Is Academia really necessary to become a mathematician? What about self-taught mathematicians? If someone has the maturity to learn by themselves, why need to go to university and spend time and money to sit in an overcrowded class with who knows what kind of lecture you get...? The only advantage I see is that someone cannot teach at the university unless they have a related graduate degree. But what about publishing math papers? Do we need to have this graduate academia license to publish something or author a book?