If you have an interest in both math and business, you might be wondering which would make for the better major. This post will show you advantages and disadvantages of each and which major would be more appropriate.
At a glance:
|Ease of finding a job||Moderate||Moderate|
|Types of jobs|
you can qualify for
|Difficulty of the|
|Key things to note|
A general degree. This can
make it difficult to qualify
for specialized jobs that
Can improve your job
prospects by double majoring with
something more specialized
such as finance or computer
Can make for a good minor.
|Can be difficult to find|
jobs with just a bachelor’s
degree in math.
Very employable if
you combine it with
a more applied minor
such as computer
Also employable if
you combine it with
data analysis skills,
especially in Python.
Source for math salary and jobs
There are important things to consider when choosing between the two degrees since they can take you down very different paths. Also, there are some things to consider if you do choose either of them such as which classes you should take.
Details about a degree in business administration
Below are some details about a degree in business administration.
According to Payscale, the average salary of a person with a degree in business administration is $66,127. This is lower than the average pay of someone with a degree in mathematics which is reported as being $76,684. This is likely to be because a mathematics degree can qualify you for more high-paying jobs especially if it is combined with something such as computer science.
A business administration major will have you taking classes in a range of disciplines including: business, finance, accounting, and economics. As a result, a business degree is a somewhat general degree that is not specialized on a particular type of job. This means that the degree can qualify you for a large amount of jobs. However, you will often be less competitive than people who have degrees related to that specific job.
While it can be difficult to compete with people who have degrees related to specific job roles, you can improve your job prospects by getting internships, completing projects and learning skills related to the specific job that you are interested in.
Jobs that you can qualify for with a bachelor’s degree in business administration can include:
- Project Manager
- Marketing manager
- Account manager
- Operations manager
- Financial analyst
Overall, a business administration degree will usually be relatively easy when compared with alternative degrees such as finance, economics and accounting. The reason for this is that, being a general degree, you will not be taking many specialized classes that tend to be more difficult that other majors would include in their junior and senior years.
When compared with a mathematics major, you can expect a business degree to be much easier.
Classes you can expect to study
In a business administration degree, you can expect to take the following classes:
You can also expect to have the option to take other business classes as your degree requirement and the ability to take any classes in your electives. It would help to consider what job you are most interested in and to choose your electives accordingly.
If you are interested in a business administration degree, there are some alternatives that you might also want to consider such as:
Things to consider
As mentioned above, a degree in business administration can be quite general which can make it difficult to qualify for specific jobs. With that being the case, it would likely help a lot to minor in another field that is more specialized such as finance or computer science. A double major would also be an option if you are willing and able to put in the extra time. Alternatively, you could major in the more applied field and minor in business administration instead.
Regardless, you will be able to drastically improve your job prospects if you learn skills related to the job you are interested in, take classes related to the job you are interested in, complete related projects, and get internships in that field.
Details about the math major
Below are some key details about the math major.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for mathematicians and statisticians will rise by 33% by 2029 which is way above the average across all jobs. This is mainly due to the surge in data that companies have been receiving in recent years that they need people with mathematical and statistical skills to make sense of.
According to Payscale, the average pay for someone with a bachelor’s in mathematics is $76,684. However, the average pay for a fresh graduate entering their first job will likely be a lot lower than that.
Something to consider is that many of the more mathematical and well-paid jobs, such as a data scientist or machine learning engineer, will often require a master’s degree and that you take classes related to data science and machine learning.
Types of jobs the degree will qualify you for
Since mathematics can be used in many different fields, a math degree will open you up to many different job opportunities.
However, many of the jobs that mathematicians tend to seek such as a quantitative researcher or machine learning engineer require a master’s degree.
Examples of jobs that you could qualify for with a master’s in math could include:
- Machine learning engineer
- Data scientist
- Quantitative researcher
- Math teacher
With that being said, even with just a bachelor’s degree, there will be many different jobs that you could qualify for.
Examples of jobs that you could qualify for with a bachelor’s in math could include:
- Financial analyst
- Insurance underwriter
- Data analyst
- Software engineer
- Market researcher
However, math is a general degree that is not specific to a certain type of job in the way something such as computer science is to software engineering. This means that you should take courses from the field that you want to enter and do internships and projects in that field as well in order to be competitive when seeking a job.
For example, many math majors go into software engineering after graduation. If you want to qualify for software engineering jobs then make sure to take a data structures class and an algorithms class and try to get some internships as a software engineer while in college.
Before choosing your electives I would strongly recommend that you consider what you want to do after college and make sure to take classes related to that.
With that being said, there are some people that have gotten data science and machine learning jobs with just a bachelor’s degree. It would greatly improve your chances if you were to make sure to complete machine learning and data science projects and to do internships in those fields as an undergrad.
Types of math classes you will study
As a math major you can expect to take the following classes:
You can also expect to have the choice to take other advanced math classes or to take classes from related disciplines such as computer science, statistics and physics.
How difficult it is as a major
The math major is generally considered as being one of the hardest undergraduate degrees available. It becomes especially hard when you enter your junior year since most of your classes will be proof-based which tends to be much harder than the more computational classes.
As mentioned above, you can expect a math major to be a lot harder than a business administration major.
Some things to consider about the major
A math degree can open up many different possible avenues for yourself and can be a very good degree when combined with a more applied minor. This is because the mathematics taught in a math major is useful in a wide variety of fields but you will need to supplement it with some field-specific coursework.
A very good combination would be to major in mathematics and to minor in computer science. Doing this would open you up to job roles such as data science, machine learning engineer, data analysis and software engineering. Majoring in computer science and minoring in mathematics is also a very good combination.
If you want to go down the data science or machine learning route, it would also help to make sure to take some statistics and data analysis classes. However, again, it would also help a lot to minor in computer science.
Other majors to consider
If you are interested in a math major, there are other majors that you might also want to consider.
Other majors that you might also want to consider could include:
- Applied mathematics
- Computer science
More details about the math major
Reasons to choose a math degree
Like business administration, a math degree can be general as well. However, the mathematics, taught in a math major, can be used in many different disciplines. This means that if you combine the math degree with more specialized knowledge of a particular field or job, you can make the degree very marketable.
Although, there are also other specialized degrees that also teach the more applicable math subjects such as linear algebra and calculus, but also have good job prospects such as engineering. If you are considering a math major, it would also help to consider related degrees such as engineering or computer science which can give even better job prospects while still involving a decent amount of math.
Also, when compared with the jobs you will qualify for with a business degree, you can expect the jobs in a math degree to have better pay and higher satisfaction.
If you are set on getting a math degree, I would recommend choosing an applied math degree instead of a pure math degree. This is because an applied math degree will generally be a lot more employable. Also, it would greatly improve your job prospects if you also make sure to learn how to program in programming languages such as Python .
Reasons to choose a business administration major
A business administration degree can also qualify you for a number of different jobs but not as many as a math degree combined with a more applied minor such as computer science and they will not be as highly-paid for the most part.
If you do decide to get a business administration degree, it would help a lot to make sure to take classes related to the job that you are most interested in, to learn skills related to that job, to complete related projects and to get internships during the summer. I would also strongly recommend that you consider at least getting a minor in CS since it will improve your job prospects considerably.