The world is surrounded by numbers, equations and algorithms. Numbers are objective and leave no place for speculation. But most of all, every mathematics problem presents a unique challenge. Those who are interested in mathematics are problem solvers and keen to make sense of the world around them in an analytical way. People with a mathematics degree are able to recognize mathematical applications in real-world problems.
You can do more with a math degree than continued academic research — if you’re a prospective college student wondering if you should pursue a degree dealing with numbers, read on to learn more about this rewarding option.
What Is a Math Degree?
A mathematics degree is more than solving complex number-based problems. It prepares students to make quantitative predictions and analyze data. Students can distinguish between two fields — pure math and applied math. Pure mathematics is mostly theoretical and often leads to academic careers, while you can use applied mathematics in different disciplines, such as economics, technology, science and business.
There are different kinds of Mathematics degree options:
- Associate degree: This is an introduction to the fundamental concepts of mathematics spanning over two years or less and serves as a stepping stone into a four-year bachelor’s degree or entry-level jobs in different industries.
- Bachelor’s degree: These are formal four-year degrees covering fundamentals and generally more advanced mathematics topics. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) in mathematics includes liberal arts courses, whereas a Bachelor of Science (BS) provides specialization in the mathematics and analytics fields.
- Master’s degree: A master’s is a post-graduate degree covering advanced study and research over one to two years. Students often conduct research in mathematical finance, computer science, statistics or business analytics.
- Doctoral degree: This is the highest level of education in mathematics, which takes four to seven years to complete. Although this degree can lead to any career in the field, only a few careers require it unless they come with high specializations.
There are also different course-based options or concentrations you might enjoy if you like the challenge of mathematics:
- Applied mathematics: Applied mathematics degrees differ from traditional mathematics. Students learn how to apply concepts and methods to problems in areas such as biology, physics and engineering.
- Engineering: Engineering students often take classes in calculus, linear analysis and geometry that help them understand mathematical principles in their field of study.
- Physics: Physics is a science major that heavily relies on mathematics to solve scientific problems, such as calculus, statistics and quantum mechanics.
- Computer science: Computer science degree focus on understanding programming languages and working with algorithms using data structure, number theory and linear algebra.
What Jobs Can You Get With a Math Degree?
With a mathematical degree, you can fill varied roles across all kinds of industries, depending on your subject choices. Mathematics may seem like a narrow discipline at first, but you have access to opportunities you may have never considered. Use the Career Coach Interest Assessment to discover some in-demand careers based on your interests. The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the American Mathematical Society (AMS) often post job listings and fellowship opportunities for graduates with a mathematics background.
With additional career options in finance, actuarial science, banking, insurance, computer science and statistics, the opportunities are almost infinite.
Careers in Academia and Research
Many graduates with mathematics degrees follow the academic route for the drive and challenges that come from research. Some research-based careers are based within university departments but can be more far-reaching. Example jobs in academia include:
- Math teacher
Typical Mathematics Careers
A mathematics degree opens up many opportunities for graduates across different industries. The financial and investment sectors are typical career choices, including jobs such as:
- Financial accountant
- Tax accountant
- Forensic accountant
- Budget analyst
- Financial analyst
- Cost estimator
- Financial planner
- Insurance underwriter
- Data analyst
- Investment analyst
- Data scientist
Less Typical Mathematics Careers
While most students seek out the following careers with different academic backgrounds, mathematics graduates can also get there with some specialization and subject choices:
- Purchasing agent
- Market researcher
- Software test engineer
- System integration engineer
Average Salary for a Mathematics Degree
The average salary for a degree in mathematics in Massachusetts, just as with all other degrees, depends on multiple factors, including your education, certification, additional skills and years of experience in your field. In 2023, the average pay for a math degree in Massachusetts, specifically in Boston, is $57,710 per year or $4,809 every month.
The average pay range varies greatly, which means that there are many opportunities for advancement and pay increases. For example, for a highly experienced mathematician, the average pay range typically falls between $132,899 and $172,878 per year. The best industries for mathematics degree graduates to work in are employers providing professional, scientific or technical services, the federal government and educational institutions, whether schools or colleges.
Currently, the top five best-paying jobs related to having a mathematics degree are:
- Mathematics consultant
- Mathematical engineer
- Data scientist
- Senior mathematics teacher
Most mathematicians work full time working on deadlines and last-minute requests for data analysis. They may also travel to attend seminars and conferences linked to their careers.
Is a Math Degree Worth It?
Mathematics, numbers and equations can be challenging, fun and rewarding. A math degree is a good degree to have — it teaches you analytical skills along with an analytical attitude. Employers frequently look for those with a mathematics background for their critical thinking skills.
With a projected growth of 30% by 2032, which is faster than the average for other occupations, the overall employment outlook for mathematicians and statisticians is highly positive.
Plus, mathematics is a fun major! You don’t have to be the leader of your school’s mathematics club or be an avid reader of calculus books to be successful. As long as you love numbers and solving problems and have great attention to detail, you will enjoy pursuing a challenging degree in math, and it will be totally worth it.
Start Your Mathematics Degree at the Mount
Most careers in mathematics require an associate or bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement. Mount Wachusett Community College is an open-enrollment college that makes pursuing a mathematics degree accessible to everyone. With us, you will be prepared to use the tools, techniques and theories that come with advancing in continued education or career development within the mathematics field.
Want to get started at the Mount? Request more information by filling out our online contact form with your information, or get started early with our online application process. We can’t wait to give you a supportive college experience.