How to Become Mathematics

This article provides in-depth information into What is Mathematics? What Mathematics do? Degrees for Mathematics, Steps to become Mathematics and much more.


What does a career in mathematics entail? 

Mathematics is a challenging, introspective and a hands-on subject. Mathematics opens a multitude of avenues for students who have a degree in it. Mathematics related degrees provide many traditionalist job opportunities like a teaching position or employment as an actuary. Mathematics tics can be combined with other curriculums like science, computer science, or even economics to provide more in-depth and extensive knowledge. The appeal of math is that it is universally applicable to almost every field or industry today, and the potential for optimum growth is extensive.

Usually, math majors split into two main or distinct job careers. Some may work in academia or research. Others may work in diverse industry roles. Thanks to the growing importance placed on technology, big data and economic efficiency by all kinds of organizations, expert number crunchers are increasingly in demand. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2018 and 2028, the job market for mathematicians is expected to grow by a whopping 30 per cent, with a predicted median salary of US$88,190.Mathematical experts are in demand across all kinds of industries the world over.

Study math and you’ll have access to career opportunities in sectors you may never have even considered, including specialized fields such as in law or medicine. However, a large number of math careers are based within business or science and technology-related sectors, with math graduates occupying roles such as accountant, actuary, statistician, technician, economist or market researcher.

Steps to become /establish a career in mathematics

Get a Bachelor’s degree 

Usually in order to get an esteemed position or career in the field of mathematics or a field relating to it, one must have the prerequisite of a master’s degree. But there are plenty of employment opportunities they can be achieved by just holding a bachelors degree. For instance, working for the federal government. Bachelor degrees come in the format of Bachelor of Arts (BA) or the bachelor of science (BS). The most utilised cover surge topics are as follows-

  •  Calculus 
  •  Linear algebra 
  •  Differential equations 

Training in an additional subject 

Most universities encourage students and candidates to endure additional and extensive training in a secondary or even tertiary subject. This aids students in utilising their knowledge in particular fields or career paths .students are encouraged to take coursework in supplementary and complementary fields likes-

  • Physics 
  • Computer science 
  • Statistics 
  • Engineering 
  • Fulfilment of other requirements
  • It is also imperative for students to learn and excel in data analysis software. Some universities impose requirements entailing students to take an introductory course in computer programming and software. 

Get a Master’s degree 

A masters degree program focuses on a particular field of mathematics, ie a specialisation. For instance, if a candidate wishes to pursue teaching they may enrol in masters in the art of teaching (MAT). Master degree programs are usually on campus that requires a thesis or a comprehensive and extensive final exam.

Master degree programs may emphasise on industrial or applied mathematics. Coursework May include the following.

  • Mathematical models 
  • Algebra 
  • Number theory
  • Discrete mathematics 

Pursue a Doctoral degree

This degree is not usually required but would open up avenues of highly lucrative jobs, once this degree has been completed one can assail research or teaching jobs or even assistantships. Proficiency in foreign languages may be required. Courses in doctoral programs are designed to help students conduct independent and autonomous research. Classes may include the following:

  • Differential manifolds 
  • Combinatorics 
  • Partial differential equations 
  • Logic 

Salaries  

According to the US Bureau of laundry statistics in 2018, actuaries made an approximate annual salary /wage of $116,250, financial advisors made $121,770 and statisticians earned approximately $92,700. Employment in this particular field is highly lucrative and is also expected to grow faster than the average of most occupations. Research Scientists earn approximately $108,360, economists, on the other hand, earn $95,710. 

Job growth 

Mathematical careers, in general, are highly lucrative and are dependent on where exactly potential employers are hiring or even job hunting. The following statistics are provided by the US Bureau of labour statistics-

Mathematicians-23% growth between 2012 -2022

Actuaries - 26% growth between 2012 -2022

Operation research analysts- 27% growth between 2012 -2022

Statisticians - 27% growth between 2012-2022

Post-secondary teachers - 19% growth between 2012-2022

Financial Analyst -16% growth between 2012-2022 

Types of degrees

Associate’s degree

An associates degree is usually offered at particular 2-year colleges, although a high school diploma or GED is a must, students have the choice between associates of art or associates of science. Every mathematics degree program combines general education and specialisation. Students who wish to pursue an associates degree may take a variety of courses at the basic and intermediary level. Programmes include:

  • Calculus 
  • Intermediate algebra 
  • Basic statistics 
  • Problem-solving 

Bachelors degree

Students who show an interest in pursuing a bachelors degree may choose between a bachelor’s in arts or a bachelor’s in science. once again a high school diploma or GED is a necessary prerequisite. The bachelor of science trains students for a career in math and provides them with extensive knowledge regarding graduate programs. The Bachelor of Arts degree is intended for students wishing to teach math in grades K-12. Bachelor degree programs include :

  • Probability and statistics 
  • Abstract algebra 
  • Applied probability 
  • Advanced calculus 

Master’s degree

People who show an interest in teaching applied mathematics can pursue a Master of Arts degree or a master of science degree in mathematics. This type of degree is appropriate and deserving of high school teachers who wish to improve their credentials and performance. Curriculums in a masters program include the following -

