To graduate with a maths degree is something to be proud of. Employers will know that you are bright, haven’t taken the easy option and have an aptitude for logic and problem-solving that is very sought after. The issue with many of the most respected subjects is that they are in their nature seen as academic rather than vocational and the transition into the world of work needs a bit of thought. Remember you have the gold-standard of degree behind you and that you can achieve as much as anyone with the more vocational degrees of accountancy or statistics. Employers will want to see your understanding of the industry as much as your mathematical know-how. These are the areas where we see maths graduates excel.
Finance & banking
Finance is often seen as the logical step for maths graduates but it is by no means the only industry hiring. Finance and banking encompasses a vast range of roles from financial traders to banking clerks. The type of lifestyle you want is really important to your career choices. If you want to enter the highly competitive world of corporate banking, you need to be able to deal with extreme pressure and put your home-life second, at least until you become established. The financial rewards can be high but be prepared to put in the hours. If you want a decent, secure salary and better work-life balance, retail banking may be the way forward. For flexibility becoming an independent financial advisor or tax advisor can also be a lucrative option.
Insurance & actuarial
If risk is your thing then insurance is your game! Many maths graduates are drawn to the world of insurance as it offers some of the most challenging problem-solving roles. Day-to-day actuaries are making complex mathematical decisions and there are few other roles which are quite so number-focused. Mathematical modelling, data analysis and calculating probability make up the job of the actuary. Although some business skills are required, i.e. presenting findings, working with clients etc. actuarial work is one of the most maths-focussed occupations out there. Read more about the work of an actuary.
Statistics & data analysis
The appeal of going into statistics and data analysis for many maths graduates is that you can work in such a range of industries. You can work in the corporate world, in investment or you can work in the public and third sectors informing social policy. Astute mathematicians are needed across the board and if you want to put your skills into a ‘non-financial’ arena you could be crunching data for the NHS, for government departments or charitable trusts. Our clients in the science and engineering fields hire statisticians on a regular basis to analyse their research in the pharmaceuticals industry, energy and automotive sectors. If the high salaries available in the world of finance are not your main motivator there are thousands of diverse organisations requiring the brain power of top maths graduates!