1 What can I do with my Maths degree ? Careers advice for Maths undergraduates What can I do with my Maths degree ? by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No- Derivs Unported License. Where next? Have you thought about where your Maths degree could take you? You have probably been told countless times that Maths graduates are highly sought after by employers and that there will be a wide range of careers that you can choose from. Perhaps that was even one of your main motivations for choosing a Maths degree - the prospect of a well paid, interesting and satisfying job. You may also have found yourself scratching your head, wondering what you will do, confused about what Maths graduates actually end up doing.
2 Very few job titles contain the word mathematician' but you can be assured that there are hundreds of interesting career paths that a Maths graduate can take. You will however probably have to put more effort into researching which career is for you, more so than someone studying a vocational subject, as there is no typical job for a Maths graduate. Hopefully this guide will: Give you some ideas about possible careers, both obvious and unusual! Suggest places to do further research Highlight the other skills you will need to make you stand out from the crowd Show you that there is a career out there for you. 3. FA. duates have highly developed numerical skills, logical thinking and have an ability to analyse difficult wn that mathematics and computing graduates earn more over a lifetime than graduates of other degree subjects.
3 Inside this booklet you will 6 Where do I begin? 8 More than a Maths degree The careers 10 Business, IT and Operational Res 12 Education 14 Science and Engineering 16 Finance and Related Professions 18 Statistics 20 Multiple Career Paths! for 22 Websites with Further Info typ te .. ths g r ma To find out more about Maths careers, visit requires a high level of Maths ? In many careers you won't be required to use university level mathematics, and the career may well be open to people from other disciplines. Lots of employers like Maths graduates for their transferable skills - problem solving, logical thinking and ability to understand technical information. So ask yourself - do I want to use a high level of mathematics or do I want to be stretched in other ways?
4 An example of a job using a high level of Maths would be someone using applied mathematics to model wind flow around a building, as opposed to someone who is a project manager rolling out the use of a new software system in an IT firm. Both challenging and stretching jobs, but in different ways. If you do want a career which requires a high level of Maths , think about what areas might interest you, and whether you might need to specialise by undertaking further study such as a PhD . Consider ca aree ath 6. 2. What type of employer would you like to work for? Would you like to work for a big organisation or a smaller company? Would you like to join a graduate recruitment scheme? If you want to join a graduate recruitment scheme then think about the implications - you will potentially move job areas several times as well as geographical location.
5 Is this something which appeals to you? Make sure you look carefully into what the scheme will involve. You may think graduates only join large companies, but plenty also join the public sector or jobs not part of a graduate scheme - if you go down this route you may need to make more effort in looking for vacancies on-line. 3. How do you feel about further study? Choosing to undertake further study after your degree can help you with your future career, but it can also be expensive and more demanding than an undergraduate degree . You need to be absolutely sure that this is the path for you. So if you were planning on further study because you are unsure of what career is for you, then you might want to reconsider. How do you feel about a job which requires further study for a professional qualification - Accountancy.
6 Make sure you have thought this through as you may need to study at evenings and weekends. 4. What type of skills do you have and which would you like to develop? Do you thrive off being with people? Do you enjoy managing and leading others? Do you enjoy working on detailed or technical problems? Do you enjoy applying Maths to real life problems? Do you like to work in a fast paced environment or prefer to work on something where it takes time to see the result? These are just some of the questions you could ask yourself to help you decide what kind of job you would like to do. Do however be wary of stereotyping - the word manager may suggest working with people, but you will also have to sit down and prepare finance reports.
7 Similarly accountants don't just sit at their desk crunching numbers, most will also give presentations, interact with clients and have to be good team players and ambassadors for their company. 7. More than a Maths degree Making yourselff stand out from the crowd It is true that many employers love Maths graduates for their many transferable skills such as problem solving, logical thinking and the ability to learn quickly. Employers are also very clear that they want people who can communicate, who can deliver a good presentation and who can write a report in coherent English. Very few jobs require you to sit in an isolated box churning out Maths formulae - even if you become an academic research mathematician it will help you a great deal if you can communicate with your colleagues, write successful grant applications and deliver an interesting lecture.
8 Skills which employers highly value (as defined in the education and skills survey 2010). Self-management \ Teamworking \ Business and customer awareness Problem solving \ Communication and literacy \ Application of numeracy so ne but I als co my . yez Faayye zaahh Saaye , eza Ideas for increasing your employability skills Make the most of every opportunity at University - get involved in student societies, volunteering projects, take on responsibility. Do things which you enjoy and will challenge too! y Yo ill have Don't shy away from Maths modules which are assessed differently, Through a presentation, essay or group project. Do work experience if you can - this is particularly favoured by employers. Look out for skills events put on by the careers service or your department - you will be surprised at what you might learn stom He cMaster Education There are lots of opportunities in the teaching profession ranging from teaching Maths itself to primary and special needs.
9 Maths teachers are in great demand in schools so their employment prospects are excellent. If you are interested in becoming a teacher then it is well worth doing work experience. Your university may offer a scheme bringing undergraduates into contact with school students. Doing work experience could help you avoid starting a teaching course and then dropping out because it isn't for you. There have also been people who have done the work experience for the pay it involves and have then ended up finding out that teaching is their passion. There are also now a variety of other routes into teaching rather than doing a PGCE, such as the Graduate Teaching Programme (GTP) scheme and Teach First Programme. At the time of writing there are still bursaries for those studying a Maths PGCE, but look on line for the most up to date information.
10 Becoming an Academic Most permanent academics combine teaching and research as part of their role. There are a much smaller number of academics who concentrate on just teaching or just research. The most common pathway to becoming a permanent academic is Masters then PhD followed by one or two fixed term post doctoral research positions, then a research fellowship before becoming a permanent lecturer. Case Study Ian Hollis - Head of Maths Alcester High School Technology College BSc in Mathematics, PGCE Maths I always wanted to have a job that would give me variety, and would not just be the same every day, and also wanted to share the techniques that I had learnt with others. Be absolutely sure that you are FULLY committed before deciding on teaching, it can be the most rewarding job in the world, but it can also be the most Science and Engineering Science Try describing the world around you in an accurate and coherent way, and you'll soon find that the language of Maths is indispensable.