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Trying to find the right career path


Richard Bender Davenport, FL

I am having a hard time finding a career that will be challenging while still allowing me the opportunity to use my analytical math skills.

1 February 2019 15 replies General



Darlene Casstevens Oxford, NC

Hi Richard,
I hear you. Life happens! You will have to find someone willing to give you a chance. Networking is always the best way to get a job. Try to think of someone you know who
could recommend you for a job. The job won't have to involve math or accounting at first
because once someone at the company recognizes your talent, you will probably get a more suitable job. You just need to get a "toe" in the door.
Dr. Darlene Casstevens


Scott Gagnon Winthrop, MA

My employer - Navisite - runs and manages a Veterans services job board assisting transitioning veterans like you. Opportunities and resources across the US. Look here:

Good luck and thank you for your service.


Patrick E Alcorn Arlington, TX

Self employment is a viable option for transitioning service men and women. Join us at Check out the FREE Boots to Business TAPS class near you. Start by determining your lifestyle needs:


Susan Fernandez Denver, CO

Have you taken the new version of Myers-Briggs at
It’s free, and it provides a thorough assessment, including examples of work that suits your personality type.

It’ll be an ‘ah ha!’ moment, provided you answer the exam questions in a forthright manner. Best wishes!


Ronald Crumity Orlando, FL

Are you still in the Orlando area? If so, try going onto Disney have positions that will tailor to almost any skill or qualification.


Paul Trejo Austin, TX


Thanks for your years of service. As to your quandary, here is a high-level approach.

You will be entering civilian industry, which more or less blindly (and efficiently) places people based on their past experience. This means that your resume must emphasize all the times that you used your math skills.

By the way -- the promising field today is Artificial Intelligence (AI) which uses what is called "Data Analytics," or "Big Data" to compete for a company's market share.

This would be challenging -- since it is a new field and filled with scientists -- and it would also give you the opportunity to use your analytical math skills.

Where does it fit into Industry? Let me simplify for purposes of illustration. There are basically seven organic parts to any company -- whether a one-man shop, or a multinational corporation of 50,000 employees.

The seven parts are: (1) Stockholding; (2) Human Resources; (3) Advertising; (4) Sales; (5) Accounting; (6) Production; and (7) Marketing.

Every modern company -- big or small -- has these seven Departments. They are organic to business. You and I and every worker will fit into one or more of these Departments. The more we know about all seven, the better for our individual careers. (A CEO has typically mastered all of them.)

Now -- obviously -- the first place for a Data Analytics worker is Accounting and its specialization, Finance. Financial projections for Purchasing, for Manufacture, for Overhead, for Competition, for Growth -- are the life-blood reports of any company (big or small).

Yet the Data Analytics worker is also welcome in the Board of Directors at a Stockholders meeting.

The Data Analytics worker is also welcome in Human Resources, since analysis of recruitment techniques, benefits maximization, retirement schedules, odds of lawsuits, comprise a budding new field.

The Data Analytics worker is also welcome in the Advertising Department, in order to statistically demonstrate which Advertising campaigns with which superstar entertainer can yield the highest public response.

The Data Analytics worker is also welcome in the Sales Department, tracking minute-by-minute the commissions of Sales force (a full 10% of every company). This can be very technically demanding.

The Data Analytics worker is also welcome in Production, where parts and labor on a factory floor can yield a taxonomy of astounding complexity. Further, there is a time-element involved in Production that alters that taxonomy dynamically.

The Data Analytics worker is also welcome in Marketing, which surveys buying customers for feedback and opinions on their purchasing experience. This data can sometimes amount to billions and billions of rows of data, and its Analysis can recommend a direction for Production and all other departments.

In the long-term, the Data Analytics worker will predominate in all these Departments. That's my opinion. To get started (if you haven't already) I advise learning a modern software tool that is free for the download. Microsoft Power BI is only one of many.

These tools are the entry point for modern AI applications that are the wave of the future.

Best wishes,


Julie Carr East Haven, CT

Based on your background you are a perfect fit for a lot of small to midsize companies looking for talent to help not only with analytics but an overall business acumen. You might want to start with consulting and heading to a local chamber of commerce meeting to meet some folks and get an idea of what is needed and if you are a fit.


John Volpe Seaford, NY

Richard :

With your background I’m sure you would do well in any analytical position . Here’s the problem : do you really want to work in a job that may consume 10 +hours of your working day, particularly if you’re the primary care provider for your daughter?

Why not consider a career in teaching ? While it will not pay the same as a data analyst, you would be better able to care and spend more time with your daughter.

Good luck .


Keith Van Sickle Menlo Park, CA

Your background seems a good fit for the position of financial analyst in a company. You have the necessary accounting background (more than necessary, actually) and you've run your own business. You could be a great business partner to the people running a company or a division of a company. This kind of job does not need an IT degree of any kind, though of course you need to be comfortable using computers, doing queries, etc. I've hired lots of financial analysts and your background definitely fits. Best of luck.


Richard Bender Davenport, FL

I have looked at business analyst but, most appear to want someone with a BS in computer Science. I looked at management consulting but most want 10 years experience and I lack that. Ideally I would like something where I can analyze projects, products, or departments and prepare reports that would save expenses or increase cash flow. I’m just coming up short and not sure how to get in the door.

My resume consists of 3 yrs public accounting, 3 years senior tax analyst at a world wide bank, than I left and started a landscape company for the last 4-5 years. (My wife at the time left me and our 3 month old daughter and I could not commute 1 hr each way work 60+hrs and father an infant solo.) Ruth is now in kindergarten and I’m trying to get back into the Corp world but how do you get someone to give you a shot when you been out of the game for 4 years due to life?


Gerald Mannikarote Houston, TX

Hi Richard,
You've received a lot of great advice here. I would echo those that talked about business analytics. There is a need for analysts in sales organizations and you may be a good fit for that.
There is also a growing need for analysts in healthcare- big data in healthcare. You may find you have a niche there.
I hope this helps.
Warm regards,


Zach Tamer Lorton, VA

I agree with the above answer that something in Data Analytics could be good fit. If you have any interest in IT, Software Engineers use quite a bit of math as well.


Jennifer Polhemus Santa Monica, CA

Gallup's StrengthsQuest might help. All online and cost is just $20. For me and my colleagues, it was very accurate.


David Andersen Alexandria, VA

With a bachelors degree in finance and accounting, and a love for analytical math, you may want to consider one of the following:
- management consulting - business analysts work with finance numbers daily to try and decode solutions for complex business problems
- Data analyst/scientist - you will need to get some coding experience, but it is a great job for people who like manipulating data to develop insights

also take a look at the following link for jobs for people who like math

All the best


Andrea Bryant New York, NY

Hello Richard,

Thanks for your question. Finding the right career path is a daunting task for any of us, especially if you haven't been exposed to all of the possibilities. I would recommend beginning here:

This will give you a better idea of the industry that may be your calling. Once you've identified some potential areas, I would suggest using this site, specifically the Community feature, to find advisors in your areas of interest. Careers, companies and thus possibilities can be varied, and building a network of those who have experience would be invaluable in helping you to determine how to move forward.

Keep us updated on what you decide, and keep posting questions as you narrow down a great fit for your future!



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