Careers Advice

So you want to use mathematics in your career? Fantastic!

Unfortunately though, you may have seen or read some of the rumours going on about how maths doesn’t lend itself to jobs. You might have heard that the only thing a maths degree is good for, is to be a teacher or lecturer. But this is simply not true!

Mathematics lends itself to a diverse and varied career path. Though you probably wouldn’t think it. While jobs such as ‘economist’, ‘physicist’ and ‘chemist’, for example, are well-defined and known generally in society – the same does not hold true for ‘mathematician’. Think to yourself right now – do you know any person whose job title is ‘mathematician’?

I don’t think so. This is because pretty much all the jobs out there that use maths will not reference the word ‘mathematician’.

Of course you get the exception such in jobs such as statistician, but what about Analytics Consultant? Commercial Analyst? Software Engineer/Developer? Researcher? Postdoctoral fellow? Modeller (not to be confused with model)?

All these jobs, and more, use mathematics – but none use the word ‘maths’ in the title. So what jobs can you get with maths, if these job titles don’t even reference the field?

The general perception of ‘where maths can take you’ is: actuarial, banking or finance, mathematical modelling, statistics and teaching. Now all these are true. But to think these are the only places in which a maths can be used would be very limiting.

The reality is quite different. Mathematics offers a wealth of opportunities in areas including computing, government and health services – while also covering the usual business, economics, finance and academia.

Further, there are exciting new fields that push the envelope of what was thought possible. For instance, the field of biostatistics is opening up new areas of research that uses statistics and mathematics to quantify results. In a similar vein, the School of Mathematics and Statistics hosts an applied research centre that applies mathematics to the real world. The Australian Centre for Commercial Mathematics tackles real-world problems in transportation and logistics, energy, mining and even manufacturing – by applying a mathematical method to solve problems.

Moreover, the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute publish a spectacular recurring magazine called “Maths ad(d)s”, which showcases job advertisements looking for mathematics or statistics trained graduates. See them here.

Mathematicians are constantly needed in a more complex society, and are prized for their analytic and problem solving skills – along with their mastery of numbers. Let’s face it, not a lot of people are undaunted by numbers.

And that’s where you come in.

More information can be found from the School of Mathematics and Statistics:

…and if that’s not enough for you, MathSoc holds special careers and industry themed events from time to time – so check out our Facebook page or News/Events page here on the website, to ensure you don’t miss out on networking with potential employers!