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Advice for Future Math Major from People Who've "Been There"?

  1. Lisa HW profile image79
    Lisa HWposted 8 years ago

    A high-school student asked for my opinion on selecting a minor; but since I've never worked in a math-related field I'm not the one to even be able to offer any specific resources for people trying to make this decision.

    Here's the question:

    "....I have an interest in mathematics and I will be taking ap calculus in my senior year. I am a fairly good student in math. In my junior year, I took geometry and pre-cal. I got a low B in geometry and low A in pre-cal. My main reason for emailing you is that I am confused about what minor i should take if I wanted to major in math. The minors would be between two choices either business or technology such as acccounting or computer science. I would be grateful if you had any personal advice about the two or anything else...."

    Does anyone who has experience with majoring in math, working in any of the areas mentioned, etc. have ideas or suggestions for resources?  How about people familiar with trends in what's likely to offer the best options for upcoming students?   Thanks on behalf of the young woman trying to decide.   smile

  2. BrianFanslau profile image60
    BrianFanslauposted 8 years ago

    I would say that it truly depends on their interest and what they would use their math skills for.

    Ask her if she wants to work in business. Is she someone who has "internal drive" (motivated and takes action) Does she like business or would she rather interpret numbers from the field.

    once you know what she desires to accomplish a minor is perfect for pointing out what someone side passion is for.

    When I went to Bethel I was a Marketing/Business Major and I took many side classes that interested me. Like psychology and Entrepreneurship courses along with a smattering of business management courses. They never led to a minor for me but I had collective knowledge from them and they do help with your resume'

    Ultimately it takes an individuals own drive to learn outside of the classroom I believe for them to accomplish their goals in life. Learning never ended for me when I finished from Bethel in fact I've spent nearly 100-200$ on various books each month and have felt more empowered from taking the initiative myself to learn and improve myself rather than more pieces of paper that cost thousands of dollars to say I learned what I have from those books.

    1. Jane@CM profile image60
      Jane@CMposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      BRIAN, I just looked at your profile, we are neighbors!  I saw that you had gone to Bethel, and thought, I wonder if its the same "Bethel"  too funny!

      As far as a math minor goes, have her check with the colleges she is interested in, many who are interested in an engineering degree are not allowed to minor in math.

  3. Lisa HW profile image79
    Lisa HWposted 8 years ago

    Brian, I'll say "thanks for taking the time to answer" for her.   smile

  4. Colebabie profile image60
    Colebabieposted 8 years ago

    I would tell her to look at the college as well. See what minors they even have available and what kinds of programs they are. Also see what kind of program her major will be in, as she may not have time for a minor. Or maybe they offer a BS/MS program that would better suit her. Then I would tell her to go as specific as possible without limiting when she can take courses. Does that make sense? She wants to stand out and be unique, but she doesn't want to have to stay there for an extra year because her major is so specific they only offer a course every once in a blue moon.

    I started out minoring in Spanish. But honestly being a science major and working is quite enough smile

  5. MontyApollo profile image60
    MontyApolloposted 8 years ago

    I would say a low B grade in Geometry your junior year might be an area of concern for a math major. Two reasons:

    1. Geometry in high school is all about proofs, and when you start taking pure math in college there will be a lot of things to prove

    2. Math people often take Geometry freshman year because they are advanced. When I was in school the average students took it sophomore year.

    This is not to discourage anybody, but it will give you an idea of what to expect.

    Career-wise for a math major, becoming an actuary is usually the most lucrative, and you might not have to be so much of a pure math guy to do this because it combines business, finance, and statistics.

    The other thing to consider is that if you like math, then an engineering degree is usually in high demand. You are also doing applied math rather than pure math, which is easier for some.