Understanding Mathematics and the Opportunities It Offers To College Students

Understanding Mathematics and the Opportunities
Post in Mathematics

Starting out in a new college or class is always an experience of its own. No matter how old or young you may be nothing will compare to the adrenaline that will course through your blood before a new class.

So if you are on the threshold of beginning your college life, you are in for a trip of your lifetime. Being in college can be fascinating as well as disorienting if you are unaccustomed to the rigors of the routine. And remember that no matter how much fun you may be having there; your main aim is to graduate in your desired major/minor.

This is an important aspect of your life as this will serve as the stepping stone into the future.

High School was a different ball game when compared to college or university. But your high school interests and grades will help you in figuring out what you should choose to study in college. There are a number of factors that will help you in zeroing in on your major. But you should always opt for something that is your passion and interests you too.

If you find yourself enjoying working with numbers then it won’t come as a surprise if you opt for Mathematics or any of its sub divisions as your major in college. But as we stated above you need to understand that the mathematics class you took in high school will be different than what you will be taking in college.

It is natural to be confused about the things you will learn in college. So today we are trying to rest your questions about Mathematics and its related topics with the help of the following questions and answers!

What is Mathematics? How to know if the subject is meant for you?

Mathematics is a science which deals with establishing a conjecture and proving the truth or falsity of it. This subject has changed and molded itself over the years of human history. Evidence of the forerunners of numeric characters and symbols can be found across the artefacts which represent the lives of our fore fathers. Thus, it is no wonder that Mathematics forms an integral part of our lives today.

As we all know Mathematics is one of the popular subjects college students opt for as their major. Although it is deemed to be one of the tougher topics it is also one of the most rewarding. And with the growing popularity of science, Mathematics has become one of the most frequently opted for major in college. But before you go about finalizing your major please make sure you are well equipped to face the challenges this subject will bring in your academic life.

What are the major sub divisions of Mathematics?

Mathematics primarily deals with Quantity, Space, Structure and Change. Quantity deals with Arithmetic, Structure with Algebra, Space with Geometry, and Change with Analysis. These fields are categorized under the Pure Mathematics division while the other division is known as Applied Mathematics.

As a college student you will be exposed to the various fields on a limited basis only. This will ensure that you are able to pinpoint you aptitude for a particular fields before delving deeper into it. Having an understanding of most of the fields of Mathematics will ensure that you choose the one which best suits your interest and needs.

Define Pure Mathematics and its components.

Pure Mathematics consists of primarily Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Mathematical Analysis. Arithmetic is perhaps the first thing you learnt in school. It deals with the addition, deletion, multiplication and division of quantities. Algebra is the study of numeric symbols and characters. They help to solve basic linear equations to more complex equations regarding the core topics. Geometry is concerned with the dimensions of a solid object. It helps to calculate the area, length, breadth, height and other values of the dimensions of the object. While Mathematical Analysis is the study of differential equations, integration and other complex topics.

This sub division of Mathematics is the most frequently taught topics in college if you are just starting out. You may have already done the basics of these fields in the form of classes you take in high school. In college you move on to more elaborate and complex problems within the same topics.

What is Applied Mathematics?

Applied Mathematics is concerned with the application of mathematical models in the fields of Science, Business, Industry and the lives of living beings. In this division of Mathematics, professional mathematicians strive to solve problems by applying the principles and models of the various fields of Mathematics. This particular field has found great recognition in the field of science and technology which functions on a commercial level as well as in the field of research and development. Applied Mathematics is further divided into Statistical and Computational Mathematics. They have been discussed in details below.

Elaborate on the sub divisions of Applied Mathematics.

Statistics forms a major part of Applied Mathematics and is concerned with the analysis of data figures and samples. It helps to ascertain the relationship between various data and derive their relationship in the form of results. Statistics helps in the decision making process for various problems. The major chapters you will encounter in your curriculum will include Sampling and Hypothesis Testing among others.

Computational Mathematics focuses on solving problems which are well beyond the capacity of humans. It uses Approximation Theory and Functional Analysis to come to the results. It is applied in the areas of Symbolic Computation and Computer Algebra. It uses technology to solve problems with little or no human intervention. Thus, it solely relies on the technology available along with a certain degree of artificial intelligence.

