Math Degree: What to expect?

picture of Math Degree: What to expect?

For some, math is as foreign as a long-dead language, dug up only to torture students with obscure questions about traveling trains and square roots. For others, though, math is the perfect way to order and make sense of a confusing world.

A degree in math is sort of like a skeleton key in that it can open up the doors to a number of different careers. You can find work in the medical field doing research, handle money for banks, or do the accounting for businesses. No matter what math career you end up in, get ready to spend some serious time with your calculator and the numbers, real or imaginary.


Mathematics training is, for the most part, pretty basic to explain. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and then, depending on your chosen career, a master’s or Ph.D. in mathematics.

There are a number of schools offering bachelor’s or associate’s degrees in math, but you’ll have the same type of classes regardless of where you study. These include multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and statistics. The difference in schools really comes down to what you want, be it a certain type of teaching style or Professor, or the type of classroom—that is, traditional versus online.

Next Step

After you’ve done your last calculations for credit, the next step is to consider what type of job you’d like. Some companies hire math majors for entry-level positions in fields like business or operations research, but many math majors decide to continue on with their education.

Getting a master’s or Ph.D. in mathematics can open up opportunities to positions like Teacher, Engineer, or Actuary. You can also work in fields like law enforcement, government, or research. For those who hope to continue working while going to school, online math degrees exist, ranging from teaching certifications to bachelor’s degrees to master’s degrees.

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