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Mathematics

Many people wince when they hear the word Mathematics. However there is nothing to fear because, like every other subject, mathematics just requires some patience and persistence to understand. Although it may not be many people’s favorite subject is that it is taught at pretty much everywhere, which is quite convenient when applying to schools. Because mathematics is so important and universal, college options are not limited as is the case for many other fields of study. Mathematics teaches patience, discipline, and step by step problem solving. Mathematics is a field that requires a lot of time because it is not a guarantee that the information will stick with you the first time you see it; it may not be the easiest major but it guarantees an unlimited number of career opportunities upon graduation.

Mathematics branches out into two specific fields: computational and pure mathematics. Computational mathematics is the field in which, instead of using analytic methods to solve a problem, setting up a computer simulator does the trick; many people who are interested in computer sciences, college teaching and research take this path. Pure mathematics is the field in which students get a more comprehensive understanding of what mathematics is. That is, to understand the mechanics that make up mathematics and how they function. In a nutshell, pure is the all the analytical and theoretical approaches to math.
In general, there are very few university-transfer requirements in this field of study. The requirements are typically single variable calculus, multivariable (vector) calculus, and a linear algebra course. These classes are usually five different courses because the both single variable and multivariable calculus are divided into derivative calculus and differential calculus. Thus, at most there are five classes to take in order to transfer from a community college to university and study mathematics.

The unique aspect of the mathematics major is that it is offered virtually at every college and university so there are no limitations on the type of school you would want to attend. The country’s top mathematics programs are in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, Princeton University, and University of California Berkeley. Harvard and Princeton specialize in geometry and Algebra/Number Theory. Although many people may despise this aspect of math it is what helps us understand the world we live in. UC Berkeley specializes in topology and logic. Topology is the area of mathematics that focuses on shapes and spaces; it is the major area of mathematics that is concerned with the most basic properties of space such as continuity, connectedness and boundary. MIT’s specialty is in discrete mathematics; have you ever found yourself in a math class wondering: “when will I really use this?” then discrete math is what will answer the question because discrete math allows student to explore the non-trivial real world problems that are interesting. These are only the top four schools in the area of mathematics but this major is offered at every university across the globe. All these schools go through the same major processes. First, you apply to the school and if you get accepted then you must complete the prerequisites in order to declare the major and you will be on track to majoring in your respective field.

The major requirements for the mathematics major are usually a set of courses one must take and a senior seminar like any other major. Take the university of California Santa Cruz for example; there is a collection of eleven classes one must take before receiving their bachelor’s degree in mathematics. It is a relatively short education track and could be completed in less than four years if you have that diligence to take on multiple math classes at once.

As has been stated earlier in the paper, majoring in mathematics opens doors to many career opportunities. If you specialize in mathematics it will allow you to pick your employment because it opens so many doors in the job industry. Occupational positions offered to math majors are those are considered to be the best jobs based on annual salary, benefits, and job security. Some of the work opportunities associated with math related professions are actuary, cryptologist, and mathematics teacher. Actuaries assemble and analyze statistics to calculate probabilities of death, sickness, injury, disability, unemployment, retirement, and property loss; they also design insurance and pension plans and ensure that they are maintained on a sound financial basis. Their annual salary is about $130,000. But their schooling is an additional ten years after their undergraduate degree. Cryptologists are the people who design and analyze schemes used to transmit secret information. They are in charge of protecting your bank account by creating algorithms that are used to disguise the information we input into search engines and online payment sites. The median salary for a cryptologist is $83,000. Math teachers may seem like the least intriguing job of the ones listed and also the one that pays least. However it is the most rewarding in terms of watching young minds learn and develop and watching children become their own people. The median pay for a mathematics teacher is around $52,000.