t become discouraged even after he accidentally knocked down a dead tree and broke his right leg in the process four years ago. “I was back in the woods cutting timber in five weeks,” he says.


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