Want a fun, engaging, and rewarding career? If you’re good with numbers and enjoy a challenge, then you might be perfect for a mathematics degree!
An online mathematics degree can prep you for scores of number-crunching careers. Mathematics teaches logical thinking and problem-solving skills. Math graduates excel at quantitative research and analysis. These skills are transferable to a number of career fields, such as economics, finance, insurance and business. Although career options are varied, pay for math majors is typically pretty good. According to survey studies, the average starting salaries for those who hold a bachelor's degree in math is high and, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the top 15 highest paying college majors all have math in their core study plans—usually applied math as practiced by engineers. A math degree major can expect to make about 40% more than an English major.
THE CAREER PATH
Few degrees offer the wide range of opportunities that you’ll find when you graduate with an education in mathematics. This skillset is desired by practically every employer in the country, and virtually all industries have a need for math experts. You could, of course, work in the obvious math-related positions, such as a mathematician or statistician. However, you could also work for almost any industry as an accountant, economist, or budget analyst. Virtually any job that involves numbers will call for a math major.
There are many advantages to majoring in mathematics; some are obvious while others are not. One of the less obvious advantages, but one that certainly needs to be discussed, is the ability to work in practically any industry in the country. Want to work in sports? A math degree gives you the foundation to work in the complex analytics and statistics that dominate professional sports. Want to work in music? This industry needs accountants and budget analysts just like any market. Entertainment, construction, automotive, real estate; there is really no industry you can name that doesn’t need math majors! Math teachers are in high demand, especially at the secondary level.
Many jobs in mathematics don’t just pay well, they also have a strong expected job growth, meaning there will be plenty of opportunities in the future. Let’s take a quick moment to look at some of the specific details of two high-paying jobs that you could hold if you complete a mathematics degree program.
- Actuary—What is the cost and reward of taking risks? Finding the answer to this complex question is the sole responsibility of actuaries. These professionals are commonly hired in the insurance industry, helping providers estimate the best price for certain insurance coverages. However, they can also be hired by professional and technical services, helping companies weigh risk and use statistical information to make business decisions. With only a bachelor’s degree, you can enter into a field that has a median salary of $101,560, which is a sizable income no matter where you live. If you work your way into the top 10%, you can expect to earn more than $184,770. With a career growth of 22%, this is a career that will have excellent opportunities in the future.
- Economist—This is another career choice that is incredibly versatile and can be found in almost an industry. Economists research economic factors, analyze data, and present information to clients and organizational leaders, all with the goal of helping them make informed financial decisions. Historical trends are often used to forecast future conditions, which can help companies make the right decisions. This career has a strong median pay, but if you are able to enter the top 10%, you can expect to earn over $172,580 a year. The expected job growth is only 6%, but this is only slightly lower than the national average (7%) and there will be over 22,000 jobs for economists in 2026, so there is still opportunity in this career.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
Some people take to math easier than others, and while a natural skill with numbers is a good start, it’s not the only thing that makes an ideal candidate for a mathematics degree. Enjoying the process of problem-solving is essential, and you also have to be willing to accept challenges and not get frustrated when you don’t get it right on the first go; in other words, tenacity is an underrated quality for math majors. You also have to enjoy many types of math, including algebra, statistics, accounting, and computer science, as they will all be addressed during your mathematics degree.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
Math degrees have many real-life applications. Most online mathematics programs—particularly at the certificate and master's level—focus on practical or applied math as opposed to theoretical math. The most popular specialty offered by online programs is statistics. Probability and statistics play a crucial role in science and technology. Discrete math, the study of probability, is an essential math for anyone planning a career in the fields of computer programming, engineering, finance and economics.
Many mathematics online programs include economics and computer science in their curriculum. More and more employers want to hire mathematicians with financial knowledge or programming experience. Related popular mathematics majors include the online quality degree (for engineers), the online finance degree and the online engineering degree.
Ready to make the leap? Click on a program below to get more information on tuition, accreditation, and admission requirments. Compare costs carefully—many programs cost less than the national average (between $30,000 and $50,000 for a bachelor's degree) but many cost more!