Bierman graduated from Bates College in Maine in 1977 with a B.A. in mathematics and economics and then received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. While serving as a professor at Carleton College in Minnesota for 27 years, he also served as academic dean, chair of the economics department, and faculty president. Bierman has authored several books and written extensively on a wide range of topics, particularly game theory, public sector, experimental economics and industrial organization. In 2009 Bierman became President of Beloit College in Wisconsin. He also serves on the board of trustees at Bates College.