Whether we like it or not, math is part of our everyday life — we use it for nearly everything from calculating monthly budgets and paying bills to understanding baseball statistics for our fantasy leagues. It's a versatile skill that opens a lot of career possibilities, and for those who want to pursue advanced studies in algebra, calculus, geometry, theory and functional analysis, then this is the major for you.
A mathematics major studies theorems, languages and formulas found in various math subjects (e.g., algebra, calculus, number theory). Students should have critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to grasp formulas, methods and equations. Knowing the concepts is one thing — relating them to real life is another. This skill will help the transition from college to a work environment.
Something to consider
Math majors have opportunities with a bachelor of science degree, such as an actuary or operations research analyst.However, if you want to be a mathematician or something similar, you may need a graduate degree in mathematics.
Also, research the specializations within a math major at your own university. For example, some specializations include: statistics, applied mathematics, analysis and functional analysis and geometric analysis.
While in school, look for math clubs, events and competitions to participate in. It's an easy way to use the complex concepts you learn and apply them outside the classroom.
As a math major, your career options are limitless. Job industries include: corporate, insurance, investment firms and banking. Federal and state agencies also need employees with high mathematical skills. Possible job titles include: mathematician, statistician, teacher, data analyst, research analyst, actuarial scientist, financial officer, applied mathematician, credit representative and payroll specialist.
Where you could end up living
According to My Next Move, in 2013 there were eight states with average to above-average opportunities as a mathematician. States include: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey and Washington.
Salary and occupation outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2013 there were more than 3,000 people employed as mathematicians and the average salary was $103,310 in 2013. The growth rate from 2012—2022 is 23 percent, which is must faster than the average. With the growing economy, more mathematicians are needed to evaluate and process data.
Though the employment number for mathematician is small compared to other occupations, remember a math major can open up different job industries and careers, and specialization will often widen your career possibilities.
Math majors are for those who enjoy solving advanced math equations and theories, and, in the long run, can give you variety of career options after graduation.