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Why Study Mathematics?

Number rules the universe. --Pythagoras

Mathematics, as a study of patterns, both practical and abstract, involves analytical thought, logical reasoning, problem solving skills, and precise communication. Because of its power and versatility, mathematics has often been called the "Queen of the Sciences." There is no field of scientific inquiry that does not express itself through the language of mathematics.

The kinds of analytical and logical thinking skills that one develops while studying mathematics are precisely the skills that recruiters look for in potential employees. Jobs involving significant mathematical background also consistently rank near the top of the list in annual career surveys. In CareerCast's The Best Jobs of 2021 report, some of the top-ranked jobs were:

  • #1 Data Scientist (Median Salary $98,230)
  • #3 Statistician (Median Salary $92,270)
  • #5 Mathematician (Median Salary $110,860)
  • #7 Operations Research Analyst (Median Salary $86,200)
  • #9 Actuary (Median Salary $111,030)

A 2021 ranking by Bankrate also declared that majors in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) are the most valuable, based on higher incomes and lower unemployment rates.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in math occupations will grow 28% between 2020-2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected as businesses and government agencies continue to emphasize the use of "big data," which math occupations are specially equipped to analyze.​

An undergraduate degree in mathematics provides an excellent foundation for students who are interested in pursuing an advanced degree in mathematics or in a related specialized profession. Mathematics can also provide an excellent foundation for students considering professional degrees in such allied fields such as Law, Business Administration, or Medicine.