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Career Information for a Degree in Math

Degrees in math typically cover mathematical concepts and theories and their application to real-world situations. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for math graduates.

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With a bachelor's degree in mathematics it's possible to qualify for a career as an auditor. A master's degree in mathematics is required to become a mathematician, and postsecondary math teachers are usually required to have a doctoral degree in mathematics.

Essential Information

Students in mathematics degree programs learn to apply math practically. Examples of this include large-scale planning or complex systems coordination. Mathematics is usually offered as a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree program, and higher levels of employment typically require a more advanced degree in math. Several career options are outlined below.

Career Titles Mathematician Math Teacher, Postsecondary Auditor
Education Requirements Master's degree Doctoral degree; master's degree may be sufficient for the community college level Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 21% 16% 11% (auditors and accountants)
Average Salary (2015)* $112,560 $77,290 $75,280 (auditors and accountants)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Applied Math
  • Computational Math
  • Math for Computer Science
  • Mathematical Probability and Statistics
  • Statistics, General

Career Options

A degree in math can pave the way to a career as a math teacher, mathematician or an auditor, among many other choices. Many careers for math graduates require a master's degree or higher.

Mathematician

Mathematicians often work in academia, for governments and in research settings. Some work primarily in the realm of theory and often instruct postsecondary students in mathematics along with develop new theories in the field. Others apply mathematical laws and concepts to real-world problems in a number of career environments, including business, science and engineering. They might, for example, develop mathematical models for analysis and simulation or design encryption systems. Mathematician jobs generally require at least master's-level training, though many professionals in this field hold a Ph.D. Some federal government jobs may be available to individuals with a bachelor's degree.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mathematician jobs were expected to grow by 21 percent from 2014 to 2024 (bls.gov). This projected growth was attributed to the rising need for mathematicians to keep up with advances in technology as well as the extensive education required for this position. In May 2015, mathematicians made a mean salary of $112,560 annually.

Postsecondary Mathematics Teacher

Postsecondary math teachers work to develop college students' understanding of mathematical concepts and practices. They may teach courses pertaining to statistics and actuarial science; they also instruct students in the application of original and standardized mathematical techniques to solve specific practical problems and situations. University math teachers may also do a combination of teaching and research.

The BLS projected that jobs for postsecondary mathematics teachers would increase by 16 percent from 2014 to 2024. Postsecondary mathematical science teachers made a mean salary of $77,290 in May 2015.

Auditor

An auditor makes sure a firm or business is reporting and paying its taxes according to local, state and federal requirements. Additionally, auditors observe and evaluate companies' internal operations, ensuring that the business runs efficiently and maintains adherence to all relevant laws and regulations. Auditors with bachelor's degrees in mathematics may have excellent skill sets for this career, but might need to pursue graduate education to find employment.

The BLS expected the field of accounting and auditing to grow by 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than average. These projections arise from an anticipated increase in the number of businesses, along with economic recovery and a growing demand for greater financial transparency. Accountants and auditors made a mean salary of $75,280 per year in May 2015.

Careers in mathematics include being an auditor, a mathematician, or a postsecondary math teacher. While a career as an auditor is possible with a bachelor's degree, most of these careers require graduate degrees in mathematics, and auditors will increase their employment options by completing a graduate degree. Job growth in these career fields is expected to be very strong from 2014 to 2024, with these professions experiencing faster than average job growth when compared to the job growth rates of all occupations.

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