Professionally, accountants are referred to as “number crunchers” because of their focus on numbers. Although this math-focused business program differs from a math major, there are important differences between the two. The focus of these programs of study, as well as the courses required to graduate from these different degree programs, are very different, even though the field of accounting certainly requires knowledge of basic mathematics. There is a strong case for both of these majors, but it’s important to think about your long-term goals before making a decision.
Mathematics vs. Business Assignments
Accountancy and mathematics are very different in that they are both taught at a college or university. In most cases, accounting degrees are offered by business schools. A business administration, finance, economics, marketing and human resources major is often offered in conjunction with other business-related majors. Colleges of science, art, and science, as well as colleges of liberal arts and liberal studies, are more likely to offer mathematics degree programs. The school or college these students attend has a direct impact on the core curriculum they must complete in order to graduate.
As a student in accounting, you’ll learn about a wide range of business topics, as well as in-depth accounting studies. Math majors may choose to take a few business classes as electives or to fulfill general education requirements. It is true that math majors are required to take advanced courses in a wide range of mathematical fields like calculus, topology, algebraic structures, analysis, and statistics rather than broadening their business knowledge.
Mathematics students may specialize in areas such as applied mathematics, probability and statistics, teaching, economics, or even actuarial science, allowing them to gain a more specialized education. In addition to math, physics and computer programming are frequently required courses for math majors.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, math skills are among the most important qualities needed to become an accountant or auditor (BLS).
Accountancy and Mathematical Careers
For accounting and math majors, the difference in required courses is more than just a matter of how many credit hours you will have to work toward your degree. Different sets of abilities are required as a result. In accounting, where the actual math skills needed to succeed are somewhat basic, the high-level complex math skills you’d learn as a math major may have no real practical application. On the other hand, the principles and processes of creating financial statements are the primary focus of an accounting program. They are more useful in a business role than in a mathematician’s career.
Accountants and auditors are common professions for those who have earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. For both internal and external use, accountants prepare financial reports and documents such as balance sheets, tax returns, and other records.
Internally or as part of an external evaluation or investigation, the financial data and documents produced by an accountant can be examined by auditors. A decade’s worth of job growth is predicted for accountants and auditors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a median salary of $69,350. If you have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, you can also work as a financial analyst, personal financial advisor, or financial manager.
Mathematicians make up a small percentage of all occupations. All that is classified as a math job by the BLS are statisticians, actuaries, and operations researchers. About 177,900 people in the United States are employed in math occupations. There are numerous benefits to pursuing a career in mathematics. For starters, there’s a lot of money to be made. Only actuaries earn six-figure median salaries, and the median wage for all math occupations is $84,060. Over the next decade, the BLS projects that employment in math-related fields will grow at a rate of 28%, which is significantly faster than the national average.
Think about more than just how well you’ve done in previous math classes before deciding on a math or accounting major. You should think about the kind of career you want to have in the future. Do you want to pursue a degree in business administration and gain experience in financial reporting, or would you prefer to focus your studies on advanced math theory and techniques and work in data analysis? If you know the answer, you’ll be in a better position to make an informed decision about your academic future.
The BLS reported that mathematicians use their extensive math skills to analyze data and solve real-world problems, despite the fact that it may sound like an academic career path.