The Future is Wide Open for Math and Statistics Majors
Math and statistics majors are problem solvers. They study algebra, calculus, geometry and the various equations needed to solve problems. They also learn how to think and apply that foundation to an array of larger, more complex problems. Mathematician and HBCU alumna, Katherine Johnson once said, “We will always have STEM with us…there will always be science, engineering and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics.”
Depending on where you study, you may major in mathematics, statistics or applied mathematics. One way to describe the difference between general mathematics and applied mathematics is that applied mathematics is math put to practical use such as in the film “Hidden Figures,” while pure mathematics is more of what you might see in films such as “Good Will Hunting” or “A Beautiful Mind.”
Is a Major in Math or Statistics the Right Fit For You?
Good candidates for math or statistics majors are those students who enjoyed and performed well in high school math classes, particularly in higher-level and advanced placement courses. Because mathematics is a fairly broad field, with topics ranging from trigonometry to calculus, statistics to number theory, students should have an affinity for the breadth of the major, or at least an interest in its many forms.
Careers for Math and Statistic Majors
Students armed with a degree in math or statistics can work in a variety of careers and industries. Their skills and knowledge enable them to work in education and translate well to industries ranging from computer science to finance to biotech. The list of options is extensive and includes:
- Environmental Mathematician
- Mathematical Scientist or Research Analyst
- Numerical Analyst
- Operations Research Analyst
The broad range of career opportunities means there is also quite a variation of salary ranges. The job forecast is exceptionally high in the general category of mathematicians and statisticians, with a 33% expected job growth from 2019 to 2029. The job outlook for actuaries, who earn approximately $108,000 annually, is expected to grow 18% from 2019 to 2029. Financial analysts can earn roughly $81,000 per year.
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Coursework Mathematics Majors Can Expect
Programs vary from school to school, but math and statistics majors can expect their course load to include a heavy concentration of math classes, including algebra, calculus, analysis, geometry, logic, number theory, probability and statistics and topology.
UNCF Schools to Consider
More than 25 UNCF-member HBCUs offer a form of mathematics as a major, including:
Scholarships, Organizations and Programs
Several professional organizations may be appropriate for professional mathematicians, depending on their specific industry, including Black Women in Science & Engineering (BWISE) and the National Association of Black Accountants, the American Statistical Association and the American Institute of Mathematics.
Several scholarships are available through UNCF. The UNCF General Scholarship Awards are an excellent opportunity for any student going to a UNCF-member college, regardless of their major. The UNCF/Koch Scholars Program offers scholarships, mentorship, academic support and networking opportunities to undergraduate African American students. The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program awards a $10,000 scholarship to one exceptional HBCU senior each year who has demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and unmet financial need.
If you are interested in a career within mathematics or statistics, reach out for guidance. Submit a major interest form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!