Career options for Mathematical Science researchers
Find out about the different career options available if you're undertaking research in Mathematical Science.
Broadly speaking, your options are the same as those for researchers in other disciplines; see the career options for researchers page for more details. The aim of this page is to look at some career options that may be suitable for Mathematics researchers. One important question to ask yourself is the extent to which you want to use your subject in any future career moves. It's entirely your choice - you will have acquired and developed many skills during your time as a mathematics researcher which are complementary to the scientific and technical skills you might think define your career choice.
Options with Mathematical Sciences
If you'd like to continue using your Mathematics or Statistics and would like some ideas as to how, see details of what previous Bath Mathematical Sciences doctoral graduates have gone on to do.
This covers the most obvious choices (academic research and lecturing, finance and becoming a statistician) but there are many other options.
You might want to continue in mathematical sciences as a whole, but change focus. There are many occupations in which your PhD would be valuable, including operational researcher, data scientist, financial risk analyst, systems/business analyst, communications engineer, meteorologist, market researcher, patent attorney or technical writer. The role of quantitative analyst, which usually requires a PhD in a quantitative subject, involves using research and analytical skills to design financial models used in trading and assessing financial risk. Quantitative analysts are employed in financial institutions including banks, hedge funds and investment banks. For more information on this role, view the Finance Train website and the Banking Blog on The Guardian website. If you are interested in using mathematics/statistics in a clinical setting, check out the bioinformatics strand of the NHS Scientist Training Programme. Teaching (of mathematics and/or statistics) can also be an attractive option.
For more information about what these jobs involve, check out the 'Information Sources' section below.
Some key resources to help you research career options for mathematicians:
- To find out more about academic career pathways in Mathematics, see the career options page and talk to academics in your department.
- See the Prospects.ac.uk, particularly the Options with Mathematics page.
- The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications has a careers section with career profiles showing how maths can be used in a wide variety of sectors and industries. They also produce a guide about how mathematical skills are used in the labour market.
- Plus maths has career profiles of and interviews with people, some of whom have PhDs, who have used mathematics in a variety of settings.
- The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics has a survey of the destinations of maths PhD graduates in the U.S., as well as case studies of how maths is used in various sectors.
- If you are interested in operational research, check out this description and profile provided by the University of Kent Careers Service.
- Management Consultancies Association - organisation representing consultancy industry. Includes careers resources and vacancy listings.
- Alternative careers in science (Careers Service publication).
- Careers in biosciences & pharmaceuticals (Careers Service publication).
- Careers in scientific analysis and R&D (Careers Service publication).
- Working in Science Policy - blog post from Queen Mary Researchers blog with some useful links and resources.
Where to look for jobs in Mathematics
- See the vacancies page for academic, research and research-related jobs.
- MathsJobs posts worldwide academic vacancies in mathematics and statistics.
- Careers Service MyFuture database - look at the vacancies relevant to your subject area and also in the sections 'For PhD Students' and 'For Postdocs'. As Bath is highly targeted by the financial and consultancy sectors, this is likely to be an excellent source of opportunities. Use the 'organisations' function to identify potential employers that you may want to work for or could approach speculatively.
- For jobs in systems analysis, try Computing.
- Market research opportunities appear in MarketingWeek.
- Meteorology jobs can be found through the Met Office, and also in New Scientist.
- New Scientist might also be a good source of vacancies in the patent law and technical writing fields, although speculative applications are common as well.
- For jobs in financial risk and quantitative analysis, try efinancialcareers.
- Jobisjob is a good source of jobs requiring a PhD in maths, particularly quantitative analyst roles.
- Gradcracker - has a large number of graduate vacancies in science and engineering.
- Civil Service Jobs - a large employer of statisticians in particular, through the Government Statistical Service. You should also check out the Operational Research Service and the Civil Service Analytical Fast Streams, which provides a high-level training scheme for statisticians, economists and operational researchers wanting to progress to senior management roles within the Civil Service. The Science and Engineering Fast Stream is another option.
- For opportunities in the NHS, visit NHS Jobs.
- Recruitment agencies routinely handle vacancies for some careers and there are numerous specialist agencies (for a complete list visit agencycentral.co.uk).