A degree in mathematics prepares you for a successful career in fields that require a strong foundation in mathematics or for graduate study. It can give you a competitive advantage in the job market, enhance your competencies in natural and social science fields and prepare you for today’s most innovative, lucrative careers.

Math is used in many occupations and employees with a strong background in mathematics are increasingly in demand. Math jobs pay well, too. The average starting salary of math majors is 33.7 percent higher than other majors, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Math majors also score higher on graduate school entrance exams, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

According to the Mathematical Association of America, students studying mathematics have the quantitative and analytic talents that are desirable in many fields, including:

  • Actuarial science—Take math and statistics and apply it to finance and insurance.
  • Biomathematics—Use mathematical techniques and tools to model natural and biological processes and apply results to neurobiology, genetics and other science areas.
  • Computer science—Use the logical and precise thinking learned from mathematics and apply it to the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their applications in computer systems.
  • Cryptology—Combine math and computer science in the practice and study of hiding information, with applications in areas such as security of personal information and computer passwords.
  • Finance—Build models to help explain and predict financial markets.
  • Operations research—Evaluate problems in maximizing or minimizing things like costs or profits in this interdisciplinary area of mathematics.
  • Teaching—Teach math to children in grades K-12 or pursue an advanced degree and become a math professor.
  • Statistics—Use mathematical techniques to analyze and interpret data.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2018 median annual salary for mathematicians and statisticians is more than $88,000 ,and employment is projected to grow 30% in the next decade. Some math-related career fields require a master’s degree or other advanced degree.

To view particular mathematicians talking about their work, see Mathematically Gifted and Black and Lathisms.