Hi everyone! I'm in my early 30s going back to college this fall to get a second degree in mathematics and I was trying to decide between doing a minor in secondary education or a concentration in actuarial science. So I was wondering if there is a need for math teachers. If I chose to teach I think I would teach middle school math.

Yes, there definitely is. The reason they felt bad for pulling me for my internship for middle school math is that there is such a need for math teachers, but I just wasn't getting it or getting better. I'm very good at math, but it seemed the more fascinated I was with numbers, data, and statistics, the less sense I was making to the students. Please, do yourself a favor and go with actuarial science. You'll make a lot more money and your math skills will actually matter. Other primary and middle school math teachers I came across had little to no concept of derivatives, integrals, or physics problems, but were still much better at teaching than I was. Why? Because teaching is little to nothing about the subject you're teaching and all about how well you can teach to a very diverse set of learners who a small percentage of them are at grade level. You'll be teaching 8th grade Pre-Algebra to students who can't do 6 times 5 or 88 plus 11 without using a calculator. My first field placement was with honors Algebra middle school students and it was fun, but only because I could talk about math and it's fascinating concepts because they all had the pre-requisite knowledge. That was the last fun of ever had though, because the honors students will be taught by GAT teachers or ones with 20 years experience. Go with actuary science.

I completely agree with Granta_Omega. I teach algebra and prealgebra to 8th graders, and it's definitely more about how to reach all students. If you enjoy the study of math, go for actuarial science. Much more money and much less stress.

There's a huge shortage in my area. Schools are begging math teachers out of retirement to fill classes! For our last opening we only had one certified individual apply. The problem is state testing. Here in Texas, algebra teachers have the STAAR test to fret over and a lot don't want to deal with that. If you chose teaching you would have a certain job, but probably with more stress than you want.

I'm going with software development instead, because I like patterns and equations, and I also want some money when I get a career. When looking into places I want to go and cost of living, what's relieving is I don't have to think about how I'm going to do all of that on a teacher's salary. I actually looked over Texas math standards as I am planning on moving to Texas in the next couple years and was initially going to teach there, and found it to be very similar to Common Core. I guess it is one of those states that wants to hit the milestones, but not do the rigorous testing.