Maths at university - what jobs after?

(37 Posts)
tharsheblows Wed 20-Feb-13 21:53:56

My son (year 10) asked me tonight what jobs he could do if he did Maths at university. I really don't know but do know that someone here does! Anyone?

ceramicunicorn Wed 20-Feb-13 21:55:30

I did maths at uni. Good for accounting and working in finance.

OldBeanbagz Wed 20-Feb-13 22:01:37

A friend of mine became an Economics Professor, another became a senior Tax Accountant.

BlackandGold Wed 20-Feb-13 22:05:53

Lots of jobs in the City I'd imagine.

Some former maths graduates I know have these professions:Actuary,
Accountant, Patent Attorney, Systems Analyst

noviceoftheday Wed 20-Feb-13 22:08:28

Lots of job in the City. Financial services industry loves maths grads. The examples already given plus I would throw in business analyst, portfolio trader and hedge fund manager.

WantToFindWorkLifeBalance Wed 20-Feb-13 22:10:12

Also quite a lot of Maths grads in IT

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Wed 20-Feb-13 22:10:50

Actuary, epidemiologist, government statistician, hedge fund "rocket scientist". There be gold in them thar spreadsheets.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JollyRedGiant Wed 20-Feb-13 22:12:52
MirandaWest Wed 20-Feb-13 22:13:12


ShotgunNotDoingThePans Wed 20-Feb-13 22:14:07

All of the above - plus the degree makes you very marketable as a candidate for the best graduate trainee jobs, management consulting etc.
So you don't have to be restricted to number-crunching roles.

It's a pretty competitive subject to choose, since maths graduates are seen as desirable by future employers and are expected to earn more over their working lives than other graduates.

This guide looks useful.

My brother did Maths at Oxford, he then did his PGCE and became a teacher. 10 years later he left teaching, sat his exams and became an Actuary and then became an Actuary Tutor. He loves it. I personally think he's bonkers wink But I didn't get the Maths gene grin

I'm a public health analyst
Also been a software developer

ajandjjmum Wed 20-Feb-13 22:19:53

DS is in his final year of Physics at a Russell Group uni - he took it because he can 'do' Physics, and is on course for a high 2.1 - not because he wants to work in the field, but because he was advised that it would open lots of doors.

He has applied for many different graduate schemes in the city, got through to several assessment centres, and been offered nothing. It seems that many of the larger finance firms are looking for economics graduates, and of course, there are very few places around this year.

He's been left feeling a little disillusioned, in that he's worked hard, achieved a lot and has a well rounded CV - but no job!

I would suggest that anyone selecting a degree subject tries to establish what they would like to do (if you can!!!), and perhaps researches what prospective employers are really looking for, before applying to UCAS.

Friends and relations who did maths at university went on to be

Actuaries (quite a few)
Accountants (ditto) ... although several of the accountants used their accountancy qualification as a springboard into more general business management roles
Retired early in mid-30s after working for a global investment and securities firm and and pocketing huuuuuuuuuuuuge sums in cash. Sigh.
Catholic priest grin
Cryptographer at GCHQ
Fund manager
Maths lecturer

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Wed 20-Feb-13 22:21:13

It's a fantastic subject for those with the ability - your DS would be sensible to look at the Russell Group Facillitating Subjects list. Also bear in mind that Further Maths is usually expected as an A level as well.
Is his school giving him good advice on this, do you think?

Oh, and a medical statistician.

Computing and/or engineering.

If he likes maths remember that he doesn't necessarily need to study pure maths at uni... My dh loved maths, hated pure maths and ended up in mechanical engineering which suited him to a T. He is now, literally, a rocket scientist.
Hth. Pm if can be of any further use. Dh's workplace has students in for work experience etc

BlatantLies Thu 21-Feb-13 00:33:47

Perhaps he would like to study Computer Science. It is all about maths and nothing to do with IT It has great employment prospects (at the moment grin )
A maths degree from a good Uni is very desirable. THIS looks like it will tell you what you want to know.

boomting Thu 21-Feb-13 00:57:29

There's very little that you can't do with a maths degree. With a one year conversion course (GDL), he could even branch out into law. Similar shifts are possible in many directions.

tharsheblows Thu 21-Feb-13 08:21:44

Thank you thank you thank you! He has an excellent careers department but there's nothing like hearing what real live people do. smile He came in last night and said "What can I do with Maths? Just maths, nothing else?" He's dismissed anything anyone else in our family has done, so no chemistry, physics, engineering or computer science. I am rolling my eyes. Of course, I'm jealous - I idly browse the economics and statistics courses and dream...

