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What can I do with my degree?: Mathematics

Studying maths helps you develop skills in logical thinking and statistical or strategic knowledge, which are valued by employers across many job sectors

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

If you are keen to use your mathematical skills in your chosen career, a relevant industrial year out or final year project/dissertation will be helpful. Placements are available on some mathematics degree courses in areas such as:

  • banking;
  • the civil service;
  • financial services;
  • consulting;
  • retail;
  • computing.

Whatever role you apply for, having previous work experience will help your application stand out. Paid or voluntary experience in a relevant field will show your interest in, and commitment to, your chosen career and will give you the opportunity to build a network of useful contacts, as well as develop key skills.

In order to train as a teacher once you have completed your degree, you will need experience of working with children in a classroom and/or related setting, such as play schemes or sports clubs. Classroom experience, whether as an observer, classroom assistant or volunteer, is invaluable.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

There is a demand for mathematicians and statisticians across a range of sectors, for example the petroleum and nuclear industries, medicine and IT, as well as many forms of engineering and different government departments.

Those who have specialised in statistics can find work in the NHS, local councils, educational establishments, the pharmaceutical industry, insurance companies, market research and marketing companies, banks and accountancy firms. There are also opportunities for employment with publicly-funded-research institutes or government agencies.

Find information on employers in accountancy, banking and finance, business, consulting and management and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

A maths degree helps you develop skills in:

  • designing and conducting observational and experimental studies;
  • analysing and interpreting data, finding patterns and drawing conclusions;
  • information technology;
  • approaching problems in an analytical and rigorous way, formulating theories and applying them to solve problems;
  • dealing with abstract concepts;
  • presenting mathematical arguments and conclusions with accuracy and clarity;
  • advanced numeracy and analysing large quantities of data;
  • logical thinking.

You also develop key general skills that all employers expect, including:

  • communication skills;
  • time management;
  • organisational skills and working methodically and accurately;
  • teamwork and the ability to work independently.

Further study

Further study is a popular option for mathematics graduates with just over 30% undertaking further study or combining study and work six months after graduation.

Further study at Masters level can be useful for some maths-related careers such as operational research, medical statistics in pharmaceutical companies, meteorology and engineering design. A PhD may be helpful for finding work in these areas and is essential for academic careers.

Other careers, including most finance-related careers and actuarial work, require further study during employment to complete professional exams. You'll be expected to study in your own time.

Specific statistics courses exist as well, such as applied, medical and official statistics.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do mathematics graduates do?

Six months after graduating more than half of mathematics graduates are in employment. Three of the top ten occupations held by those employed in the UK are finance-related professions, including accountants and actuaries.

Other professions in the top ten include programming and software development professionals and teaching professionals.

Graduate destinations for mathematics
Destinations Percentage
Employed 56.5%
Further study 22.8%
Working and studying 8.2%
Unemployed 7.7%
Other 4.9%
Types of work entered in the UK
Business, HR and financial 41.8%
Information technology 10.6%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 8.9%
Education professionals 8.5%
Other 30.2%

For a detailed breakdown of what mathematics graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.


Further information

Written by AGCAS editors
April 2015

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