Pure Math Major | Applied Math Major | |
---|---|---|

Focus | Pure theoretical math | Application of math in different fields |

Skills Learned | Theoretical Problem-solving and Logical Thinking Skills | Analytical/Computational Problem-solving and Programming Skills |

Career Paths | Academia, Research, Finance, Government, Data Science | Actuary Science, Biology, Physics, Computer Science, Statistics |

# What is Applied Math Major Like?

The world runs on numbers and equations, and the study of mathematics remains essential to many different fields. Mathematics is an expansive discipline, with many different applications in the physical world. There are two main types of mathematics programs; pure math and applied math. Pure math is the more theoretical of the two, focusing solely on the aspects of mathematics with little to no consideration for their practical applications. Applied math, on the other hand, focuses on the practical application of mathematical concepts and theories.

## What is Applied Math Major?

An Applied mathematics major will teach you how to apply math to real-world problems. According to Professor Shuanglin Ding, a professor of mathematics at Pennsylvania State University, “The applied math major focuses more on applying analytical/computational math techniques to solve real-world problems in different fields”. By the end of the program, you will be able to solve real-world problems, create models, and analyze data using mathematical tools and programming languages.

## What Are the Skills Learned in Applied Math Major?

An applied mathematics program will challenge you in ways you may not expect. Students in this major will utilize tools like numerical analysis, optimization, ordinary differential equations, and partial differential equations. According to Study.com, “students learn statistical analysis, problem-solving techniques, data entry and management, and statistical software usage, which they may use throughout their careers”.

Moreover, applied math majors have the opportunity to develop programming skills. Students majoring in applied mathematics often choose to learn programming languages such as Python, Java and C++. These computer languages can be applied to the models applied math majors create, allowing them to help them work with large data sets, simulate mathematical models, optimize systems, and analyze real-world problems.

## What Are Possible Career Paths with Applied Mathematics Degree?

Applied math opens the doors to many career opportunities. The degree can open paths to a wide range of career choices, including actuary science, engineering, physics, scientific computing, financial engineering, data science, statistics, operations research, and computational biology. Industries that applied math majors may find work in include engineering, pharmaceuticals, finance, banking and government agencies

Actuary science is one career path that jobs specifically obtain a degree in applied math. Actuaries are specialists in risk management; they evaluate the probabilities, hazards and financial consequences of events or risks. They utilize the skills they learned in applied math majors to evaluate real-world problems like predicting the probability of natural disasters, or the likelihood of accidents in various industries. Actuaries are in high demand, and thanks to their skills, they have the potential to make high salaries.

Other jobs for applied math majors include data scientists, statisticians, financial analysts, engineers, policymakers, or research positions. Many of these jobs focus on the creation of models, analysis of data, or the optimization of complex systems. Some students may decide to continue their education and pursue a graduate or doctorate degree, allowing them to become professors and research scientists.

## FAQs

### Is Applied Math Major Hard?

When compared to other majors offered in college, applied math can be challenging. The curriculum is math-focused and requires a strong foundation in ideas such as calculus, probability, and statistics. Individuals should be prepared to be faced with challenging problems and seek out extra help if needed. However, despite its demanding nature, the major can lead to a rewarding career if the curriculum is completed successfully.

### Do You have to be Good at Math to Study Applied Math?

An applied math major requires a strong foundation in mathematics, and basic math concepts that should be understood to make it through the course. If you lack the foundation, gaining admission to the program can be difficult. However, having a natural talent or interest in math is not necessary. Passion and commitment to attaining the required math skills can lead to success in the applied math field.

## Conclusion

Applied mathematics is a program that involves the application of mathematics to real-world problems. An individual earning an applied math degree can expect to be well prepared with analytical and computational problem-solving skills, programming skills, and experience in data analysis. This major has its focus mainly on application, and it opens various career paths including finance, government, scientific computing, and engineering, among others. The curriculum is challenging, but with a willingness to learn and work hard, an individual can complete the degree successfully.