How to Become a Mathematician

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 18, 2020

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Are you a mathematical rockstar? Put your knowledge to good use by pursuing a career as a mathematician. It’s a rewarding role that allows you to make a living doing those equations. You’ll be met with new challenges each day and impact the company you serve. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to become a mathematician. 

Mathematician Overview

Even if you’re intrigued by mathematics, how do you know that it’s the best career choice for you? We’ve included a detailed job description, salary data, educational requirements and the projected job outlook to help you make an informed decision. 

Mathematician Job Description

You’ll implement mathematical techniques to resolve practical issues in business, engineering, healthcare and a host of other fields. Mathematicians also develop concepts, theories and models to analyze data and formulate conclusions. 

Expect to work at least 40 hours per week in an office setting. Depending on the industry you work in, collaboration with engineers, scientists and many other professionals may be required. 

Mathematicians are in high demand in several industries, so you have the flexibility to choose where you’d like to work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these sectors employ the largest number of mathematicians: 

  • Colleges, universities and professional schools
  • Federal government 
  • Management, scientific and technical consulting firms 

Salary Information

In 2018, the median pay for mathematicians was $105,030 in 2019.

Here’s how it breaks down by industry: 

  • Colleges, universities and professional schools: $62,780
  • Federal government: $112,800
  • Management, scientific and technical consulting firms: $123,270

Education Requirements

The education requirements vary by sector. If you want to work with the federal government, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics will suffice. 

Many employers in the private sector require a master’s degree to get your foot in the door. 

Job Outlook

The demand for mathematicians is slated to grow by 26% through 2029. This is 21% faster than the expected average growth rate for all occupations. 

Tips for Becoming a Mathematician

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you prepare to take the first step toward becoming a mathematician. 

Get a Math Degree

When evaluating colleges and universities, only consider options that are reputable and accredited. You want a degree from a school that features accomplished instructors and is perceived in a positive light by both employers and students. Schools should offer a high job placement rate for recent graduates. 

Also, be mindful of course offerings. The available options should allow you to align your studies with your career goals while you delve into topics you find intriguing. Look for degree programs that feature courses on the following subjects: 

  • Abstract algebra 
  • Calculus
  • Geometry 
  • Linear algebra 
  • Linear and differential equations 
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Number theory  
  • Operations research methods 
  • Probability 
  • Statistics 

Already have college credits? Consider a degree completion program to help you reach the finish line faster and save money. 

Don’t forget to review the cost of attendance for the schools you’re considering. Eliminate the colleges and universities from your list that assess exorbitant rates for tuition and fees. 

Sharpen Your Skills with an Online Course 

An online math course probably won’t be enough to impress prospective employers and get your foot in the door. However, it’s an ideal and cost-efficient way to supplement what you’re learning in the classroom or hone your skills. 

Courses are available for all skill levels and budgets and you can work at your own pace when it’s convenient for you.

Best Universities for Becoming a Mathematician

These online math degree programs are worthwhile options for aspiring mathematicians. 

1. Indiana University 

Indiana University offers an online Bachelor of Science in mathematics. The core curriculum delves into calculus, linear algebra, mathematical modeling, modern algebra and real analysis. You can also enhance your degree by specializing in economics, finance or probability. When you finish the program, you will have the skills and knowledge needed to analyze data, effectively communicate scientific research findings with others and apply logic to solve challenging math problems. 

2. The University of Illinois at Springfield 

Want to work as a mathematician in the insurance, management, research or teaching sector? Consider an online bachelor’s degree in math from the University of Illinois at Springfield. It’s also ideal if you wish to pursue a master’s degree in mathematics or a related discipline once you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree. Students are introduced to the mechanics of abstract algebra, advanced calculus, linear algebra, mathematical statistics, operations research methods and statistical methods. 

Here are a few math courses that will help you sharpen your existing skills, discover new concepts or learn to approach math problems using a programming platform. 

1. Mastering Exponents, Exponential Expressions and Equations 

Source: Udemy

Seeking a more in-depth understanding of exponents? This highly-rated course is worth considering. Led by Ian Wagner, professional educator and tutor, it covers the following core concepts: 

  • Exponent basics
  • Rules for exponents
  • Scientific notation 
  • Roots and radicals
  • Combining power and roots
  • Solving exponential equations
  • Simplifying exponential expressions 

Register today for only $19.99 to access 8 hours of on-demand video lectures, 17 articles and 29 downloadable resources. You will also receive a certificate of completion when you finish the course. 

Get this course

2. MATLAB for Engineers and Mathematicians 

Source: Udemy

Learn to use MATLAB with ease in this in-depth course from Electrical Power Engineer Aamir Ahmed. The $24.99 enrollment fee includes 50 lectures jam-packed into 3 hours of on-demand video. You’ll learn the essentials of plotting techniques and analog filter design in MATLAB. There are also lectures on solving calculus and trigonometric problems, conducting differentiation and integration functions and executing a host of other tasks in MATLAB. 

Get this course.

Prepare for a Career as a Mathematician 

Your dream of becoming a professional mathematician is not out of reach. Take the first step by checking out our recommended online degree programs and course options to get the credentials and supplementary knowledge you need to impress employers. Select the best fit and get to work so your dream of becoming a mathematician turns into reality. 

Southern New Hampshire University Online

SNHU Online Offers:

  1. Flexible schedules
  2. Affordable tuition
  3. Online tutoring
  4. Access to electronic research materials
  5. Specialized academic advising
  6. Supportive online community

Learn more at SNHU.