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What Can You Do With a Mathematics Degree?

What Can You Do With a Mathematics Degree? main image

Whether you call it ‘math’ or ‘maths’, or prefer the traditional ‘mathematics’, if you study numbers at university, your career opportunities are not only numerous, they’re also fairly lucrative.

Thanks to the growing importance placed on technology, big data and economic efficiency by all kinds of organizations, expert number crunchers are increasingly in demand. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2018 and 2028, the job market for mathematicians is expected to grow by a whopping 30 percent, with a predicted median salary of US$88,190.

Those who study math are keen problem solvers, eager to make sense of even the most advanced equations. Academic research is a common career path, but so are careers in business, economics and banking. This wide range of opportunities comes from the universal need for graduates with strong analytical and problem-solving skills – which math graduates should have by the bucketload.

What can you do with a math degree?

So, what can you do with a math degree? Mathematical experts are in demand across all kinds of industries the world over. Study math and you’ll have access to career opportunities in sectors you may never have even considered, including specialized fields such as in law or medicine. However, a large number of math careers are based within business or science and technology-related sectors, with math graduates occupying roles such as accountant, actuary, statistician, technician, economist or market researcher.

Read on for a few potential answers to the question “what can you do with a mathematics degree?” - including information on what to expect and the skills you’ll need.

Careers in accountancy and finance

A career in accountancy offers a range of options for math graduates across many different industries. Accountancy jobs include roles such as auditor, tax accountant, forensic accountant, management accountant and corporate advisor. To become a chartered accountant, in addition to an undergraduate degree in mathematics or a related area, you’ll also need to gain further professional qualifications. Often, however, if you start at a company as a trainee in this field, your employer will help you gain both the experience and the professional certification needed to develop in your role.

Careers in banking

Opportunities in banking range from the world of retail banking to corporate investment banking. Both arenas deal with financial assessment – public and private – with opportunities to specialize in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, bonds and shares, privatization, lending and IPOs (initial public offerings). Duties can include market research, creating new business opportunities, and developing financial models and solutions to present to clients. Math careers in banking can be lucrative, but again, professional qualifications in finance will be needed for some roles.

Actuarial careers

Actuaries evaluate financial risk in order to manage and advise clients. Combining risk analysis skills with in-depth knowledge of economics and business, actuaries ensure sound investments are made and commercial/business goals fulfilled. Most new actuaries start out working within pensions and insurance, a relatively low-risk area, while in the future you may get to work in banking, healthcare or investment. Actuarial roles can be client-facing, as with consultancies and pensions/insurance companies, and all actuaries will require the skill of communicating complex data and analyses to non-specialists.

Statistician careers

Statisticians are specialists in statistics –the collation, analysis, interpretation and presentation of statistics and quantitative data. Statisticians’ skills are required in numerous industries, ranging from healthcare to government and from finance to sport. You'll be tasked with managing, collecting and arranging data by means of surveys, experiments and contextual analysis. You may then be called upon to create reports and advise clients/colleagues on possible strategies, for example in order to make good financial decisions to further business goals. As a statistician, you'll have expert analytical skills as well as solid communication and IT skills.

Careers in academia and research

Careers in academia and research are very popular among mathematics students. This route may appeal to those who want the challenge of driving forward the next series of discoveries, theories and applications of the field – as well as the prestige of following some of history’s greatest mathematical minds.

Academic and research-based careers in math can be incredibly wide-ranging, and will depend on what area you wish to specialize in. Many are based within university departments, although long-term academics are also often involved in publishing, contributing to journals and specialist periodicals, or helping to produce complete publications (while on sabbatical or alongside other commitments).


Other common math careers include; intelligence analysis, operational research, statistical research, logistics, financial analysis, market research (for business), management consultancy, IT (systems analysis, development or research), software engineering, computer programming, the public sector (advisory capacity as a scientist or statistician), scientific research and development (e.g. biotechnology, meteorology or oceanography).

Less typical math careers


While the most common way to enter the field of engineering is with an engineering degree, a math degree can also get you there, in some specialized roles. Math graduates are often good at helping to solve real-world, physical problems, and can be found working in mechanical, structural, aeronautical and many other realms of engineering. That said, engineering careers often require specialized knowledge not covered during a math degree. Engineering internships and work experience can help if you want to improve your employability straight out of university.


