Given that in a 2013 survey shows that they now earn about
the same as - or slightly higher than - a typical Beverly Hills plastic
surgeon, are mathematicians now America’s most lucrative profession?

By: Ringo Bones

An overwhelming majority of the American public view career
mathematicians as lone researchers into the most abstruse of matters, but
frequently, America’s career mathematicians frequently work with other
scientists. A survey conducted back in 2013 has shown that the median annual
salary of a career mathematician in the United States was about U.S. $101,360 –
comparable to that of a typical Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. Given that
career tenured mathematicians in the United States could turn out to be one of
the best-paid jobs, could there be any prevailing trends that lead to this
rather fortunate outcome? Though, if you ask me, one should not put a cheap
price on brain power.

Since the internet boom of the latter half of the 1990s,
“big data” and the analytical mathematical models describing them had become a
hot commodity for the top commercial internet firms. Remember how career
statistician Nate Silver (full name Nathaniel Read Silver) who used mathematics
to show an uncannily accurate Obama victory prediction for the 2012 U.S.
Presidential Race weeks before the November election via the use of big data is
a powerful proof of the power of mathematics. Though years before, Nate
Silver’s powerful analytic mathematical contribution to Major League Baseball
has been immortalized in the movie Money Ball.

Will – if favorable trends continue – career mathematicians
will soon be earning more money than investment bankers? Could be, given that
the leading internet firms had been inexplicably quick in commoditizing and
monetizing big data and are also very keen on using analytical mathematics to
describe and predict trends via big data – or to use higher mathematics to
manipulate big data for commercial gain.