Are you someone who thinks in numbers? Were you always placed in advanced mathematics courses in middle and high school? If you’re headed to college, you may assume then that a math major is the right path for you. But there are actually several other majors in which you need sharp math skills to succeed—and many of them pay better than a career in pure mathematics.
Consider these 5 majors:
1. Business–Actuary Science
Business majors can choose a track in actuarial science, which uses math and statistics to assess risk in insurance, finance and other industries and professions. An actuary analyzes the financial consequences of risk for insurance companies, consulting firms, government, employee benefits departments of large corporations, hospitals, banks and investment firms, and businesses that need to manage financial risk.
2. Computer Science
Computer science majors use their math skills to create new ways to use computers, develop applications and new software, and solve problems. If you love logic or the technical applications of computers, this major is for you.
3. Financial Engineering
Despite its name, financial engineering is not part of traditional engineering programs. This major’s coursework includes operations research, applied mathematics, mathematics, theoretical physics, electrical engineering, computer science or engineering, and mechanical engineering. Someone with this kind of background can work as a financial engineer for hedge funds, asset management firms, proprietary trading companies and banks.
4. Business–Operations Management
Operations management can be a very lucrative field as it has a huge influence on the bottom line of any business or company that delivers goods and services. A major in operations management involves process analysis and improvement, quality control, production planning, inventory management, manufacturing, supply chain management, logistics, transportation and procurement.
Bioinformatics combines computer science, statistics, mathematics, and engineering to study and process biological data. Bioinformatics majors learn how to use computers and equations to sort and make sense of biological data. Graduates with a degree in this field can work in healthcare, biotechnology, pharmaceutical industries, and research.
The good news is that no matter which math-related major you choose, you will likely be making a higher average salary than most other college graduates, according to PayScale. That’s a pretty stable financial future!
Keep in mind, if math is really what you love but you aren’t sure about it as a major, consider a double major, or a math major with a minor in another area. Talk to a college adviser to figure out what’s right for you.
Remember, many schools have advising departments that cater to “deciding” students who haven’t yet settled on a major. So don’t panic if you aren’t sure yet.
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