CEOs are among the most important people who have the power to fuel new ideas and to make a difference in the world. Steve Ballmer, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, is also a former CEO of Microsoft. And Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google, is the CEO of its parent company, Alphabet. And then we have Reed Hastings, who serves on the boards of Facebook but is also known for co-founding the streaming service, Netflix.
What do Steve Ballmer, Sergey Brin, and Reed Hastings have in common? Interestingly, all three innovative CEOs majored in mathematics! Reed Hastings, who also advocates for education reform, studied maths at Bowdoin College. Sergey Brin did a double major in maths and computer science at the University of Maryland. And for Steve Ballmer - he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in applied maths!
While your path to becoming a CEO may not be guaranteed via a math degree (but who knows!), these three living examples demonstrate the need for maths to be applied in our everyday life and how powerful change can be with the knowledge gained from a math degree. Read on for the experience of learning university math in college.
What topics are covered in a mathematics course
A degree in maths can cover a wide variety of topics - calculus is a must, as well as subjects such as linear algebra and computing. Depending on the specialisation of the mathematics course you have chosen, you will also be entitled to learning the specific skills for that course. You can choose to specialise in mathematical skills or majors such as complex analysis, discrete mathematics, mechanics, fluid dynamics, and fractal geometry.
Perhaps we can take a look at a real-life illustration of the topics covered in a mathematics course. Here is an example of some of the subjects taught, by year, for the Bachelor of Science in Mathematics programme at the University of Malaya (UM):
Year 1 Course Structure:
- Basic Mathematics
- Calculus I and II
- Introduction to Computing
- Introduction to Worksheet
- Mathematical Methods I
- Probability and Statistics I
Year 2 Course Structure:
- Advanced Calculus
- Linear Algebra
- Introduction to Combinatorics
- Algebra I
- Introduction to Analysis
- Complex Variables
- Appreciation of Mathematics
- Mathematical Methods II
- Structured Programming
Year 3 Course Structure:
- Mathematical Science Project
- Theory of Differential Equations
- Advanced Linear Algebra
- Matrix Theory
- Differential Geometry
- Complex and Real Analysis
- Probabilistic Methods in Combinatorics
- Industrial Training
Check this out for the subjects you need to learn to get onto a maths degree.
What skills do you need for a course in math?
A math degree can be great for many reasons, and while not everyone has the talent for solving math problems, you can build on the important skills needed to succeed in your degree. One thing you need to familiarise yourself with is numbers - and you’ll have to be good at it! Loving to work with numbers is a definite bonus because you’ll have to deal with them every day, meaning you’ve got to be an apt math solver most of the time.
Since math involves creating concrete solutions for how to solve problems, it is requisite for you to have logical thinking. While logic itself is the study of formal reasoning, there is in fact a specific subfield of maths called mathematical logic, or formal logic, which is closely connected to the very foundation of mathematics! Apart from having the ability to think logically, you’ll also need to be good with a computer as it’ll be your trusty device in university. Now is a good time for you to equip yourself with the knowledge of your PC’s software and hardware parts.
Now, how can you effectively build on these skills? You don’t need to look any further for help because with just a few clicks, you can find your ideal physics and maths tutor on the Superprof website! You can experience the thrill of learning subjects related to math with a private tutor, and you might even get to play some cool math games - just browse through our catalogue of available tutors and select any tutor in your area. You can read their profiles, check their qualifications, find an available time… soon enough, you can build your mathematical skills, and be ever more ready to take on a math degree. Look out for the best universities in Malaysia to study for your maths degree.
What are the requirements for a mathematics degree?
In order to make your university math application successful, you’ll have to take note of some requirements needed to apply to your university. This can also differ depending on whether you are applying to a public or private university, so be sure to contact the universities you are interested in. The contact information you’ll need to get in touch with these universities are usually found on their websites, although the preferred medium is almost always via phone or email.
To illustrate the similarities and differences in these requirements, most admissions into both public and private universities in Malaysia would require the fulfilment of pre-university courses. The most common pre-university courses taken are STPM, Matriculation, Foundation and A-Levels. While all these can be used to apply to a public university, most private universities in Malaysia do not recognise STPM and Matriculation as completion of pre-university, and students would therefore have to spend another one to two years taking either Foundation or A-Levels to apply to these universities.
Additionally, students who have taken STPM and Matriculation can apply to public universities via the Unit Pengambilan Universiti (UPU) portal, which is a single portal for sending in university applications. This can greatly save your time and effort because you can now apply to several universities at once, instead of visiting multiple portals or reading through many university websites. Do note however that this portal will only allow you to apply to public universities and not private ones. For private universities, admissions still have to be made via each institution as the entry requirements are different.
Looking for more information on studying mathematics in Malaysia? Read here for our guide to studying maths after graduating from school.
How much does it cost to study a math degree?
Course fees can vary from university to university, but there is an obvious price difference between taking a math-related degree in a public university versus a private one. For instance, a 4-year course in a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, or UTM for short, costs students RM660 per semester. On the other hand, the University of Nottingham, a private university based in Semenyih, charges students a fee of RM19,100 per semester for a 3-year course in a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Management.
Is it better to study at a public or private university? Of course, it’s more likely that you’ll learn from international academicians and do hands-on work with more advanced technology if you study at a private university. However, other than these and slight differences in course structures, the experience is inherently the same. Both types of universities will equip you with the knowledge needed to work with significant mathematics questions - all you need is the determination to pursue the degree.
Want to become more determined? You can take one-on-one classes with a Superprof math tutor if you’d really like to tailor learning to enhance your mathematics skills, and you’ll no longer have to refer to any website that answers math problems - do it yourself! Nevertheless, if you’d like to learn with the support of some friends, or join a class for extra social support, feel free to choose a physics and maths tutor on Superprof who provides group classes. Remember: unlike the cost of your future math degree, you can choose a Superprof tutor who you feel charges a reasonable price - no hidden fees included.
See what else you should prepare for your maths degree in Malaysia.
What can I do with a math degree in Malaysia?
One worry among all university students is: will I be able to get a job after graduating? Fortunately, graduates majoring in mathematics are highly sought after because of how relevant the field is in the working world. A report from the Department of Education even found that students who have studied science or maths in college have a higher employment rate and salary than other majors after graduation. In fact, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) majors reportedly earn higher salaries than their non-STEM counterparts.
Here are some of the interesting career prospects for math graduates:
- Marketing specialist
- Biostatistics expert
- Stockbroking executive
- Budget analyst
- Operational research analyst
- Planning officer
The career prospects of graduates majoring in mathematics are located in various fields, but they also depend on the course you are majoring in. As an example, if you’re majoring in pure mathematics, your career prospects may lean towards academia or research. Meanwhile, if you majored in applied mathematics, the possibility of fields related to your career prospects can be much broader. Regardless of what career you might pursue in the future, taking a math degree in Malaysia will bring you stimulating and rewarding experiences like no other.
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