Mathematics is the study of quantity, change and logic as it is applied to the solution of both concrete and theoretical problems. Mathematicians work in a broad range of occupational sectors. Find out if studies in math are right for you.
Mathematics is a much broader field than merely arithmetic. In its theoretical form, mathematics is the study of patterns, logic and quantity. In its applied form, math is used to develop new financial instruments, understand statistical patterns and make predictions, keep track of complex financial structures of modern corporations and develop new computer hardware. According to The College Board, applied and theoretical mathematics have a substantial overlap in actual practice, but somewhat different career paths are available depending upon one’s intended focus (www.collegeboard.com)
Students who want to study math and find employment at a college, university or private research corporation as a theoretician or postsecondary educator may consider securing the most advanced degrees in the field possible. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a Ph.D. is all but essential to secure employment in the private sector, although a master’s degree is occasionally acceptable (www.bls.gov). For those wishing to teach as secondary school mathematics teachers, a bachelor’s degree plus a teaching license is appropriate, and license requirements vary by state.
According to the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), students pursuing a career in a math-related field, such as engineering, computer science, information systems management or finance, can begin at the undergraduate level by pursuing courses in both abstract mathematics and concrete areas in the related discipline (www.siam.org). For graduate study, it is common to take a degree in the discipline a student will eventually be working in, but a solid mathematical foundation may be necessary in fields such as computer science and engineering, as it will be an integral part of day-to-day work, according to SIAM data and career profiles. The links from Study.com below can help you get started in choosing the mathematics education appropriate for you.
- Mathematics Degrees by Level
- Statistics Degrees by Level
- Mathematics for Secondary Education Bachelor’s Degree
- Computer Science Graduate Degrees
A variety of specializations are available for students seeking a career in this field. The links below provide some options, but click through Study.com to find out information on other specializations in math.
Distance Learning Options
Online learning options for math students are plentiful and range from diploma programs to doctoral degrees. Check out these links to learn more about distance learning opportunities available in math, finance and more.
- Online Accounting Diploma
- Math Degrees Online
- Choosing an Online Statistics Program
- Online Finance Post-Graduate Programs
Math can serve as a solid foundation for a number of divergent career paths or be pursued as a research field in private industry or the public sector. Below are a few examples of careers that can be pursued with a math degree. These links can provide you with information on education and other requirements for careers using mathematics.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the BLS, mathematicians working on fundamental research in scientific research and development services made a mean annual wage of $124,450 as of May 2013. The organization also reported that as of the same date mathematicians employed in postsecondary education made a mean annual wage of $78,500, while secondary educators received a mean annual wage of $58,260. In addition, careers in applied mathematics can be lucrative and are expected to be in high demand in the future. For example, the BLS projected a 23% increase in the number of mathematicians from 2012-2022 as well as a 15% increase in the need for computer scientists during the same time frame. The mean annual wage for computer scientists as of May 2013 was $109,260.
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