Is a Mathematics Degree Right for You?
An online bachelors degree in mathematics teaches students advanced mathematical concepts, as well as how to think analytically and solve problems at increasing levels of complexity. Math students apply mathematical principles to find solutions to problems in a variety of applied fields, such as computer science, engineering, or operations research. In addition, students gain in-demand skills in statistics that can be applied to the hard or soft sciences, or in varying areas of business.
An online bachelors degree in math can prepare you for future graduate study or for a successful career. Many employers in fields not directly related to math seek out people with strong math skills as well, including fields such as underwriting, banking, investments, inventory and quality and control, and more. If you are looking for a degree with a promising and diverse career outlook and you have strong math skills, a degree in mathematics is a solid choice.
Advice for Earning Your Mathematics Degree Online
Earning any degree in mathematics will be challenging, but online degrees present a unique challenge given the distance between you and your professors. We advise students to seek out programs with faculty who are accessible in real-time through virtual office hours, or programs that provide an online tutoring service in mathematics.
Students who need the flexibility of distance learning, but prefer a face-to-face style should look into synchronous programs where professors deliver online lectures in real-time and are immediately available to respond to students’ questions. For students who do not need this level of structure, an asynchronous program would be more fitting, allowing students to log in at a time that works best for them. Lastly, any online math program you consider should be regionally or nationally accredited to ensure quality and eligibility for federal financial aid.
Online Mathematics degree programs include a general education curriculum that focuses on science, humanities, and social science. A major in Mathematics builds on fundamental math concepts to explore advanced math disciplines, such as:
- Advanced Calculus
- Discrete Mathematics
- Regression Analysis
- Applied Linear Algebra
- Mathematical Proof and Problem Solving
Common Career Paths
Some potential careers for those with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics include:
- Expected Growth: 16%
- Average Annual Salary: $103,235
Mathematicians are typically hired either to conduct research into mathematical principles or to help solve problems by creating mathematical models for various industries, including business, government, engineering, and more. While most mathematician careers require a graduate degree, some careers, including those with the federal government, are open to people who hold a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
Mathematician careers require job candidates to have completed extensive course work in advanced mathematics, as the job requires a firm grasp of calculus, differential equations, and linear and abstract algebra. The above salary and employment growth figures were gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and represent average incomes.
- Expected Growth: 14%
- Average Annual Salary: $79,095
Statisticians use their math background to draw important conclusions from data they gather from the various industries that employ them. Not only does almost every federal government agency employ statisticians, but positions are also available in the private sector in health care, manufacturing, and more. While a graduate degree is often preferred, a bachelor’s degree may qualify you for entry-level positions. Figures above were provided by the BLS.
Operations Research Analysts
- Expected Growth: 15%
- Average Annual Salary: $81,335
Operations research analysts help businesses and corporations solve problems that are impeding production, logistics, or sales. Entry-level positions require at least a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is often preferred. A college education in mathematics builds essential skills in quantitative and statistical analysis that are needed in an operations research analyst career. Figures above were provided by the BLS.
- Expected Growth: 27%
- Average Annual Salary: $106,550
Actuaries use mathematical and statistical models to calculate the financial consequences of risk. They are employed by business and corporations where they help design policies that minimize the financial costs should certain events take place. A bachelor’s degree in mathematics provides the strong math background professionals need to succeed as an actuary. Figures above were provided by the BLS.
Market Research Analysts
- Expected Growth: 41%
- Average Annual Salary: $72,395
Market research analysts evaluate market conditions in a set region to determine what products are in demand and how much people will pay for them. They work in almost every industry and need strong backgrounds in mathematics and statistics to succeed. A bachelor’s degree in mathematics is a great degree for this particular field. Figures above were provided by the BLS.