Mathematics is typically a major selected by people who are logical thinkers and like problem solving. Individuals who decide to pursue a math major love learning about math and enjoying learning how to apply them to real world problems. If you are thinking about becoming a math major, make sure you enjoy problem solving and thinking logically – you will need those skills as you progress through various math majors!
Math majors have hobbies that include the use of computers, the creation of scientific models, participation in math competitions or groups, and tasks that involving working with a team to solve various problems.
Math majors often continue their careers in patent law, software engineering, computer science, economics and financial analysis, biotechnology, national security, space exploration, and so on – there are many possibilities associated with majoring in math.
Our complete guide to math majors will cover the following:
What is a Math Major?
Algebra, calculus, geometry, and the various equations used to solve problems are learned by math majors. They also learn how to think about and extend the foundation to a variety of broader, more advanced topics.
Most schools separate pure mathematics from applied mathematics. One way to explain the distinction between these two types of majors in mathematics is that applied mathematics focuses on putting math to practical use, while pure mathematics focuses on primarily using math for mathematical purposes (solving equations, etc..).
It is true that as a math major, you should be good with numbers. But it also requires putting in a lot of effort. You have to be fully committed since a lot of your time will be spent on formulas and working on solutions. If you believe that math is the right track for you, then go ahead.
Doing well in only one or two math subjects doesn’t make you a good candidate for a math major. If you excel at geometry but your calculus is pretty weak, then you need to overcome that weakness. You need to make sure that your grades stay impressive in every math course you take.
You can also combine another major with your core math courses. A lot of math majors decide to do a double major in mathematics and computer science or biology.
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Different Types of Math Majors
Mathematics encourages a problem to be picked up, its basic characteristics inspected, and further studied. This skill comes in hand for various fields like economics, law, medicine, architecture, and computer science, as well as in the more conventional practices of study and teaching.
This math major aims to help students develop both an understanding of mathematics and the ability to use it. A general mathematics major also encourages students to find new ways to use math to solve issues.
A general mathematics major offers a good base for graduate studies along with a students who may also be majoring in economics, biological sciences, physical sciences, and engineering.
Applied Mathematics Major
The analysis of mathematical calculations and statistics that are found in daily life is applied mathematics. For several fields, the large base of mathematical skills you get from this major will be useful. Students can take statistics, computer science, and physics as well.
For students who are excited about math and willing to construct mathematical models to address tough questions, this is a fantastic major. Along with laboratories and computer-based classes, the courses can include lectures. You’ll need to think objectively to be successful. It will be critical to collaborate with your teammates, to listen to their viewpoints, and then to add your own feedback. By working with others, you will improve your talents.
While your key emphasis will be analytical skills, writing skills can also be useful. As you complete a lab report and create facts, you may need communicate your findings.
A statistics major prepares students to use facts to confront real-world concerns. Statistics are important to subjects ranging from disease control to predicting hurricanes. Studying how complicated data can be gathered and broken down can allow statistics majors to contribute to public policy, business decisions, and more.
You will be expected to have a very good academic background in mathematics when applying to study statistics. Many institutions offering degrees in statistics require outstanding mathematics grades and at least one additional science grade. Besides that, if you have strong knowledge about using different forms of computer applications and any ideas how to advance the field of statistics, you will be an asset.
Most degree programs in statistics concentrate on a particular sector of the field and encourage students to gain experience in the applications and techniques applicable to that field. However, some statistics majors may be universal, providing a broad overall framework of statistics.
Pure Mathematics Major
The analysis of the basic concepts and structures which encompass mathematics is pure mathematics. It aims to look for a better understanding of mathematics itself and extended knowledge of it.
Pure mathematics has historically been divided into three general fields- analysis, which deals with mathematics’ continuous aspects; algebra, which deals with discrete aspects; and geometry. An undergraduate degree is usually set up so that each student is exposed to the above 3 fields. Other topics such as logic, number theory, complex analysis, and subjects of applied mathematics may also be studied by students.
Solving the most fundamental and meaningful problems is the foundation for pure mathematics and can be applied to real world problems (applied mathematics).
For example, the theory of prime numbers has its beginnings in pure mathematics – researched with fascination long before any knowledge of possible implications was offered to the mathematicians who found it interesting. Authentication mechanisms in electronic banking are central to this now. Similarly, imaginary numbers are now used in everything from signal processing to fluid flow analysis.
Jobs for Math Majors
Most jobs may come from being a math student, but again, expect to have to go to graduate school or practice on the job. As a finance analyst or engineer, you will not be employed just because you are good at math. You may also need to learn how to adapt your mathematical knowledge to a different career path. Math is always useful, but it is even more useful if you can find different and innovative ways to apply it to various fields or careers.
Math majors will find their talents and experience translate well to fields ranging from computer science to banking. Some math majors move on to academia, but most colleges and universities require a master’s degree and typically a Ph.D., to teach at the college level.
Math majors may incorporate a teaching degree with their undergraduate degree, which encourages them to teach math in high schools. Here are some other job opportunities you may come across as a math major:
- Computer Scientist
- Postsecondary Teacher
- Financial Analyst
- Computer Programmer
- Web Developer
- Software Developer
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Who Should Pursue A Math Major?
True mathematics is still at the cutting edge of what is understood, and if you want to be competitive with your math-related profession, it is important to be creative. You will learn a ton while pursuing a math major but, as soon as you start work, you will find new ways to apply your math skills to your profession.
The primary aim of a mathematician is to solve problems – you will not be able to progress your career into high-earning positions if you can only solve problems that other individuals have already solved.
For math majors, logical thinking is one of the most important skills needed. One of the primary goals of mathematics is to interpret complex data fields efficiently. Thankfully, your college math studies should improve your logical thinking abilities.
All statistics for this article were found from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.