Previously it's been all about medicine, but really I think he's just thinking it through. Looking at the Informed Choices guide from Shotgun's link, he doesn't have to decide until university. For medicine, he was planning on doing biology, chemistry, maths and further maths a levels anyway.

ajandjjmum - good luck to your son! How frustrating for him.

Thanks again. He will really appreciate this - I definitely do!

happilyconfused Thu 21-Feb-13 14:07:32

Well said lunatic. There is money to be made by maths and physics grads in gaming. We had a games programmer come in who got his physics degree from Leicester (astrophysics) and he implied that the games companies do not teach maths and physics but will train programmers. Maths and physics is great for simulations and techie modelling stuff. But you do need a real interest in gaming so if he has spent hours on COD, Pokemon etc it may pay off in the end.

IvySquirrel Thu 21-Feb-13 20:08:33

My Dh has a maths degree & intended to be an actuary. However student drama sucked him in & he went into backstage work. Bit random but he has made a good career of it!

ZuleikaJambiere Thu 21-Feb-13 20:19:42

I work in market research - number crunching and analysing data, working closely with and reporting on to marketeers. If he's also interested in medicine, then how about medical stats?

BestIsWest Thu 21-Feb-13 21:21:32

Data Analysis, Business Intelligence, Analytics etc - this is a definite growth area at the moment and I know quite a few maths graduates working in this area.

MariscallRoad Fri 22-Feb-13 19:26:53

Maths offer opportunities in the careers range that some posters already pointed here. But note these types of jobs are also hunted by other types of graduates. So mathematicians are is competition with others. The fiance sector does not have the same job capacity as in the past. However, an economics or any engineering degree seems that it offers much more employability in wider range of carreers and flexibility.

Lomaamina Sat 23-Feb-13 22:09:51

Academic research: Lots of university research fields use/need mathematicians.

There's also a growing trend for research using/into big data. Get him to look at for example.

androbbob Sat 23-Feb-13 22:13:02

Well I did a maths and Computer Science degree and now I am a Civil Engineer. My brother did a Engineering degree and now works in IT.

I wanted to be an Accountant but didnt get a job in the interviews.

tharsheblows Wed 27-Feb-13 10:25:00

Thanks - he's read the thread and found it seriously interesting. I think, at the moment, he wants to stay in maths classes forever and simply get paid for it once he's out of university. grin Not sure that's possible...

I think knowing what's out there will help him decide a bit - he does have bits he loves more than others and being able to point and say "well, this career uses a lot of that" makes it all a bit more real.

Thanks again!

tharsheblows he sounds just like my DS1. He is doing Maths and Further Maths A levels now and loves every minute. I showed him this thread as well.

didireallysaythat Fri 01-Mar-13 17:11:34

And there's more to maths that just numbers (in fact a degree in maths doesn't always involve any numbers).

I did maths at university, then did a PhD in molecular biophysics (despite having no chemistry or biology) and now I spend my time working with proteins in drug discovery.

I wish I'd done engineering mathematics though...

DD1 gets really really excited when any of her classes have actual numbers in them (2nd year Maths degree) - it's all letters and abbreviations apparently smile.

alreadytaken Sat 02-Mar-13 17:33:49

he might find this student room thread interesting

There is quite a big difference bewtten maths at school and at university. He might want to look at STEP papers, he certainly needs to be aware of them as good maths departments are likely to require them

Medical statistics might be interesting but a maths graduate could make a great deal more money elsewhere.

If medicine is still a possibility tell him to do maths instead - less anti-social hours, more money and he won't have to work for the government smile Only the absolutely determined should apply for medicine.

RugBugs Sat 02-Mar-13 17:43:26

DP is doing his secondary maths PGCE, his Brother has a first class masters in mathematical physics from the same Russell group uni and has done sweet FA since graduating in 2010, well, he does have an impressive amount of achievement points on wow and the Xbox but he's not done a days paid work in his life.

bangwhizz Fri 08-Mar-13 14:46:08

As an accountant I would like to point out that there isn't much maths in accounting.

VAVAV00M Fri 08-Mar-13 15:21:27

Robot engineer smile My old maths teacher used to be one gringringrin

tharsheblows Wed 13-Mar-13 22:42:24

Thanks again! I'd be happy with him doing almost all of these things - maybe not sweet FA like your brother-in-law, RugBugs... grin

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