Mathematics and Computer Science

Overview: What Is a College Program in Mathematics and Computer Science?

Mathematics and computer science programs are associated with one another because these two disciplines are so closely related.  A thorough understanding of mathematics can help those in the computer science field troubleshoot and solve problems.  Many schools divide these two disciplines into separate programs, but some of the coursework will still overlap.

Mathematics and Computer Science Classes and Learned Skills

Learning to understand important mathematical theories and applications as well as how to use technology are key components of earning an education in this field.  People pursuing an education in mathematics and computer science might encounter some of the following courses during their course of study:

  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Differential equations
  • Problem-solving
  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • Program design and development
  • Systems programming
  • Database systems
  • Computer networking
  • Software engineering

The extent to which students encounter programs like these depends on the specific concentration they choose to pursue, if any.

Available Learning Formats for Mathematics and Computer Science Programs

Programs in mathematics and computer science are offered in both traditional and distance learning environments.  Traditional students will work on campus while distance learning students will utilize the Internet as a means of accessing their class information and submitting their work.

Levels of Education Available for Mathematics and Computer Science

Mathematics and computer science programs are available at many levels of post-secondary education, including certificate, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctoral degree programs.  Within each degree level there are also specific concentrations that a student could pursue to better align their education with their specific career goals.

Outlook for Careers in Mathematics and Computer Science

Earning an education in mathematics prepares students for a variety of careers where analyzing numbers, working with formulas, and/or keeping numerical records is important.  An education in computer science is becoming increasingly valuable as society becomes more dependent on computers.  Some careers that can be pursued with this degree:

  • Appraiser
  • Bookkeeper
  • Research assistant
  • Assessor
  • Math or computer science teacher
  • Financial analyst
  • Budget analyst
  • Software development engineer
  • Web developer
  • Programmer analyst
  • Information technology project manager
  • Business analyst, IT
  • Computer networking/IT systems engineer
  • Mathematician

Mathematicians are typically required to hold a doctoral degree, and though this field is expected to grow significantly faster than the average for most other occupations, this market is still expected to have fewer jobs than job seekers for the foreseeable future.  However, the computer software engineer occupation is expected to be one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States through at least 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  For more information on the career outlook for mathematics and computer science occupations, visit BLS.gov.

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