I am a college freshman, and I really like to have goals for my life, one of the big ones is my career of choice. Previously, I have always wanted to be a programmer, and I have written a lot of code. But it seems to me that programming can get slightly bland, whereas math never disappoints me. So my question is asking whether or not it would be a economically-feasible idea to me a mathematician. Note that I don't really care about being rich, I just want to do something I love, and keep learning for the rest of my life. What careers exist today that make mathematics a money-making (however little) job?
I was thinking I'd have lots of fun in 3 main options: programming, mathematics higher-ed, and being an actuary. I've been accepted to an REU program at Mayo Medical School this summer as a disease modeler where I would be using Matlab to model many problems there. I'm excited for that. I currently carry a 4.0 GPA in mathematics and about a 3.9 overall, and I think I would stay that way.
I just want to make sure I like what I do. Sometimes in the math forum here I get a little scared because everyone asks questions that I don't even know the answer to, even though I get all the answers correct here.
Thanks to everyone. Can't wait to have a lively discussion.