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Mathematics Major

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Mathematics

2,705 Master's Degrees Annually
1,225 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#60 in Popularity (Master's)
$92,600 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Mathematics Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many mathematics graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 2,705
Doctor’s Degree 1,225
Graduate Certificate 55

What Mathematics Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to math were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Math Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Math Majors

When studying math, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Abilities for Math Majors

Math majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Mathematics Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with math:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Mathematical Science Occupations 9.1% NA
Mathematical Science Professors 9.4% $73,230
Mathematicians 29.0% $101,900
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 7.5% $60,320
Statisticians 33.9% $87,780

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Mathematics?

2,705 Master's Degrees Annually
37% Percent Women
19% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major attracts more men than women. About 63% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of math majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Math Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 172
Black or African American 85
Hispanic or Latino 188
White 1,293
International Students 798
Other Races/Ethnicities 169

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Math. About 29.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Vietnam

How Much Do Mathematics Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that mathematics students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $48,600 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $44,200 (25th percentile) and $49,700 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to math so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Math majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $87,140 to $104,870 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Mathematics Major  ( 87140 to 104870 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with math may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for math careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 28.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 5.3%
Master’s Degree 35.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.1%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.3%
Doctoral Degree 23.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 4.1%

Online Mathematics Programs

In 2018-2019, 1,511 schools offered a math program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 11 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 9 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 285 17
Bachelor’s Degree 30 8
Post-Baccalaureate 11 2
Master’s Degree 339 24
Post-Master’s 8 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 163 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Mathematics Worth It?

The median salary for a math grad is $92,600 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 132% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,054,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to math.

Major Number of Grads
Applied Mathematics 5,273
Statistics 4,499
Other Statistics 63

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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