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Math Careers using pure mathematics

  1. Dec 6, 2011 #1
    Just wanted to know if any of you guys had any useful advice with regards to careers from a maths degree. I am in my second year of a integrated masters (in the UK) and would be open to further study. I am doing well academically so far (top 15% of my uni, which is prob 2nd best in UK), but finding that I really have very little idea of what I want to do afterwards. I have considered going into finance or consulting but so far have not been sucessful in any of the things I have applied for (eg easter internships) and perhaps this is because my heart isn't in it. I love pure maths.. I'm starting to get some choice in my course and have chosen all pure modules with the exception of probability and statistics. I have been thinking for a while that I would love to do cryptography but a) I don't actually know that much number theory yet so I don't know if I would be any good(!) and b) it seems a very niche area, probably too small to pin all my job hopes on. My professors definitely aren't too much help, on discussing my course choices I said I wanted to do at least some things that would be useful and his opinion was that I wasn't studying maths to be useful. Which I guess is true, but I'd also like to be employed..

    Does anyone have ideas of jobs that actually use pure mathematics? Or know if there is much opportunity for research in this area? I would also consider becoming an academic but again feel it is too early to know whether I am actually good enough for this. I love my degree though and would willingly take lower pay for a job that might actually use some of the stuff I'm doing.

    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2011 #2
    hmm. This guy Michael Freedman from Microsoft came to my school to talk about the significance of Topology in Quantum Computing. Regretfully I missed the lecture, so I don't have much more information than that. If you're at the 2nd best program in the UK it sounds like something like this might be realistic for you.
  4. Dec 6, 2011 #3
    Number theory is probably a must if you want a career in pure mathematics. Don't shy away from cryptography, either. Even if you don't get involved in that, many of the principles of cryptography apply to other fields, such as data compression.
  5. Dec 7, 2011 #4
    Thanks :)
    I do intend to study Number Theory- I've taken it as an option this year and my courses have worked out so its the only course I'm taking that term, which should give me time to read extra around the subject. Its good to know there are other jobs that could use the same skills as cryptography.. I guess I just have to keep learning and researching stuff.
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