As you move through the classes in your college their complexity starts to rise. And if have finished a certain number of classes of Pure Mathematics, you will encounter your teachers moving onto some tougher topics which will revolve around Applied Mathematics. Applied Mathematics is one of practical subjects as it focuses on finding solutions to real life problems. These problems are solved with the help of Mathematical Models and Principles, thus explaining the name of the sub division itself.

Why should you study Mathematics in college?

There are a number of subjects you can study in college. And we are all aware that colleges offer a multitude variety of courses nowadays. Not only this helps students get acquainted with various subjects but also identify their own niches based on their capabilities. But it is also quite confusing if you are not aware of what you want in life.

If you are interested in studying Mathematics or thinking about it then here are a few reasons why the subject may be the right choice for you.

  • Mathematics is a part of our daily lives

Even if you don’t opt for a major in Mathematics you will still be using its concepts and principles in other majors. The subject is an important field which has found its involvement in all walks of life. Numbers play an important role in Finance, Marketing, Social Sciences and various other fields too. Even if you opt for trade school you will find yourself using numbers there too. So if you really wish to explore your love for numbers then do think about taking a Mathematics class in college.

  • Mathematics serves as a stepping stone for further career advancements

Having studied Mathematics builds a strong base to study other disciplines. Despite being from a different background, students who have majored in Mathematics find it relatively easier to venture into a new field. It will also help you to move onto more advanced options to develop your career or academic qualifications. Various studies have also shown that Mathematics graduates tend to perform better on standardized tests compared to their peers from a different background.

  • Immense job satisfaction and higher standard of living

Researchers have all agreed that they have found people who have graduated with a degree in Mathematics tend to perform better on their jobs. This performance translates to better standards of living and satisfaction levels. Thus, they tend to be a happier bunch compared to other people who are almost always stressed out because of their jobs. So if you want a happy life and numbers do fascinate you then Mathematics is one of the best options for you in college!

What are the major career options for someone who opts to major in Mathematics or its related fields?

So if you are finally ready to choose Mathematics as your major in college you will definitely like to identify your future career options. Remember the time when you were a kid and people used to ask what you wanted to be when you grew up? I am sure most of you must have answered that you would like to be an astronaut or maybe a doctor. It is apt to say that very few kids will say they want to be a Mathematician. And if you ask your peers the options available for Mathematics major, you will find yourself disappointed as most of them will hardly know the various opportunities this major offers to you.

Hence, today we will discuss about the various career options which are available to you! They have been discussed extensively below:

  • Actuary

An Actuary is someone who has finished the course on Actuarial Sciences. They are trained to work in the Insurance sector. They work with numbers and try to figure out the probability of an event’s occurrence or non-occurrence. Their main aim is to calculate the value of the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event in monetary terms. They also help to identify the risk associated with the event and enact policies to minimize the risks. It is a highly coveted job that is generally right up the ally of someone who has graduated in Mathematics.

To become an Actuary you need to graduate from college and finish the course on actuarial sciences to be certified as one. Some companies allow you to join as long as you have completed the specified portions of the course.

  • Statistician

Statistics will comprise of a major part of your curriculum in college. And if you are fascinated by it and take a liking to it then you can work as a Statistician with ease! The main aim of a Statistician to collect data through questionnaires, interviews, phone calls, surveys etc. They need to design the questions that they need to be answered. After having completed the collection they need to analyze the data to derive the relationship between them. Government agencies are the top recruiters for Statisticians along with insurance companies, magazines, newspapers, educational institutes and many others.

To work as a Statistician you need to have a Master’s degree along with the grades required as per the organization hiring you.

  • Financial Planner

This is a pretty interesting and thrilling job if you have the right attitude. A Financial Planner is someone who helps people by managing their money. They are various courses like the Certified Financial Planner or the Chartered Financial Analyst program which can help you get the job. But having a degree in Mathematics can also do the same for you provided you are willing to learn and have an aptitude to work with numbers and the complexity of the financial markets.

Being a Financial Planner involves working with wealth management firms, celebrities, high net worth individuals or investment companies. Thus, it can be a pretty interesting job for someone who wants to try out something different.

Author Bio

Jane Adams is a well-known and reputed Mathematics expert who has gained recognition due to her years in this particular field. Spanning over 20 years, her career has dedicated to the students she has guided and trained to success. Her work has been mainly centered on Applied Mathematics and its related fields. This also helped establish her career in the commercial world.