Mathematics is at the heart of thousands of different careers, and underpins almost every discipline. Employers greatly value the strong analytical and problem-solving skills that Mathematics graduates have, and a mathematics degree opens doors to careers in areas as diverse as finance, medical technology, teaching, software development and many more. Some people intending to study mathematics have a definite career path in mind; many do not. A degree in mathematics allows you to keep your options open.
I studied maths because I loved it, hoping someone would employ me afterwards, but it turns out everyone needs mathematicians. - Neil
My aim always was to work on the interface between biology and maths after Part III. Given that I specialised in Pure Mathematics, this was a significant change, and the Post Master's Placement helped enormously to make this transition as smooth as possible. - George, PMP at the Sainsbury Laboratory for Plant Science
The Mathematics Faculty has a wide interdisciplinary network of industrial, business, governmental and academic partners. This broad range of connections will enrich your learning as well as your career prospects. When you come to study here, you will find a dedicated programme to help you develop vital transferable skills and offering opportunities for career development. The Faculty hosts every year a Careers Event for Mathematicians, attended by 40 to 50 employers in sectors ranging from Healthcare, Financial Services, Software Development, Environmental Engineering, to Accountancy, Bioscience, and Telecommunications. Other opportunities include:
- The Summer Research in Mathematics programme supports research in the CMS (for students in Parts IB and II). Its subsidiary, Cambridge Mathematics Placements, supports research in industry and other departments of the university (for students in Parts IB, II, and III).
- Teaching maths to young students at the Sutton Trust Summer School (for all students)
- Volunteering with the STIMULUS programme as a Teaching Assistant in a classroom) (for all students)
- Postgraduate and Postdoctoral Placements (PMP-PhD) (for PhD students and post-docs)
Some of these opportunities are competitive.
You can also find more information on career resources for current students.
Some of our former students:
The University Careers Service
Cambridge University's Careers Service has a mathematics section that outlines many of the different career options available to mathematicians, and includes advice on applications, CVs, interviews, and much more. It also offers help in finding vacation work and internships, and the opportunity to practise in mock interviews and sitting psychometric tests. You can register with them to receive email alerts of career events, employer presentations, and job adverts in your area of interest. One feature which is probably unique to Cambridge is that our Careers Service is available to you for life. As a graduate of the University of Cambridge you can continue to use our services to help you build your career at any time, no matter how many years after you graduate.
External sites with helpful information include:
- The Institute of Mathematics, which both runs a dedicated website called Maths Careers, and has a Careers section on its main site.
- The London Mathematical Society, which provides links to employment and funding opportunities in UK mathematics.
- The American Mathematical Society, which has useful career information and advice.
An interesting independent report on Earning by Degrees, produced by the Sutton Trust in December 2014, confirms that demand for Cambridge mathematicians is high. That report examined the effect of degree subject, University, etc. on salaries 6 months and 3 years and 6 months after graduation.