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Bachelors of mathematics

  1. Feb 15, 2005 #1
    is a bachelors in mathematics enough in this day and age, or do you need at least a masters? what type of employment would a person with a bachelors in mathematics expect to find [ other than an adjunct professor ] i don't want to be a teacher.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2005 #2
    You could be a smart bum.
  4. Feb 16, 2005 #3


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    Even secondary school teachers are expected to get a master's degree before they are considered permanent. Yes, you probably could get a decent job- not particularly related to mathematics- with a bachelor's: that's true of any college degree. But if you want to work in mathematics, in industry, government, college, etc. You will certainly need at least a master's degree. For college teaching, you will be expected to have, or get, a doctoral.
  5. Feb 16, 2005 #4
    There is such an incredible shortage of math and science teachers in American public schools that many school districts are willing to grant "emergency certification" to an individual with a substantive degree (like math), but no teaching certificate. Continued employment is contingent on (among other things) satisfactory progress towards your teaching certificate. This is more likely to be the case in underserved urban areas. Fewer than half of the math and science faculty I taught with had graduate degrees.

    Now would a masters (in math or education) help? Of course. You'll have a better chance of being hired in the nicer, better-funded suburban districts as well as moving up the administrative ranks should you choose that path. Also, most teachers unions stipulate a minimum salary increase with each graduate degree/additional professional development.

    Private schools are, of course, another story. Usually no certification is required, but the masters would be helpful because the competition is that much more intense.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2005
  6. Feb 17, 2005 #5


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    an "adjunct professor" today at a college would need at least a PhD in my opinion.

    A bachelor in mathematics gives you some acquaintance with some of the more important topics at a low level. A masters involves getting significantly more knowledge of important topics, at a beginning graduate level.

    A PhD requires actually getting inside some topic and seeing what makes it tick, and advancing it a little oneself. This is a big jump above a masters. just as a masters is a significant level above a bachelors.

    Almost anyone can get a bacelors. and most people can get a masters. It is hard to get a PhD. One can work and work and just not succeed at solving a significant problem. It takes insight, and technical power, and persistence. You actually have to overcome a problem. The previous levels merely involve learning, not doing.

    Think of the difference between understanding how to do the kick for the backstroke, and actually winning a race using it.

    I am not telling you what job you can get with each degree, I am suggesting how much you will understand after each degree. If you do not want to teach, but only to earn money, you really should ask someone in the business world, rather than the academic world for advice. In general you need to know more to teach, than to earn money in a real world job. Or rather the knowledge you need in a real world job, is elarned afgter you get the job.

    A friend of mine in the real world, said that the main thing you learn in school is how to learn. So from that standpoint, the harder the courses you take the better. He felt his PhD in math helped him shorten the learning curve for his job, possibly at Ford motors research division.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2005
  7. Feb 17, 2005 #6
    Out of all the Bachelors available, is a Bachelors in Mathematical Sciences in the top 10? Obviously, a Bachelors in Math is better than a Bachelors in Political Science, Psychology, Foreign Languages, Sociology, Criminal Justice, right? I could do all of those with one eye closed, but to get a Bachelors in Math is something to be proud of, I think.

    Also, getting a Bachelors in Math is not a "walk in the park", rather it takes a lot of hard work. It's because of this reason, that I'm unable to get a Masters in Math.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2005
  8. Feb 17, 2005 #7


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    I think almost anyone who can get a bachelors in math can get a masters, with time and support. calculus is about as hard as math gets, and you take that for a bachelors.
  9. Feb 19, 2005 #8


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    I believed once that there is not much that I could do with my math degree. How wrong I was. I have read pleanty on this subject and the more I read the more I realize that math majors are quite desireable partly on account of the problem solving skills achieved from going through the rigors of such a major. I would suggest:

    - If you are an undergrad go to your career center (if one exists) and search for infomation there. Chances are you can find someone knowledgeable enough to point you in the right direction whether it be advice and/or showing you where to find the information you are looking for.

    -Go on the internet for information. You'd be surprised what you can dig up. I myself found a grad school handbook for math majors at Dartmouth College that I printed up and had bounded (the information is so applicable to all programs as well as many other areas)

    -I believe there are books on this subject that the AMA (www.ama.org) sells. I know for sure that there is a book called something like "101 careers for math majors" Again this is not the exact title but it should help somewhat.
  10. Feb 20, 2005 #9

    i believe you meant the American Mathematical Association. Not the the thread that you posted,which is a marketing company.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  11. Feb 20, 2005 #10

    matt grime

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    Well, that is *your* interpretation of it, be honest. Getting a Bachelors at even a good university the in US can take no more than a passing acquaintance with linear algebra and calculus. Indeed at PSU I seem to recall that the notion of proving something wasn't met until the 4th year, and the case at some British universities is approaching that. (The idea that you can get a degree in mathematics without even knowing what a group is still shocks me, but it appears possible.)
  12. Feb 20, 2005 #11


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    Here's the link intended:

  13. Feb 22, 2005 #12
    Are you telling me that any indvidual can obtain a Bachelors in Mathematics, with minimal knowledge? If you are, I beg to differ. You need to possess exceptional skills in Mathematics, or you will not make it past the second year.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2005
  14. Feb 22, 2005 #13
    He's saying that the requirements to get a Bachelor's in the USA sometimes aren't very high.
  15. Feb 22, 2005 #14
    Most schools offer several different options for courses you can take to get a bachelors in mathematics. For example someone who gets a degree in both engineering and math might not take the courses that cover groups. The same can be said for someone studying both computer science and math. However, if you do pure math they almost always require you take the harder courses, topology, abstract algebra and the more advanced analysis courses, these are courses, that someone double majoring with math in some other field, would not take, instead they would take applied math courses related to their field.
  16. Feb 23, 2005 #15
    at my school...you can get a BA in math or a BS in math. The BS is the one with math all the way up to your graduation date....math, algerbra, analysis, calculus, everything w/ a cherry on top.

    With the BA, you only need to take the basic classes, calculus, linear algebra. Then, the rest, you can choose what math you want.....and the rest, you have free electives....so it doesn't have to be math.

    This pretty much means you can get a BA in math, and not even have to touch analysis, and the proof based classes..............
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