Mathematics Schools Colleges & Universities

Mathematics colleges can prepare you for all kinds of math-centric careers. You can earn a Ph.D. and be a mathematician or combine a bachelor's with math and education and teach. There are several stops in related and not-so-related fields along the way.

Mathematics Schools Can Prepare You for Unique and Rewarding Careers: For a select few, math is more than a couple of classes you struggle through on your way through college. Math is the degree. It's intended to lead to a career in math. Of course, the road through mathematics schools is fraught with every math class imaginable and the oft-chosen destination for the mathematician is a doctoral degree.

Careers in Mathematics: Calling yourself a mathematician can be tricky. Mathematicians are encouraged to earn a Ph.D or at least a master's degree. Many either teach math or work for the federal government, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS.

If you only earn a bachelor's degree, you are usually limited to work in:

  • • K-12 education
  • • Various federal government positions

In the private sector, competition demands master's degrees in mathematics. However, in research--because there are usually more doctorate graduates than job openings--master's degrees in mathematics won't cut it. There still is hope, as many mathematicians work in related fields such as computer science where degrees in mathematics are highly prized.

According to the BLS, complicated math-heavy occupations suit graduates of mathematics schools well, such as:

  • • operations research
  • • engineering
  • • statistics
  • • actuarial science
  • • physics

Several related fields depend on applied mathematics to varying degrees, such as behavioral sciences, life sciences, geology, chemistry, finance, economics, industrial management, business and computer science.

The BLS reported that in 2008 there were almost 2,900 mathematicians. Combing college level teachers in science and math, they reported just less than 54,800 teachers. While 1,000 mathematicians work for the federal government, almost 81 percent of those federal employees work within the Department of Defense.

Mathematics colleges can prepare you for a lucrative career as a mathematician. In 2008, the median annual wages were $95,150. The federal government rewards even better. In 2008, mathematicians' average annual salary was $107,051; $107,015 for mathematical statisticians and $101,645 for cryptanalysts.

Overall, the BLS expects this occupation to grow by 700 jobs in the 2008-2018 decade. That doesn't sound like much, but it's 22 percent growth of the field.

Mathematics Colleges: As a student in mathematics schools, you can earn your core classwork in just about any community college and up. Several universities champion great math departments where you can take your education all the way to the graduate level and point yourself in the direction of education, research or applied mathematics. Most universities break down their degrees in mathematics into either pure or applied math.

Typical courses include algebra, calculus and differential equations. You might also take statistics, topology and mathematical logic. Graduate classes in mathematics schools could include research and advanced classes in the above subjects.

You may be required to take courses in related fields, such as computer science, physical science, economics or engineering. Double degrees in mathematics with another field are popular as well. While in high school, those that want to attend mathematics colleges should take as much math as possible before college.

The writer Matt Riddle is a freelance writer based out of Reno, Nev. A journalism graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, Riddle was a newspaper reporter and then an account coordinator for a political consultant in Reno where he worked for several successful campaigns. His interests are many, but CrossFit, rock climbing, reading and writing, skiing, snowboarding, fatherhood and acting round up the list.

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