The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook places the median pay for mathematicians at $47.78 per hour. As an average growing job field with approximately 16 percent of job growth anticipated between 2010 and 2020, earning a mathematics degree via distance learning is a good option for the math-minded student looking for a solid occupational future.

## Accreditation of Online Mathematics Programs

Like the majority of reputable online mathematics programs, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools offers regional accreditation to colleges and universities located in 19 Midwestern states. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges oversees two-year programs in California, Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa.

The association’s Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities oversees schools offering four-year degree programs in this area. Other accrediting bodies are the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. National accrediting bodies include the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges as well as the Distance Education and Training Council. Since there is no accrediting body overseeing mathematics, there is no programmatic accreditation available.

## Types of Online Mathematics Degrees

Learners have the options of earning one of four degree types:

- Associate Degree.
- Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics or a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a secondary emphasis in a related field.
- Master of Science in Mathematics or a Master of Education in Mathematics.
- Doctorate Degree.

A student’s future earnings potential increases with the advanced nature of the degree the learner earns. Although online mathematics degrees fall into one of the four previously mentioned types, there is some room for specialization. For example, a learner may opt to pursue the field of mathematics with an eye on teaching in the future. In the alternative, a student may choose to combine mathematics with physics, chemistry, computer science or another related field to add an emphasis that will open up additional career paths after graduation.

## Mathematics Degree Courses Frequently Found on an Online Syllabus

While almost all college and university students will see a basic college mathematics course on the syllabus, additional courses vary by institution and course of study. A student who intends to go into engineering will opt to pursue different online mathematics courses than a learner who intends to become a high school math teacher. Options include:

- College Algebra and Linear Algebra.
- College Trigonometry.
- College Calculus (Various advanced calculus courses exist for math and science students).
- Finite Mathematics.
- Teaching Mathematics.

## The Benefits of Pursuing an Online Mathematics Degree

Graduates of online mathematics programs may opt to work for the federal government or pursue a career in the private sector at a science lab or within engineering firms. Other professions that a graduate with an online math degree might pursue are in the actuarial sector, within computer programming or analysis, database administration or market analysis. Students who graduate with an advanced degree in mathematics may choose to become statisticians, college professors or astronomers. It is clear that the versatility of mathematics makes it an attractive field to enter, particularly since an advanced degree opens doors for business, science and government work.

## Additional Career Information for Math Degree Graduates

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the job growth for statisticians is about 14 percent between 2010 and 2020. The same holds true for physicists and astronomers. What sets apart this type of career is the $50.69 per hour earnings potential. While educators may anticipate a median annual pay of $62,050, the anticipated growth of the profession is at 17 percent. This heightened employment change between 2010 and 2020 makes online mathematics with an emphasis on education another attractive career choice.

### Sources

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians.htm

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/statisticians.htm

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/physicists-and-astronomers.htm

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm

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