Is it Better to Have a Math Degree or a CS Degree these Days

More students are entering CS and that can be scary and interesting for job seekers yet Americans suck at math. That will cause attrition rates to skyrocket but also drags out a crucial opinion. It may be better to have a math degree than a CS degree.

There are some very basic reasons:

  • Mathematics, especially linear algebra, is of increasing importance and although a CS major takes linear algebra as well as probability and statistis and the courses are full of interpolation and independence, a mathematics major understands this better
  • Programming is now everywhere. R and Python are becoming staples of the programming world whereas everyone wants to get out of Java
  • As I start a company, I find myself using more math than CS. In fact, CS is on the sidelines as systems and other components are subservient to demands for memory, speed, and distribution based on the mathematics I’ve learned the papers of others.
  • Some schools nearly require CS minors for mathematics which can include databases, algorithms, and basic programming (the areas where Math majors are weak).
  • There is just more logic in a maths course.

Perhaps it is time to take another look at the CS curriculumn and incorporate math or create a stronger combined major. I still place CS higher than any business degree but if I start hiring, a priority may be a mathematician.

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