Mathematics is studied both as a tool and for its own sake. Its usefulness in the sciences - physical, biological, social, behavioral, and environmental - and in decision-making processes is so established as to make it an indispensable part of many curricula.
Mathematics is chosen as a major area of study by individuals who find it challenging, fascinating, and beautiful. It is also appreciated by many who seek primarily to use mathematics as a tool.
A career in mathematics, except for teaching at the secondary level, generally requires a graduate degree as preparation. Careers include teaching, research, and the application of mathematics to diverse problems in institutions of higher learning, business, industry, and government.