  • Symbolic algebra
  • Algorithms 
  • Graph theory 

PhD or doctorate

Doctoral programmes imbibe within students the ability to train students to become aspiring researchers and scholars. A masters degree is a prerequisite for entering and participating in this field, these programmes usually take 4-6years. Courses and seminars emphasise independent research projects. Courses in the doctoral programme include the following:

Differential manifolds 

Combinatorics 

Logic 

Analytic number theory 

Algebraic number theory 

Concentrations to consider

Actuaries: actuaries provide an extensive analysis of statistical data like mortality rates, injuries, birth rates, retirement rates, etc. Actuaries are mainly involved with risk allocation and dispersal, they create new policies for both firms and individuals, in order to minimise associated risks. Specific duties involve compiling and analysing statistical data. Actuarial roles can be client-facing, as with consultancies and pensions/insurance companies, and all actuaries will require the skill of communicating complex data and analyses to non-specialists.

Qualification: an undergraduate degree or associate degree in either math, economics or statistics.

Salary : $3,937-$3,2812

Cost estimator: an individual who assess how much a planned future project or product would be approximate. a cost estimator draws up recommendations on future endeavours and their varying levels of success and predicting profitability. They integrate Analysis of factors like raw materials cost labour production factors and so on. Most distinctly prediction of the feasibility of future risky endeavours.

Qualification: a bachelors degree in mathematics, statistics or economics.

Salary :$3,543-$7,875

Economist: economics is now widely accepted and regarded as a numerical and empirical science, although the job of an economist is to identify and accordingly solve them, they are also responsible for the requisition of resources and raw materials. These professionals contribute to the knowledge of the field by publishing articles in industry-based journals.

Qualifications: a person possessing a masters degree or a PhD in economics.

Salary:$3,941.66-$17,080.56

Market researcher: they aid with the inspection of market condition and analysis of potential sales of a particular product, commodity or service. They conduct a series of polls and surveys to better understand and comprehend factors that will affect sales of products, commodities or services. They are an integral part of any new product launch. 

Qualification:a bachelors degree

Salary :$1,313.89-$10,511.11

Statisticians: a statisticians makes use of statistical and mathematical theorems to collect and interpret numerical inputs and hence provide usable efficient information .a statistician creates reports that would make it clear that their research is impeccable. Statisticians’ skills are required in numerous industries, ranging from healthcare to government and from finance to sport. You'll be tasked with managing, collecting and arranging data by means of surveys, experiments and contextual analysis.

Qualification: a masters degree in statistics or even mathematics.

Salary:$2,627.78-$13,138.89

Accountancy and finance: A career in accountancy offers a range of options for maths graduates across many different industries. Accountancy jobs include roles such as auditor, tax accountant, forensic accountant, management accountant and corporate advisor. To become a chartered accountant, in addition to an undergraduate degree in mathematics or a related area, you’ll also need to gain further professional qualifications. Often, however, if you start at a company as a trainee in this field, your employer will help you gain both the experience and the professional certification needed to develop in your role.

Banking: Opportunities in banking range from the world of retail banking to corporate investment banking. Both arenas deal with financial assessment – public and private – with opportunities to specialize in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, bonds and shares, privatization, lending and IPOs (initial public offerings). Duties can include market research, creating new business opportunities, and developing financial models and solutions to present to clients. Math careers in banking can be lucrative, but again, professional qualifications in finance will be needed for some roles.

Academia and research: Careers in academia and research are very popular among mathematics students. This route may appeal to those who want the challenge of driving forward the next series of discoveries, theories and applications of the field – as well as the prestige of following some of history’s greatest mathematical minds. Academic and research-based careers in math can be incredibly wide-ranging and will depend on what area you wish to specialize in.

Preparing yourself for a career in mathematics

A career in mathematics or relating to it would require an extensive background in math will prepare you for work in the fields of science, mathematics, education or even technology and business and analysis. Employment opportunities in their field may involve a career as a statistical analyst, financial advisor, mathematician. Employment is inherently dependent on contact hours spent on the accomplishment of the accompanying degree or job. 15-18 hours of contact time a week is typical though this varies depending upon the university and the year of study.

Stand out skills

Learning skills - in order to attain and maintain accomplished math-related career one must have extensive learning skill. Individuals interested in their particular field take in complex information to formulate theories and come up with viable solutions.

Communication skills- in order to be efficiently successful in the field of your choice one must possess extensive communication skills. Verbal and written communication skills are critical. Communication within and outside the company are integral for the smooth functioning of the venture.

Systems analysis skills- this skill involves figuring out and sufficiently analysing systems to function perfectly and smoothly within their environment. This would aid professionals in understanding and comprehending how the ever-changing dynamic worlds of science and technology and finance can be highly influential on the work they’re doing. 

Teamwork skills: the ability to work cordially and functioning within a structured team is integral. As inputs from every individual must be accepted and utilised if it is good . Mathematical careers actually require a great deal of collaboration and cooperation to find viable and extensive solutions.

Decision-Making Skills: employees are often made to take important decisions with limited resources within a constraint of time, this is where impulse judgement comes into play as they must rely on their ability to understand complex information and act as strong advocates on behalf of their clients.