Why major in Mathematics? If you are looking into career possibilities, and working on challenging math problems appeals to you, strong evidence indicates that the harder question to answer would be “Why not major in math?” Indeed, the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) website mentions a study by PayScale indicating that the 15 highest-earning college degrees have a common element: mathematics.
Duke University has collected statistics from several sources indicating that math majors on average scored higher on entrance exams such as the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) and the GMAT (required by leading business schools) than other majors. “Professional graduate schools in business, law, and medicine think mathematics is a great major because it develops analytical skills and the ability to work in a problem solving environment. Their entrance tests support this bias.” In surveys of salaries and job satisfaction ranking, mathematics major was at the top in average salary, and mathematician was the highest in job satisfaction, outranking jobs in medicine, finance, engineering, and law. Taking a substantial amount of math as an undergraduate can lead to careers in Mathematical Modeling, Finance, Statistics, Computer Science, Cryptography (the making and breaking of secret codes), Biotech, Engineering, and Teaching, to name a few. Mathematics can also open the door to graduate study in not only mathematics, but in related fields such as operations research, economics, and computer science. Most math graduate students receive generous fellowships or assistantships which cover tuition and living expenses.
The Mathematical Association of America‘s website lists careers that math majors might want to pursue, and for each career, includes interviews with math majors who are working in the respective career, discussing the role math has played in their lives.
Our mission at Judson is to provide math majors with a broad understanding of advanced calculus, differential equations, geometry, statistics, linear algebra, and abstract algebra, while strengthening their abilities in logical reasoning, critical thinking, solving problems, and proving theorems.
Judson College math majors and minors have a strong history of success and have entered a variety of graduate programs including math, math education, medicine, law, library science, and religion. Former graduates are college professors, high school teachers, engineers, physicians, computer analysts, pharmacists, dentists, librarians, systems analysts, and industrial chemists.
A distinct advantage math majors have at Judson is small class size, which allows ample time to have discussions with dedicated professors both in and out of class. Most calculus and higher math classes have fewer than 10 students.
Math majors have an opportunity to become certified to teach math in middle or secondary school while at Judson by completing an extensive program offered by our Education Department. Besides coursework, education students obtain experience observing and working in nearby schools. Another option for those who complete a math major at Judson and want to teach in secondary school is to attend graduate school and complete a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree.
In preparing to be a math major at Judson, one should learn math well enough in high school to be able to score 26 or higher on the math portion of the ACT. Successful math majors at Judson are normally able in their freshman year to either begin Calculus or do well in Pre-Calculus Algebra and Trigonometry.
Some of our advanced math students gain leadership and mentoring experience by working for the math department as a tutor in math labs which we refer to as “Math Study Sessions.”