In response to industry demand, William Paterson University will offer a new master of science degree in applied mathematics beginning fall 2020. Students will have the option to choose a degree concentration in Applied Statistics or Discrete Mathematics. The 30-credit master’s program (33 credits if students choose to pursue a thesis) is designed with working professionals in mind, accommodating part-time students with evening, weekend, and hybrid courses.
The Applied Statistics concentration emphasizes the practical application of statistics, developing students’ skills to research, analyze, and interpret data to make data-driven assessments and decisions in such professional fields as quality control, market research, financial analysis, and product development.
The Discrete Mathematics concentration emphasizes the role that logic and algebra play in advanced software engineering. This concentration is intended to provide career development opportunities for students who work or seek to work in that field.
Students in both concentrations complete their program with either an internship, applied research project, or an optional thesis.
“Our Department of Mathematics has responded appropriately to William Paterson University’s vision and mission to develop academic programs of high demand and value in the professional world, as evidenced by the latest labor statistics,” says Venkat Sharma, dean of the College of Science and Health at William Paterson University. The United States Department of Labor projects that overall employment of mathematicians and statisticians will grow 33 percent from 2016 to 2026, thanks to the ever-growing amount of digitally stored personal and corporate data that businesses need to analyze.
The Newark, New Jersey metropolitan area in which William Paterson University is located boasts the fourth highest employment level of mathematical occupations in the nation, per the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The mean annual salary for mathematicians in the Newark area is more than $109,000 – compared to the national mean salary of about $50,000 across all industries.
Through the new master’s program, undergraduate students majoring in mathematics at William Paterson University will have the option to take graduate level courses in their senior year, allowing them to graduate with the MS in Applied Mathematics one year later.
“Including an accelerated BS-to-MS option is a wonderful opportunity for our undergraduates to continue their studies right here and to get into the workforce with additional qualifications faster,” Sharma says.
Students from both the Applied Statistics and Discrete Mathematics concentrations are required to complete coursework from both disciplines in their first two semesters of the program. That, explains Professor Melkamu Zeleke, chair of the mathematics department’s graduate program, makes the program stand out.
“Unlike traditional master’s programs in mathematics, William Paterson University’s combination of Applied Statistics and Discrete Mathematics into one common, foundational core of carefully selected, advanced courses is unique,” Zeleke says. “We constructed the program to produce graduates who will be most desirable in the workforce: well-rounded ones who will excel in high-demand, high-paying careers.”
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