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Math Pure Math Bachelors Career Options

  1. Feb 24, 2010 #1

    What careers outside of academia can one hope to find with a bachelor's degree (Honours with GPA>3.5) or even a graduate degree in pure math? Let's assume I've taken Cal 1-2-3, Linear Algebra, Diff. Eqns, Metric spaces and topology, complex analysis, real analysis, discrete mathematics, number theory (perhaps some cryptography aswell), some independant research (as part of honours project), and also some physics classes (Mechanics, E&M, wave motion...) I am trying to stay away from applied math (Mostly the finance/business applied math)


  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2010 #2
    I'm just a college sophomore (who's doing math / physics), but my understanding is unless you do math that makes someone money, you won't have a job outside academia. If you want to stay away from finance/business, I know that the video game industry needs lots of science people, except you will need a working understanding of programming. Cryptography? I'm not too sure, but math usually used as a tool - so if you're not using it to do something, then it doesn't have any value.

    Again, just a college sophomore! :-) there are many other better qualified people to answer your question here - hopefully they will respond.
  4. Feb 24, 2010 #3
    depends on your programming skills, you can be an IT guy or programmer.
    And its a shame that you don't want to go into finance.
    lots of people with pure math degrees go into finance (finance is not just selling or buying stocks. there lots of different jobs in the financial industry).
  5. Feb 25, 2010 #4
    Can you expand as to what options there are in the finance industry? My bias is that I tend to think that finance is all about plug'n'chug, as opposed to creative thinking which is required by pure mathematics.
  6. Feb 25, 2010 #5
    Well, I don't want to give you a stupid answer, because I barely understand it myself. So I suggest you read about on the forum with Search. I've actually started my own thread on this topic. If you need more information, ask two-fish quant to take a look at this thread.

    But some example that I could think of is..

    Tweaking an algorithm
    Creating a New Model for Derivative Prices
    no idea...!

    But honestly, these all fall under the 'applied' field. After looking around on Google, I did not find any job besides academic that was interested in pure mathematics for pure mathematics.
  7. Feb 25, 2010 #6
    I certainly know that many employers enjoy the fact that a mathematics major often has very good critical thinking skills, which, often, come in handy in almost every field. The only problem with that sort of prospect is that one cannot accurately plan or attempt to plan a future. I've heard that, in Canada, the biggest employer for pure mathematicians is the government, especially in fields such as cryptography, where number theory can be useful.
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