Masters in Mathematics Crunching the Numbers

More education equates to more money

According to Robert Longley is his article “Lifetime Earnings Soar with Education,” which references a U.S. Census Bureau report entitled “The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings,” “over an adult’s working life, high school graduates can expect, on average, to earn $1.2 million; those with a bachelor’s degree, $2.1 million; and people with a master’s degree, $2.5 million.”[1]

As such, a person with a Master’s degree will earn, on average, $400,000 more during his/her adult working life than will a person with only a Bachelor’s degree.

The earnings increase is worth the cost

According to, “The median additional debt is $25,000 for a Master’s degree.  A quarter of graduate and professional students borrow more than $42,898 for a Master’s degree.  At the 90th percentile cumulative debt for graduate and professional degrees exceeds $59,869 for a Master’s degree.”[2]

These statistics show that even at its highest, the cost of obtaining a Master’s degree is far less than lifetime earnings increase one will obtain by acquiring a Master’s degree.

Education and experience mattters

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Median annual wages of mathematicians were $95,150 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $71,430 and $119,480. The lowest 10 percent had earnings of less than $53,570, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $140,500.”[3]

If you want to obtain these higher salaries in mathematics, a Master’s degree or higher is essential.