Mathematics for Computer Science

An aptitude for math is an important skill for computer science careers. Read on to discover more about this challenging field, including educational requirements and employment opportunities for mathematical experts.

Is Mathematics for Computer Science for Me?

Career Overview

Discrete mathematics methods are used to analyze computer algorithms and the design of communication systems, making this area of study tremendously important in the field of computer science. The study of discrete mathematics in computer science typically includes topics in systematic listing and counting, probability and linear equations.

Career Options

A formal education in computer science and discrete mathematics can help you prepare for a number of math-related careers. Depending on your level of education, you may find work as a database or network systems administrator, computer scientist, software engineer or systems analyst.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is usually required to obtain a position in computer science and information research. However, completion of a bachelor's degree program can prepare you to work in many areas of the industry, such as video and audio signal compression, cryptography, algorithm development and computer graphics.

Employment and Salary Information

As of May 2013, the BLS reported that computer and information research scientists earned a median annual wage of $106,290. In the same year, network and computer systems administrators and database administrators earned $74,000 and $78,520, respectively. Between 2012 and 2022, employment of computer and information research scientists, as well as database administrators, was expected to increase by 15% nationwide, or faster than average in comparison to all other occupations. An average growth in jobs of 12% was projected for computer systems and network administrators during the same 10-year period (www.bls.gov).

How Can I work in Mathematics for Computer Science?

Undergraduate Programs

A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mathematics program can include courses in probability and statistics, algorithms, calculus, and discrete mathematics. You'll also study computer and lab science, physics, scientific computing and vector space. Some schools offer joint degree programs in computer science and mathematics, as well as combined bachelor's/master's degrees for those wishing to pursue an advanced education.

Graduate Programs

Master's degree programs may be found in computational science and engineering, as well as computational and applied mathematics, computer science and statistics. If you're interested in a career as a computer and information research scientist or university faculty member, you'll most likely need a Ph.D. in Mathematics; concentrations in computational science and engineering may be beneficial. Graduate course requirements can include topics in models and simulations, engineering algorithms and high performance computing. While students in a master's degree program usually complete a thesis, Ph.D. candidates write and defend a dissertation based upon independent research.

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