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Maths jobs

  1. May 9, 2007 #1
    What sort of jobs could someone get if they got a degree in maths i.e BSc(Pure/Applied Maths)?
    Apart from being a maths teacher, professor, researcher etc..., but more industry work?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2007 #2

    matt grime

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    Accountant, actuary, management consultant, model things for BP, say, or any other industrial company, work for the met office, the office of national statistics, work for IBM or similar, the telecommunications industy employs mathematicians. The list is really quite long.
  4. May 9, 2007 #3

    Chris Hillman

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    Qualify Matt G's advice somewhat?

    There are special schools/exams for that kind of thing.

    That is, Ph.D. mathematicians with a strong background in PDEs, information theory, etc., or programmers of proven ability who also know about those things.

    But they will probably want strong statistics and computer science background.

    This might have come out wrong: I am trying to say that what degree(s) you have probably don't matter so much, but you would need to show evidence of strong ability in mathematical modeling, especially computer models.

    This is based on my conversations with people who work at Boeing and elsewhere in aerospace in the U.S.; it was a bit of a shock to me to find that what people who actually work in industry say is important is quite different from what my math professors said was important!

    I'd another important possibility: genomics. You can look for a printed talk by Eric Lander which attempts to recruit bright math majors into this field. But notice that again there is already a lot of specialized knowlege and expertise you'd probably need to demonstrate to be a competitite candidate.

    Yet another possibility: the financial services industry employs some Ph.D. mathematicians who know about such things as stochastic differential equations; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-Scholes to get some impression.

    It is important to understand that the number of mathematicians employed in industry is not as large as some would expect, compared to the number employed in academia. In my day, the AMS suppressed this fact, which did some of us a disservice.
    Last edited: May 9, 2007
  5. May 9, 2007 #4
    the american mathematical society was right down the street from where i used to live, i always wondered what went on in that building.
  6. May 9, 2007 #5

    matt grime

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    not in the UK..... a good maths degree gets a very good foot in the door. Anderson, as used to be, for example, like to recruit direct from the maths graduates at Oxbridge. I had some very nice offers to go work in the City before I'd even completed the second year of my degree (in maths).

    what kind of degree in mathematics doesn't involve a firm grounding in statistics? Not one in the UK......

    I also think you're overstating the need for a PhD. Certainly by UK standards. (and I'm not going to pander to the US market here: you don't say you're from the US then you're going to get advice from the UK.) The markets for people with maths degrees, outside of the obvious professional specialities, seem as saturated as any other similar market. Not that you'd want to do the jobs that might come your way. Heck, you could even do a law conversion course, at the expense of some company.
    Last edited: May 9, 2007
  7. May 9, 2007 #6
    I'm from Australia. All advice is good.
  8. May 9, 2007 #7
    The ABS runs a good grad program in Canberra.

    I'm guessing you're in Perth, so there's the possibility of getting into geostatistics and going to work out Kalgoorlie or the Pilbara in resource evaluation as well. Petroleum companies up on the north-west shelf and SA/Tas are also always looking for people who have excellent computer modelling skills.

    I only mention the mathematical geology because that's more or less what I do :) And with the current boom, there's certainly jobs!!!
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