It seems as though every year we see or hear about more changes to the education system and what our children are expected to learn to keep our country and our students competitive with other countries and to prepare them for productive careers. The response of many parents is to get back to the basics and teach children the basics. This is especially important considering the continued booming demand for mathematics degrees. Learn more about the demand – and how math-related careers stand up against other careers.
Options for Mathematics Degree Graduates
Earning a degree in mathematics provides students with a well-rounded education that can help them branch out into several areas and find many math jobs. Because of the demand for mathematics degrees, a graduate may find work in engineering technology, data analytics, statistics, economics or in the education system as a math teacher.
Just recently, ABC News interviewed CareerCast on which college degrees paid off the best for graduates in 2014 as well as the average wages for related fields. It was no surprise that many of the top jobs proved the demand for mathematics degrees. The field of actuarial mathematics was right there on top for both its employment outlook and the high wages it offers. Most of the top professions involved mathematics on some level.
Mathematician was the No. 1 top profession while statistician ranked No.3; actuary ranked No. 4, and economist came in at No. 18. The one quality about a math degree is that it doesn’t just prepare you to become a math teacher. It offers various areas of specialization that require knowledge of mathematics, and the world is filled with these types of careers. Math is here to stay and continues to be a necessary part of our lives and our careers.
Teacher Demand for Mathematics Degrees
As employers continue to fill jobs in math- and science-related fields, the supply just doesn’t meet the demand because there continues to be a shortage of both science and math teachers throughout the nation. Both middle and high schools continue to find it difficult to find teachers specializing in algebra, calculus and geometry, resulting in a great demand for math teachers.
The U.S .Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that middle school teachers would see an employment growth of twelve percent between 2012 and 2022 and high school teachers could see a six percent growth in employment. Those specializing in high-demand areas like math could experience even better employment options.
Salary Potential for Jobs Related to Math
Graduates of math-related programs generally experience a wide range of salaries depending on their choice of career. Listed below are the average annual wages for many math-related careers as reported by the BLS as of May 2013.
- High School Math Teacher – $55,050
- Middle School Math Teacher – $53,430
- Postsecondary Mathematical Science Teacher – $65,930
- Mathematician – $102,440
- Economist – $91,860
- Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents – $71,720
- Tax Examiner or Collector – $50,210
- Insurance Underwriter – $61,182
- Accountant – $63,175+
- Astronomer – $96,228
- Statistician – $74,200
- Financial Planner – $107,222
- Financial Analyst – $74,350
Trend for Math-Related Careers
Now more than ever, there is a need for graduates who have an education that includes technology-based courses and backgrounds strong in math and science. This is necessary not only to prepare students for a variety of careers but also to help them be competitive in the job market both nationally and globally.
According to a 2013 report by U.S. News & World Report, employers who were surveyed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers stated that they steered more towards hiring graduates of programs that integrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics into their curriculums, which are known as STEM programs. The U.S. Department of Education reports that, as unfortunate as it is, only a small percentage of students are interested in these types of STEM career. In fact, only about sixteen percent of high school seniors in America are even proficient in mathematics.
Purpose of This Math and Technology-Based Program
This fairly new educational program includes courses involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics – the courses that are believed to be the most important for finding good jobs that pay well. Although courses like math and science have been taught since the beginning of time, they’ve been taught as individual courses rather than as part of an integrated curriculum. However, when taught together, these four courses provide a curriculum that prepares students for technology jobs, which is the direction the world is headed.
When used correctly, this program begins teaching these courses as young as kindergarten. The main purpose of the STEM education is to help make our graduates more competitive in the workforce worldwide. Growth for these math/technology-based jobs was three times faster than for non-STEM jobs in the past ten years, increasing the need for a technology-integrated curriculum.
Job Demand for Mathematicians
There is a great job demand for mathematicians, according to the BLS, who report mathematicians would experience a job growth of twenty-three percent from 2012-2022. One reason for this faster-than-average growth is that there are so few working in this occupation.
The BLS indicated that there would only be about 800 new mathematician jobs during that decade. The increasing use of wireless computers, digital stored data, social media and online business also creates a demand for mathematicians who will be needed to analyze data and create data-security systems to keep the information secure.
Careers that Require a Math Education
Few people realize not only how important mathematics is in our world but also how many times they actually use math in one way or another on daily basis A degree in mathematics or math-related fields opens up a variety of career options. The term mathematics now refers to much more than just your basic math. Not to mention, there are careers requiring practical shop math, applied math and theoretical math. There are more jobs related to math than one might realize.
Students interested in teaching math in middle or high schools must have at least a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral degrees in math are required for those who wish to teach in colleges. Being a math teacher is the one career most think of when they’re considering careers requiring a math education. However, there are many more. In addition to teaching math, here are just a few of the many careers requiring a math education.
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Cost Estimator
- Engineering technicians
- Accountants and Auditors
- Computer programmers