I have a math degree but no job

I graduated in 09 with a BS in mathematics. I haven't been able to find a job in the field for five years. I was working for the army and coaching mma to pay the bills but after making the mistake of moving back to St. Louis my life has slowly fallen apart. I can live with the personal disappoint but not the professional. Since I have a little programming back ground my degree is best suited for DOD type analyst work but I have had zero luck finding anything. I am to the point where I am willing to go back to school but I want a game plan with a focused destination.

So I am looking into several things. Teaching....that's pretty straight forward but I already have the harder degree so I would like to look at everything before I cut my earning potential in half. Obviously I can go back to school to beef up my programming abilities but I want to cut through the bullshit and get some advice from someone in the industry saying hey you need to focus on these ten classes or whatever so I don't end up in college another three years and still no job.

I am willing to move anywhere and start entry level for the opportunity to learn and grow in a filed. It shouldn't be this hard. I don't get it. I keep hearing how valued my degree is but I don't see it.

I guess I am looking for some advice. What steps should I take with my education to make myself a better candidate?

I will pay you to do my math classes. Spoofing the IP isn't the toughest thing in the world (online classes) so you can move to Denver and do the classes on my PC. Beats me having to login to a proxy whenever I need to do my non-math classes. 

Hang in there.

Have you thought about becoming an Actuary? If you can get the license, you are pretty much guaranteed a job and $100K+ salary.

Who said a math degree was highly valued?

Comp sci obvious jump from math degree and will open up many more doors. Concentrate on network security if you go this route - good white hats are incredibly hard to find. "Good" being the keyword. Being good enough at school to earn a degree counts for something but not much. Work on practical things that prove you add value. Phone Post 3.0

Maybe try getting on with Boeing? I know they were hiring a few months back.

Above post based on you mentioning "tech" in OP. As previous poster
Mentioned, accounting / finance much more lucrative relatives of math degree. Phone Post 3.0

ShakeR_ - Who said a math degree was highly valued?

Comp sci obvious jump from math degree and will open up many more doors. Concentrate on network security if you go this route - good white hats are incredibly hard to find. "Good" being the keyword. Being good enough at school to earn a degree counts for something but not much. Work on practical things that prove you add value. Phone Post 3.0


Why would you say math would be a good lead in to infosec? I suck ass at math and am headed toward infosec. 



What about Engineering OP? Look into jobs with oil companies and see what might be in your realm? They have loads of money. That or become a seasonal crab fisherman. 

I envy you OP. I cannot tell you how many times I have pondered how much pussy I would get if I could just do math. 

aren't most math grad wanted in banking?

I've got a BS in math also, I pretend I know what I'm doing but mostly it's just bulllshit. Phone Post 3.0

Boeing is mostly looking for programmers. Love the responses so far. Everything in the banking world I look at is asking for 2-5 years experience. I am not looking for big money starting out at all...just an opportunity. <br /><br />I will look more into being an actuary as well and more into network securities<br /><br /><br />

Why don't you just get into programming?

a math degree is respected in the software community

Go back and study game theory. I know some math guys who make super bank developing casino games and online gambling sites. With the math skills, all it takes is one introduction to the network of hundreds of startups that are developing around online gambling.

Seriously, you get into that network and people will start cold calling you and offering you stupid money.

Hey in case you get bored, Mike Piazza lives in St Louis and if you tell him I sent you, you can get a great deal on molly. Seriously.

I hope this helps. Phone Post 3.0

interesting post above me, regarding the school you go to. I forgot that about the US. apparently you can learn all the programming stuff online but i don't remember the sites, also there's the university courses online like cs50x (was in the documentary Ivory Tower). it sounds like op should be having a lot of free time?

one question, how do you get by? what are you doing?

I'm in a similar situation to OP, not with a math degree, but I'm employed in a professional field with unrelated skills i picked up, except that it's always been with universities so the glass ceiling is pretty low and there's no stability as grant funding comes and goes. I'm also looking into going back to school. It's tough though, I've noticed that I've put up barriers for myself instead of diving into things... so I'm not helping myself. My friend went back for a bioinformatics masters and he had no trouble finding a job, he said it's most important to find a program with internships, he did a bunch of them and had no problem finding really good ones all over the country.

AnotherTMAguy - Hang in there.

Have you thought about becoming an Actuary? If you can get the license, you are pretty much guaranteed a job and $100K+ salary.
This is a good field with a very positive job outlook in the current economy. I work with many actuaries and actually started out as one before switching to something else.

Try passing the first exam and it will look great on a resume and might get you in the door. This is the field that unlike banking doesn't care about top school names. Phone Post 3.0

PrivAte contract as a math Tudor Phone Post 3.0

That's really shit. Sorry to hear that bruv.

My only advice is if you are willing to start at the bottom and work your way up to do anything.

Start with what you think you will REALLY love. No matter how shitty the job. Because then you will enjoy work and probably become great at it and advance quickly because your passion is in it.



Good luck hope you find what you need. Phone Post 3.0

AnotherTMAguy - Hang in there.

Have you thought about becoming an Actuary? If you can get the license, you are pretty much guaranteed a job and $100K+ salary.
Listen to this man. The Actuary exam is harder than any other license exam but it's purely math driven.

Moreover not many people have it so no over saturation like lawyers. Phone Post 3.0

Couple of years as a private tutor in the UAE could set you to finish off your schooling, or you can always go work for one of the oil companies in North Dakota or Alberta.  They always need mathmaticians to help out the engineers to make sure the pressure is right in fracking units.