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Why Study Mathematics

If you like to solve problems, make arguments, experiment with ideas, model real-world behavior and phenomena, and think abstractly, you will probably enjoy studying mathematics!

Better job and graduate school opportunities

Many employers hire mathematics majors even when a job does not directly require mathematics, because studying mathematics is one of the best ways to develop problem-solving and analytical skills. In addition, majoring in mathematics increases your chances of doing well on standardized tests like the LSAT, GRE, GMAT, and MCAT which are required for graduate school in law, business, medicine and other fields. For example, of students taking the LSAT, the required test for students applying to law school, mathematics majors had higher scores on average than any other group of majors. Here's a chart showing how the average scores of mathematics majors stack up on graduate school exams:

Exam On average math majors scored higher than the mean by: Source:
GRE, required for graduate school in arts and sciences 16.7% Graduate Record Examination Guide to the Use of Scores, 2006-2007
LSAT, required for law school 12.8% National Institute of Education, Chronicle of Higher Education
MCAT, required for medical school 7.5% AAMC
GMAT, required for business school 13.3% National Institute of Education, Chronicle of Higher Education

Higher levels of job satisfaction

Jobs which require a high level of mathematical expertise are often highly satisifying. A recent study on the job website ranked 200 professions based on five criteria: environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands and stress. The top rated job was that of Mathematician, and the top three jobs all require mathematics or mathematics-intensive degrees. Here is the list of the top twenty jobs. Those that require a strong mathematics background highlighted in red, and those jobs that require some math skills or that may be mathematics-intensive depending upon specialty, are highlighted in green:

Mathematician Actuary Statistician
Biologist Software Engineer Computer Systems Analyst
Historian Sociologist Industrial Designer
Accountant Economist Philosopher
Physicist Parole Officer Meteorologist
Medical Laboratory Technician Paralegal Assistant Computer Programmer
Motion Picture Editor Astronomer Biophysicist
Nuclear Engineer System Designer Network Analyst
Investment Consultant Architect Physical Therapist
Medical Doctor Electrical Distribution Designer Banking
Investment Consultant Architect Physical Therapist
Electrical Engineer Metabolic Imaging Research Scientist
App Programmer Insurance Adjuster and more . . .

Higher salaries

Jobs which require mathematical skills have higher salaries on average. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers 2005 salary survey, mathematics majors make on average about 38% more than English majors after they graduate from college.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2008 the mean annual full-time wage for Mathematical and Computer Science occupations was about $84,500 in the New York-Newark-Bridgeport metropolitan area.

Mathematics Department|Office Directory|Contact & Office Hours

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The City University of New York

Borough of Manhattan Community College
The City University of New York
199 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007
212-220-8000 | Directory

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