Employer Expectations & Occupational Stats in Mathematics
Employer Expectations & Occupational Stats in Mathematics
Category of Data Source
– Students should develop the following skills: active learning, communication, problem-solving, decision making, and systems analysis (Zansler, n.d.)
– Certain positions are expected to be certified
· Actuaries need the Casualty Actuarial Society certification
· Financial analysts licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
– Graduates highly skilled using mathematical tools such as graphing calc., map creation software, analytical software such as Minitab and UNISTAT Statistical Pkg., and data scanners
– Typical entry-level education is a masters degree
– Basic understanding of computer programming
– Excellent understanding of statistics, calculus, and linear algebra
– Math occupation careers are expected to grow by 33% from 2016 to 2026 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019)
– Will open over 50,000 more jobs
– The median annual wage of $88,190 in 2018
The expectations of employers in the mathematics field are quite high. The majority of entry-level positions require a Masters degree with basic computer programming skills and excellent advanced math skills (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019). A BA in Math from Jamestown would not be enough for many positions, but many of the employers desired soft and technical skills are addressed in the program description such as problem-solving, critical skills, and communication skills. Jamestown college states that students will be prepared for various careers post-graduation including mathematicians, math teachers, actuaries, and financial analysts (Case Study Program Overview, Jamestown College, 2017). The occupational statistics of a career in mathematics show a positive future with an expected growth of 33% within a ten-year period to amount to over 50,000 more jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019). However, multiple career paths, such as actuaries and financial analysts, are required to be licensed in entry-level positions. Jamestown College attempts to address important aspects of employer expectations to best prepare students for a bright future in the occupation.
Both employer expectations and occupational statistics are relevant in academic program evaluation. Alignment of an institution’s programs with the correlating job industry is pivotal to students’ future success. Employers do not want to hire students in the mathematics field who do know understand calculus or computer programming and have not developed the necessary soft skills. The BA in Mathematics program was created to produce graduates armed with the new knowledge and skills of the field to be successful in the industry. Closing the expectation gap between students and potential employers is done by aligning a program with what is needed in the industry. According to Jamestown College, its program to go to graduate school (Case Study Program Overview, Jamestown College, 2017). The employer expectations for an entry-level job typically requires a Masters degree, so the college is aligning itself with what the industry requires. Occupational statistics can aid in program evaluation as well because it provides the necessary data of the field such as salaries, competitiveness, occupation growth, and job outlook. Any jobs that are disappearing or not part of the overall industry growth should not be part of a developing program.
Reviewing the program outcomes and student outcomes, the necessary entry-level skills in the mathematics field should be included. If the average employer expectations are not addressed by the college, then the evaluation shows a poorly developed program. The importance of program alignment with its career market is just as important as with the institutional mission. For example, the student outcomes of a graduate from the BA Math program should have “sophisticated math skills, the capacity to apply mathematical abilities within real-world contexts”, and the knowledge to use appropriate software (Case Study Program Overview, Jamestown College, 2017, p. 2). These outcomes are all elements of the employee expectations, so the program is successful regarding student preparation. The data from the occupational statistics should be reflected in the career outcomes of the program. Careers that Jamestown College lists are potential career paths post-graduation are all part of the ten-year expected growth (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019). Therefore, students are not attending college in pursuit of a career that is disappearing and not needed in modern society. To close the gap between graduates and employers, students need to learn how to be successful at work through the right type of assignments (Anderson, 2015). The level of success for a graduate is defined by the school’s programs and comparing the occupational statistics and employer expectations only provide proof of the program’s success or failure.
Anderson, R. (2015, September 9). Why college grads aren’t meeting employer expectation. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-college-grads-arent-meeting-employer-expectations-rania-anderson/
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019, April 12). Mathematicians and statisticians. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians-and-statisticians.htm
Case Study Program Overview, Jamestown College. (2017). Retrieved from Southern New Hampshire University, HEA 540 Case Study, Program Evaluation Course, www.snhu.edu
Zansler, S. (n.d.). Career in mathematics. Retrieved fromhttps://www.learnhowtobecome.org/careers-in-mathematics/
Employer expectations and occupational statistics can be used to evaluate the Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics program at Jamestown College. When considering alignment, how is the Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics aligned with Jamestown College’s goals on globalization? Additionally, how competitive is the undergraduate Mathematics program? For the College’s goal of globalization, they state that, “The school or Arts and Sciences will continue to develop strategies that sustain international relationships”(Mathematics Administration and Faculty, Jamestown College, 2017, p. ?). A large majority of students in the Mathematics program are earning C marks. Local and global employers are looking for employees coming out of a mathematics undergraduate program to not only have mathematics skills but also computer skills (O*Net Online, n.d.).
O*Net Online indicates that degree holders in the Mathematics discipline are in high demand and job growth is expected to increase (O*Net Online, n.d.). What could hold back the Jamestown graduate from securing a position is that the College does not have them taking any computers or electronics courses. That expertise will be required of the entry level employee. Employers are looking for their hires to have, “knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming” (O*Net Online, n.d.). An area in the existing Jamestown College curriculum where students can get this hands-on experience is during their Capstone project. The College has a goal around globalization and if that goal has anything to do with the employability of their graduates, they will need to find a way to get students the hands-on experience they’ll need in industry.
In terms of competitiveness, on O*Net Online they indicate that the largest proportion of degree holders working as mathematicians hold Master’s Degrees at 38%, 33% hold Doctoral Degrees and just 21% are working on just their Bachelor’s Degree alone (O*Net Online, n.d.). O*Net continues to assess that, “Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training” (O*Net Online, n.d.).
Employer expectations and occupational statistics support that now is a good time for Jamestown College to be engaged in a self-study in the Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics program. Employees that have earned undergraduate degrees in Mathematics are in demand and that demand is slated to increase. The occupational statistics indicate that advanced study may be needed to grow in the field, however at the entry-level, some previous experience with computers will be expected by local and global employers.
Mathematics Administration and Faculty, Jamestown College. (2017). Retrieved from Southern New Hampshire University, HEA 540 Case Study, Program Evaluation Course, www.snhu.edu
“Summary Report for: 15-2021.00 – Mathematicians.” O*NET OnLine, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-2021.00.
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