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Mathematics Major

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Mathematics

21,855 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
2,705 Master's Degrees Annually
#25 in Popularity
$92,600 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Mathematics Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many mathematics graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 21,856
Associate’s Degree 4,629
Master’s Degree 2,705
Doctor’s Degree 1,225
Basic Certificate 200
Graduate Certificate 55
Undergraduate Certificate 14

What Mathematics Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, math majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Math Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Math Majors

When studying math, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Abilities for Math Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a math student include the following:

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  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Mathematics Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with math:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Mathematical Science Occupations 9.1% NA
Mathematical Science Professors 9.4% $73,230
Mathematicians 29.0% $101,900
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 7.5% $60,320
Statisticians 33.9% $87,780

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics?

21,856 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
41% Percent Women
27% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
Mathematics runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #25 out of all the undergraduate majors we track. In 2019, about 21,855 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this field. This major attracts more men than women. About 59% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of math majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Math Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 2,053
Black or African American 860
Hispanic or Latino 2,268
White 11,637
International Students 3,671
Other Races/Ethnicities 1,367

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Math. About 16.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Vietnam

How Much Do Mathematics Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in math have a median salary of $42,600 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $37,400 (25th percentile) and $47,675 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a math degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $87,140 to $104,870 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to math. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Mathematics Major  ( 87140 to 104870 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with math require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for math careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 28.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 5.3%
Master’s Degree 35.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.1%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.3%
Doctoral Degree 23.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 4.1%

Online Mathematics Programs

In 2018-2019, 1,511 schools offered a math program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 11 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 9 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 285 17
Bachelor’s Degree 30 8
Post-Baccalaureate 11 2
Master’s Degree 339 24
Post-Master’s 8 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 163 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Mathematics Worth It?

The median salary for a math grad is $92,600 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 132% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,054,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to math.

Major Number of Grads
Applied Mathematics 9,625
Statistics 8,953
Other Statistics 486

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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