Masters students in Mathematics need to be fast learners and excellent problem solvers. This is the field that lays the groundwork for all important scientific and technological achievements of our time.
Whether we are good at it or not, we all get acquainted to the study of Mathematics early on in our lives. It is only natural that those who pursue an academic degree in the field feel comfortable around calculations and numerical problems with multiple steps. Even if you already have a knack for numbers, specialising with a Masters in this field will further develop your logical argumentation, analytical thinking, and abstraction. Mathematicians are able to break down complex problems into simpler and smaller equations to reach a final solution – a skill which is applicable in a professional context as well as in our everyday lives.
In other words, if you are interested in a specialisation different from the general mathematical branches, there are plenty of options to consider. Although some programmes are highly theoretical and focused specifically on Mathematics, others can be applied in various professional disciplines such as Engineering or Science. Besides the so-called Pure Mathematics, you may also go for a specialisation in Statistics, Physics, Applied Mathematics, and more.
A Masters in this field means you will get more practice in the good old arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Depending on the programme curriculum, you may have courses in discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, computational sciences, financial analysis. The content will vary depending on the subject and on students’ professional orientation. For example, those studying and preparing for a career in Computer Science will be taking relevant courses in computational sciences. The course structure may consist of lectures and workshops, as well as individual or group project assignments.
The admissions procedure for this field is usually quite straightforward. One of the important points to keep in mind is that Masters programmes in Mathematics ask applicants for a relevant Bachelor’s diploma. You may also need to check the specific number of credits required within a particular subject area. If you are not a native English speaker, you may have to prepare your results from an English proficiency test before your application. Some programmes may actually be less strict with regards to your test score and may simply require a good overall command of the English language. Aptitude test requirements vary between programmes. A GRE subject test in Mathematics can be one of the requirements. Having prior work experience in the field is not a formal requirement. In any case, check the exact admission steps before applying for the programme of your choice.
The intellectual work that Mathematics students invest in their education does not go unnoticed. Perhaps it is not surprising that the training and problem-solving skills acquired by graduates are highly valued in many professional environments. Some mathematicians go on to become researchers, statisticians, accountants, risk analysts, and teachers among other professions. In general, industries such as engineering, programming, and finance are extremely suitable for people who do well with numbers and own a formal diploma to prove it.
It is also good news that career opportunities in disciplines such as Science and Mathematics are forecast to grow and become more attractive for job seekers. The US career website CareerCast, which generates annual reports on the best jobs in the country, recently presented their lists of the top 10 jobs for 2015 and 2016. It is certainly a favourable trend for Masters graduates that the rankings for both years mostly feature positions which highly depend on mathematics.For an overview of some of the most popular Masters programmes, click here