by Angelica Safanova. Ed.D
A common misconception is that unless you want to become a math teacher, a major in math is of no use, but nothing can be further from the truth. In 2019 the Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS), reported that employment in math occupations is projected to grow 27 percent between 2019 and 2029 and yield a higher median annual salary than all other occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sept., 2020) .
The list of math careers is extensive, and it seems like no matter the industry there is a place for a math major in it. While studying math, students develop highly sought-after skills in data analysis, statistics, problem solving, analytical thinking, and quantitative reasoning. These skills make the math major highly marketable and some of the career median salaries reflect that.
One of the highest paying careers in math is an Actuary. Actuaries analyze statistical data to find the probability of an event. Knowing the probability of an event, for example a 20-year-old getting into a car accident, allows an insurance company to attach a cost to that risk. The median salary for an Actuary with a bachelor’s degree is $108,350 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sept., 2020).
Mathematicians and Statisticians also boast a high median salary. They work across many sectors including medicine, astronomy, engineering and different governmental departments such as the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The median salary for Mathematicians and Statisticians with a master’s degree is $92,030 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sept., 2020). Their quantitative skills make them highly valuable in this data driven age.
As data collection and mining become more and more emphasized by businesses in both the private and public sectors, it is anticipated that the need for math majors will outpace the need for others. That being said, there is a shortage of qualified math teachers in the nation’s public schools, which could affect supply and demand of math majors. In states like New Jersey, Texas, and Florida, the math teacher shortage has created a huge demand for math teachers. The median salary for a math teacher can vary widely from state to state, but the national median salary for a high school teacher with a bachelor’s degree is $61,660 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sept., 2020).
Although competition in many of the applied math careers is high, with a projected employment growth of 27 percent over the next decade, a career in a math related field is still an attractive option. A math degree is both useful and versatile, leading the holder to many different career paths in both the public and private sectors.
Math Occupations : Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2020, September 01). Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/home.htm