Meteorology is more than just presenting the weather. The role involves studying weather conditions using data collected from weather stations, radar, remote sensors and satellite images across the globe, in order to interpret causes and to produce forecasts. You’ll need excellent IT skills, as well as strong skills in analyzing and interpreting complex mathematical data.


In addition to academic roles with a research focus, many rewarding math careers can be found in teaching. Numeracy is always a high priority within primary and secondary education systems, making highly numerate graduates with an interest in teaching highly sought-after. In order to teach in most countries, you'll require a formal teaching qualification. This can usually be gained in little over a year, and is often highly subsidized by the government, with grants often available to cover fees. To teach at university level, a postgraduate degree is often required, in a relevant specialism. If you choose this path, you may also get the chance to pursue your own academic research.


“What Can You Do With a Math Degree?” is part of our “What Can You Do With…” series. We have also covered artbiologybusinesscommunicationscomputer scienceEnglishengineeringfashionhistorygeographylawmarketingperforming artsphilosophypolitics, psychologysociologychemistryeconomics and physics.

This article was written in February 2015 and updated in November 2019.

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Laura Tucker's profile image
Written by Laura Tucker
Laura is a former staff writer for TopUniversities.com, providing advice and guidance for students on a range of topics helping them to choose where to study, get admitted and find funding and scholarships. A graduate of Queen Mary University of London, Laura also blogs about student life.

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Hi everyone,
I'm agree with this blog, I studied a bachelor in maths and after finishing university I started a training as Data Scientist without any experience about this market, this allowed me know more about Data Science (obviously haha), but also in areas that I never thinked that I will learn, such as start being a develloper, being able to create my own web pages and app. Also I learned lot of soft skills such as team work and project management, all this hapenned only in 10 months!
The idea to talk about my personal experience, is to show how wide are the posibilities to work studying maths, it's a hard but beautiful career, you will see crazy things that will blow your mind but also it prepares you to face very hard engineering and business problems!

I read your blog and this is correct that After a Mathematics Degree there is very wide scope open for the students.

We came here to see what are Math degrees are good for RIGHT NOW.

Teaching jobs require teaching credentials--another 2 years of school.

Accounting Jobs require passing a series of accounting exams and joining a professional society. Another year or two.

The same goes for Actuaries. There is a sequence of actuarial exams that are very sophisticated even after completing a 4 year math degree. Real actuary jobs aren't offered to anybody who hasn't passed the first 3 or 4 exams.

Nobody who hasn't studied Finance is going to get a job moving anybody's money around because they aren't going to know a thing about trading stock and have no expertise in economics.

Engineering firms love mathematicians...as long as they're also computer programmers.

What can we do with our Math degrees without having to start over again?

Hi mam
I m a student of Math(UG) and i decided to choose computer scientist as my career
Please mention names of some unversity in India ,i should join to

Which can hire a best job mam!? Physics /maths??

Hello mam,

This is Hemanth kumar, I finished my bachelors degree through university of Mysore. With the core subject as Physics,Chemistry,Maths.
I'm equally interested in Maths and Physics, just stuck between them to join my masters! Can u help me out ?

Hi Hemanth. I'm afraid you're the only one who can make that decision! I'd recommend doing some research into master's degrees available in both subjects, and thinking about which specializations you're most excited about. In addition to the article about about mathematics careers, you may also be interested in our similar article about careers with a physics degree

Hi Laura,

The blog sounds interesting and gives me a confidence that even a mathematician can pursue a good career. I am an engineering graduate (2006) from a reputed university in India and have been working in software industry for last 8 years. But, my passion for Mathematics always erupts out and asks me to follow it. I need a guidance on what all careers I can pursue in mathematics and what degrees (Post graduate, PhD etc) I need to attain Also, I would like to know the institutes and people who are into mathematical research. Please help.

- Kedar

Hi Kedar. The article above should hopefully give you some ideas of the different types of career open to those with strong mathematics skills. Each career path will require slightly different qualifications and skills, such as professional accountancy training for example. If you're interested in identifying leading universities in the mathematics field, you may want to check out our ranking of the world's top universities for mathematics, here.