Why study mathematics?

Mathematics underlies modern technology, informs public policy, plays a central role in many disciplines and captures the imagination. In the 21st century, mathematics is a vital and engaging part of preparation for many careers and for well-informed citizenship.

1. Math is excellent training for a plethora of careers and an in-demand college major from all sorts of employers.

  • With science and technology playing ever-increasing roles in our society, skills in mathematics are paramount. Demand for mathematical skills has grown considerably in recent decades.
  • People seeking careers in actuarial science, business, finance, engineering, government service, industrial or government research, information technology, and education (to name a few) would all benefit from mathematical training. See more careers here
  • Mathematics is often listed among the best college majors.
  • Math majors tend to earn a substantial income and/or have low stress.
  • The problem solving, logical reasoning skills, and quantitative literacy that come from studying math are vital and highly transferable to almost any other career or discipline. Math is widely applicable.

2. Math is a fascinating intellectual endeavor.

  • Studying mathematics grew out of natural, inevitable curiosity and the human desire to describe the world around us.
  • For millennia, math has captured human imagination and sense of awe about the world, and continues to do so today.
  • Both its uncanny ability to model scientific, creative, and other phenomena, and the surprising elegance of its abstract thinking, are reasons mathematics is so often considered beautiful.
  • Much deeper than the “number-crunching” stereotypes, the heart of mathematics lies in correct logic, creative problem solving, carefully crafted explanations, and precision of thought.
  • The power of mathematics to give convincing proofs for its results, as well as to identify relevant facts and ignore irrelevant or distracting details, make mathematical knowledge and its methods unrivaled in accuracy and unparalleled in precision.
  • The methods of mathematics allow mathematicians to discover new knowledge that is far outside our natural intuition. This sort of power has led some to call mathematics the “queen of the sciences” and “the language of the universe.”
  • Doing mathematics strengthens cognition, which helps explain why math majors score well on standardized tests.