GreenCub
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I'm in year 12 and I'm considering studying maths at university as it's one of the subjects I'm most interested in.

I've read about some possible careers that you can go into with a degree in maths, and besides the obvious choices of finance, research and teaching, apparently with a maths degree you can go into a variety of fields including software, working for engineering companies, programming etc.

However it seems that although a lot of these fields are open to maths graduates, people with degrees such as engineering and computer science would be preferred for many positions. For example it may be possible for a maths graduate with programming experience to become a software engineer, but a similar graduate with a computer science degree would almost always be preferred.

A lot of people seem to say that you can do a very wide range of careers with a maths degree, but are there a lot of careers where maths graduates are particularly preferred over other graduates with more specialised, vocational degrees?

How employable is a maths degree really in comparison to more "practical" subjects such as CS and engineering?
Last edited by GreenCub; 2 years ago
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kkboyk
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(Original post by GreenCub)
I'm in year 12 and I'm considering studying maths at university as it's one of the subjects I'm most interested in.

I've read about some possible careers that you can go into with a degree in maths, and besides the obvious choices of finance, research and teaching, apparently with a maths degree you can go into a variety of fields including software, working for engineering companies, programming etc.

However it seems that although a lot of these fields are open to maths graduates, people with degrees such as engineering and computer science would be preferred for many positions. For example it may be possible for a maths graduate with programming experience to become a software engineer, but a similar graduate with a computer science degree would almost always be preferred.

A lot of people seem to say that you can do a very wide range of careers with a maths degree, but are there a lot of careers where maths graduates are particularly preferred over other graduates with more specialised, vocational degrees?

How employable is a maths degree really in comparison to more "practical" subjects such as CS and engineering?
That genuinely depends on the industry and the company itself. Obviously if you're applying for, say a software engineering role at an IT company, they would prefer a CS, or engineering degree as it means you're more likely to have the skills they're looking for, experiences in programming (meaning they can save time and costs from teaching you the basics). However, it isn't a 'must' or 'required' but 'essential', meaning they're open to accept anyone provided they have evidence of the skill they're looking for.

For other fields such as finance, public administration etc, they really don't care what degree subject you've graduated in provided you have experience and the skills they are looking for. A degree does not prepare you for a career, and does not guarantee you one either. It still remains true that Maths degree does open doors to a wide range of careers. However, it is up to the person in question to make use of their skills and gain valuable work experience to show they are competent and compete against others in the current job market (which is oversaturated with people with degrees). A lot of people from my year group at uni (we all do Maths) are going into a wide range of industries in September: two of my friends are going into healthcare to work as mathematical biologist in cancer research, one is deciding to go into astrophysics, others in finance (including me), and some going into engineering. There are lots of opportunities to make use of your degree.

What you should worry more about is deciding which subject better suits your interest since you will be doing it for 3yrs (believe me, if you choose the one you're less passionate about, it will be very painful). You should also start researching more about the industry you're interested in going into. If you don't know, then explore it (e.g. by going to career events to firms in those industries, and seeing what they offer).
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IQuitTSR
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well it doesn't match with a job unlike engineering for example. I would recommend choosing carefully what you like best (think!). Discover what math in uni is really like (It's not like in A level) Look up other subjects like engineering, physics, etc. to make sure you mad the right choice on your favorite degree subject. You can start thinking of jobs while you study too to make yourself more employable if you have too once that is all done (and you have some idea what you want to do as a career).

In the end, don't worry, mathematics is a well-respected degree.
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marinade
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It depends where you live. If you live in London, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge type areas then fairly employable. If you live in Barnsley or the Outer Hebrides highly unemployable. If you live most other places not particularly.

I think the number of fields is exaggerated by other people. At my uni cohort most went into finance type things, teachers and further study - very stereotypical. The rest of us ended up in low skill jobs. I believe having a maths degree is more a hindrance than a boon. Engineering, CS and Physics all have their problems in terms of where the jobs are in the UK and vast oversupply of graduates, all the while employers pretending there's a shortage of these things.
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