When the recession hit, some experts hopefully broadcast that by second or third quarter 2010, we’d be back on track to a healthier economy. But with unemployment and jobless claims still hitting record marks and the housing market tumbling further into chaos, personal finance and career stability are still obsessions for many Americans. If you’re looking for a career change or are college students trying to decide on a major, consider mathematics. A math major plus a higher degree in the field can reward you with many lucrative opportunities in the private sector or with government, and across many industries. Keep reading for 5 signs why mathematics should be chosen as a career option.
- It’s an expansive field: Math isn’t just about solving problems from your textbook. It’s an integral part of disciplines and industries like economics, statistics, engineering, computers, business, and of course, education and academia. If you double major in math and another field like information technology, data networks, statistics, or finance, for example, you’ll have an even better chance at building a solid, in-demand career for yourself.
- Wholly satisfying: Mathematics can satisfy two types of people, or two different sides of one person. Theoretical mathematics is more philosophical, abstract and even creative, while applied mathematics is more computational, practical, and solution-oriented. There’s something for everybody, so to speak.
- Compete globally: American students are falling behind the rest of the world, especially Asia, when it comes to math skills. If you’re a strong math student, you can help businesses, the government, or schools compete globally in the mathematical sciences.
- Great job growth: The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that job growth for mathematicians is expected to grow at a faster than average rate over the next eight years, primarily due to advancements in technology and a need for teachers. It’s still a competitive field, but those with Ph.D.s and other specialties will have great potential for securing the best jobs.
- High salary: Those working in the mathematical sciences can command lucrative salaries. The median annual earnings for mathematicians in May 2008, according to the BLS, was $95,150. And salaries in computer sciences, economics and related fields also tend to be higher on the earnings scale, too.
If you have an interest in and natural skill for mathematics, seriously consider what a career in the field can do for you and in terms of reaching your professional goals. From academia and education to technology and computer science to business, math is an expansive discipline that holds real promise for those with talent.