If you are deciding between majoring in math or computer science, you might want to know more about what each major has to offer. This post will show you the key facts about each major and help you to decide which would be a better degree for you.

**At a glance:**

Math | CS | |

Average pay | $76,684 | $85,235 |

Ease of finding a job | Moderate | High |

Types of jobs you can qualify for | Data analyst Data scientist Software engineer Math teacher Actuarial analyst | Software Engineer Software developer Web developer App developer |

Difficulty of the major | High | Moderate |

Key things to note | Very employable if you combine it with a minor in CS. Also employable if you combine it with programming and data analysis skills. Can be difficult to find a job with just a math major. | A very employable degree with just a bachelor’s degree. A well paying degree. If you combine it with a math minor, you’ll improve your chances of getting data science and machine learning roles. It would also help when applying to grad school. |

Source for CS salary and jobs

There are many things to consider when choosing between the two degrees and there are also some important things to be aware of when choosing either of them.

## Details about a degree in computer science

Below are some of the key details of the computer science major.

#### Current pay

According to Payscale, the average salary of someone with a bachelor’s in computer science is $85,235. This makes computer science one of the best paying degrees that are available.

Many of the alternative degrees to computer science will also have high average salaries. However, not only is computer science one of the best paying degrees but it also puts you in a good position with **just a bachelor’s degree**. On the other hand, many of the alternatives require a master’s degree to be competitive when seeking a job.

#### Types of jobs the degree will qualify you for

There are many different types of jobs that a computer science degree will open you up to. These can include:

- Software engineer
- Database administrator
- Data scientist (often requires a master’s degree)
- Machine learning engineer (requires master’s degree)
- Application developer
- Web developer
- Computer systems administrator

Most CS majors will end up taking jobs as a software engineer which is one of the highest rated jobs available. When interviewing for these roles, you will be tested mainly on algorithms and data structures which you’ll learn about during your time in the degree. Make sure to be very comfortable with algorithms and data structures when interviewing.

Data science is another career that is becoming popular among CS majors. If you want to get a job in data science, it would help to take classes in data analysis and machine learning, to learn Python programming, and to complete data science projects. A CS degree combined with classes relevant to data science should put you in a good position to get data science and software engineering jobs.

#### How difficult it is as a major

Generally, computer science is considered as one of the easier STEM majors and most people would agree that it is easier than a math major. With that being said, the major will require a lot of work, at times, especially once you are done with your freshman year.

#### Types of classes you will study

Classes that you can expect to take include:

Programming

Data structures

Algorithms

Assembly language

Databases

Computer architecture

Computer networks

You can also expect to take some mathematics classes including:

Linear algebra

Discrete math

Calculus

Some classes that you might have the choice of taking could also include

Machine learning

Artificial intelligence

Computer graphics

Computer networks

#### Important things to be aware of when taking the degree

Before you start taking the degree, it would be very important to consider what you think you would like to do with the degree. This is so that you will be able to optimize your classes according to what you hope to achieve with the degree.

If your goal is to get into data science or machine learning type roles, it would be important to make sure to take machine learning classes, to do machine learning projects, to take classes in data analysis and to take some statistics classes.

Whereas, if your goal is to get a job as a software engineer, it would be more important to take classes that focus on algorithms and systems architecture type classes.

If you think that you want to go to grad school, it would be important to take up research opportunities and to take classes related to what you think you would like to research as a grad student.

#### More details about the computer science major

I have written more about the computer science major here and I have written more about how hard you can expect the major to be here.

## Details about a degree in math

Below are some key details about the math major.

#### Current pay

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for mathematicians will rise by 33% by 2026. 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.

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.

#### Types of jobs the degree will qualify you for

Since mathematics is 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.

With that being said, even with just a bachelor’s degree there will be many different jobs that you will qualify for.

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**. 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.

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

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
- Actuary (requires lots of stats classes)

With that being said, there are some people that have gotten data science and machine learning jobs with just a bachelor’s degree in math. 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 classes you will study

As a math major you can expect to take the following classes:

Differential calculus

Integral calculus

Multivariate calculus

Differential equations

Linear algebra

Discrete math

Abstract algebra

Real analysis

Number theory

#### How difficult it is as a major

The math major is generally considered as being one of the hardest undergraduate degrees available. It gets especially hard when you enter your junior year since most of your classes will be proof based which tend to be much harder than the more computational classes.

#### 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 so that you are able to apply the math to those fields.

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 route, it would also help to make sure to take some statistics and data analysis classes.

#### More details about the math major

I have written more about how to do well in a math major here and I have written more about whether or not a math degree is worth it here.

## Computer science vs math degree

Below are specific reasons to choose one degree over the other

#### Reasons to choose a computer science degree

The key advantage that a computer science degree has over a math degree is that it is a very employable degree by itself. This is because the degree will qualify you for software engineering roles which are very popular right now and well paid. Whereas, a math degree needs to be combined with something more applied in order to make it as employable as a computer science degree.

In addition, a computer science degree is generally considered as an easier degree than mathematics. This means that you will have more spare time, as a CS major, to focus on things such as applying for internships, jobs, doing research and completing projects to help improve your resume.

Also, most CS degrees will require many math classes including linear algebra, discrete math and calculus. These classes are usually enough for most mathematical job roles including data science and machine learning.

Furthermore, if you have not been doing very well in the math classes you have already taken, a math major would likely be very difficult for you. A math major tends to become very difficult when you start taking proof based classes such as abstract algebra and real analysis. These classes are a step up from calculus and linear algebra which are more computational in nature.

#### Reasons to choose a math degree

There are some reasons why a math major can be a good degree. Generally, doing well in higher-level math classes will help you when applying to grad school for things such as statistics or even computer science (although a CS degree would still be better for that). A math degree is also widely useful and can be applied to many different disciplines.

If you do decide to major in mathematics, I would strongly recommend that you at least minor in computer science and make sure to take a class in data structures and algorithms. Doing so will help you immensely when applying to jobs. Also, it would help to make sure that you learn programming and complete projects related to the field that you would like to enter (so complete data science projects if you want to get a data science job).

#### Bottom line

**Overall, my recommendation would be to major in computer science due to better career prospects and a less demanding course load when compared to mathematics.** If you do not feel like the math requirements in the CS program at your university are sufficient, you could also supplement the CS major with a minor in mathematics.