Science & Math
Science & Math Degrees
A degree in Mathematics will prepare you to use mathematical theory, algorithms, and computer technology to solve problems in science, engineering, and business. A bachelor’s degree in mathematics will include courses in linear and abstract algebra, calculus, differential equations, probability theory, and statistics. Usually, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics is not enough to land a job, so continuing your education is necessary to succeed. However, some government jobs do accept individuals with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
There are also master’s and doctoral mathematics degrees available. Mathematicians usually have PhDs in applied mathematics where practical problems are solved, or theoretical mathematics where teaching and research are conducted. Many mathematician jobs are in research and development laboratories, or as part of a technical team.
A degree in science is available at associate, bachelor, master, or doctoral levels. There are different areas of science like life sciences which focus on living things, and include biology, forestry, animal science, and microbiology. Physical science programs include chemistry, physics, environmental science, and geology.
Most employers hire scientists with a bachelor’s degree in science or higher. Coursework for a science degree will vary depending on the area you are studying, but typically will include a basic understanding of chemistry, computer science, engineering, and mathematics. Students who earn a science degree can train for positions as researchers, lab assistants or technicians. A master’s degree or PhD is usually required for those who want to become teachers or professors.
Job Opportunities for Scientists and Mathematicians
Job opportunities for scientists will depend on the specific area of study. For laboratory workers and technicians, employment is expected to grow by 14 percent between 2008 and 2018. As the population grows, and as new types of tests are developed, the amount of laboratory tests will continue to increase. Employment of biological scientists is expected to grow 21 percent between 2008 and 2018. Much of this growth is due to research being done on isolating and identifying genes. Also, biological scientists are needed to discover and improve ways to preserve the environment.
Employment of mathematicians is expected to increase by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the Bureaus of Labor Statistics. This is mainly due to the ongoing advancements in technology, where there will be a need for more knowledgeable mathematicians in the fields of computer science and software development, engineering, and operations research.
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition; Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.