If you choose to get a mathematics degree, you might be wondering what you can do career wise, especially if you want to avoid the obvious teaching roles.
Here are just a few suggestions:
Let's start with the obvious. A mathematics degree can make you a mathematician, but what exactly is this? And are there any things left to discover within the world of mathematics? Well, yes there is. The Clay Institute introduced the millennium prize competition for mathematicians looking to solve the currently unsolved questions in maths. Currently, out of the seven problems posed in the year 2000, only one has been solved.
You could also find yourself developing mathematical models to solve real world problems. A few years back I was working with a mathematician to develop an understanding of hoe type one diabetes develops, with the University of Exeter (who are working on a vaccine to prevent people developing type one diabetes). He made a computer model of the way the body's autoimmune response attacks the Beta (insulin producing) cells in the pancreas.
With changes in world politics, and the introduction of universal digital currencies such a bit coin, the economic climate is changing. There is plenty of scope to get into the financial market, from modelling and studying trends to maximise profits, to studying taxes, there are a number of options for entry level jobs if you enjoy studying financial data.
This is one for the James Bond lovers out there, how about working as a spy. Although it isn't as glamours as the movies make out, you really can be hired by GCHQ to study data and break codes. Although these days we make and break codes via computers, rather than the traditional way they broke codes at Bletchley Park during the 2nd world war, there are still plenty of opportunities, and not just working for government agencies either. These days companies hire people to attempt to break into their systems to find the weak spots, and build strong codes.
So you enjoy studying the data from experiments and making sense of the world? Then being a statistician is right up your alley. Statisticians find trends in data and visualise the results of tests, questionnaires and experiments, often using the data to draw conclusions. This can be for government agencies or companies looking to market their products better and improve.
Credit card fraud, identity theft, benefit fraud and scams, these are just some of the things you'll be dealing with, proving people and companies fraudulent behaviour. You'll need an analytical mind and patience to go through all the data collected and find evidence of foul play, but the emotional reward is unbeatable.
Using advanced mathematical devices such as calculus, you will study atmospheric conditions to predict the weather. But this is more than being a glorified weatherman, You will ensure flight zones of airplanes are safe and predict the paths of dangerous storms. You are saving lives.
Interestingly enough, most of the Simpsons writers have a mathematics degree, and many animators at Pixar do too. Computer animation in particular requires knowledge and understanding of vectors and calculus in the least. So if you also have a flare for the creative, why not look into getting into the arts as an animator?
There are still plenty of other jobs, and a lot of employers are just happy someone has a degree.
Did we miss any jobs? Did you or anyone you know get a surprising job because of your maths degree? Make a comment below.