Read about bachelor’s degree programs in mathematics and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.
Bachelor’s Degree Program in Mathematics
Students enrolled in introductory undergraduate math courses can complete coursework structured to conform to the needs of those wishing to concentrate in math as a major, in addition to earning general education credits. Coursework in a bachelor’s degree program in mathematics covers more advanced mathematical theories. A number of concentrations are traditionally offered to math majors; these include mathematics education, applied mathematics and computer science.
While schools offer both Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) programs with a major in math, these programs mainly differ in the nature of elective courses chosen by enrolled students. Selected courses keep up with a student’s proposed career path and usually relate to, but exist outside of, the field of mathematics. Coursework in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program typically has a greater number of courses in humanities subjects, such as philosophy or history, social sciences or foreign languages. Classes in business administration, computer science or physics are often required in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs.
Schools don’t specify any education requirements to be fulfilled by incoming students to most bachelor’s degree programs in mathematics, other than regular admission and testing processes. Incoming students to some programs are required to register a minimum grade point average and complete specific courses in college-level mathematics. Also required may be higher mathematics SAT scores.
Students enrolled in a mathematics bachelor’s degree program are taught critical thinking methods, basic problem-solving skills and the manipulation of numbers. Core coursework may commonly include topic areas such as:
•Computational numbers theory
•Algebra, calculus, trigonometry and statistics
A bachelor’s degree in a diverse field of study such as mathematics can help graduates seek numerous job opportunities, such as those in academia, government, technology, industry and business. Those seeking a career as a mathematician can enhance their career opportunities by earning a graduate degree.
Job and Wage Outlook
Math majors can seek occupations as actuaries – working with pension plans and insurance policies for insurance companies – and statisticians. Over the 2010-2020 decade, growth rates of 27% have been predicted for actuary jobs. During the same period, statisticians are expected to see growth of 14% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, actuaries brought home an average annual wage of $93,680, while statisticians earned $75,560.
Continuing Education Choices
Those who complete a mathematics bachelor’s program can choose from numerous continuing education options. A master’s or education specialist degree focused on teaching techniques and methods would benefit those seeking teaching jobs. Also, the holder of a bachelor’s degree in math can pursue continued education by earning a master’s degree in a related field, such as physics, engineering or computer science. They may also pursue a graduate certificate program in science or math education. Those who wish to focus on research in a field specialty, such as complex algorithms or statistics may enroll in a doctoral program.