Why Study/Major in/Minor in Mathematics?

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(Btw, take some time and enjoy other xkcd comics at xkcd)

Mathematics is everywhere. It's cliché, but it's also true. A degree in mathematics will prepare you for jobs in statistics, actuarial sciences, mathematical modeling, cryptography, and mathematics education, as well as for graduate school leading to a research career in engineering, mathematics or statistics. Graduates from our program have found employment with many different types of companies including technology, engineering, and financial companies.

Want more specifics? Here are some reasons/considerations as to why you may want to major in mathematics:

  • You like it and/or you're good at it!
    We're not dodging the question. In the career you choose beyond Mines, you will be working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year (at least!), so whatever you choose, be certain you enjoy it!
  • When it comes to job satisfaction, Why Wouldn't You?!?
    Consider the job satisfaction1 rankings from the past 4 years (as determined by CareerCast and ordered by their 4-year average),
     2013201220112010
    Actuary1231
    Software Engineer3112
    Mathematician2181026
    Statistician3201848
    Physicist21251427
    Petroleum Engineer28162436
    Mechanical Engineer82666271
    Electrical Engineer98737864
    Chemist125946954
    Attorney4117878280

    1Job Satisfaction calculated based on 5 key categories: Physical Demands, Work Environment, Income, Stress and Hiring Outlook
    2Applies mathematical theories and formulas to teach or solve problems in a business, educational, or industrial climate.
    3Tabulates, analyzes, and interprets the numeric results of experiments and surveys.
    4We've included this one as a frame of reference, since no one likes a lawyer.

    Of these, the top 4 are the only ones to be consistently ranked in the top 20 for the last four years. Moreover, the jobs rated higher than mathematician, such as Actuary, also involve significant mathematical reasoning and knowledge and therefore are likely filled by math majors also.
  • Happiness is over-rated, I want to make bank!
    Fine, according to PayScale, Applied Mathematics is one of the top 10 college majors that lead to high salaries.
  • I want to get a higher degree, but I'm not sure if I want to continue to study math.
    Consider the following information gathered from a study comparing student performance on admission tests for graduate and professional schools:
    MajorLSATGMAT
    Mathematics+12.8%+13.3%
    Biology+4.0%+3.3%
    Chemistry+7.6%+7.5%
    Arts and Music-0.05%-1.2%

    The entries given above show the mean score difference between the major listed and all test takers.

    Studying mathematics can develop analytical skills and your ability to work in a problem solving environment. Even if you feel a major is not for you, a minor in mathematics can prove to be well worth the investment.

Want specifics for Mines students? View the Mathematics and Statistics document from the Career Center to see who's hiring our CS majors, what types of jobs are available, and starting salaries.

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