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### UCL Mathematics PhD Open Afternoon, Wednesday 26 November 2014

### London School of Geometry and Number Theory (LSGNT)

*EPSRC award offers new PhD opportunities in pure mathematics*

### UCL Mathematics and Statistical Science 5th in league table for UK mathematics departments

### Helen Wilson and Mark Ronan comment on the Fields Medal 2014

## Careers

Students should only embark on one of our degrees because they really enjoy Mathematics and want to study it further. However, it is reassuring to know that a Mathematics degree is highly valued by prospective employers and can lead to a large variety of interesting, diverse and well-paid careers. The average starting salary of our graduates is over £23k.

What use is a degree in Mathematics? There are many careers in which the mathematics studied at university is of direct use. In most cases, however, employers wish to employ mathematics graduates because of the transferable skills they have acquired during their degree such as logical thinking, analytical and critical minds and problem-solving skills. However, this is changing and mathematicians are now being employed, for example, in the City to do mathematics in areas such as risk analysis and devising strategies for the buying and selling of derivatives.

UCL has an excellent Careers Advisory Service and they tell us that mathematicians are in a better situation than most graduates when seeking employment. The College’s high reputation means that top employers take part in the College’s annual careers information fair, various seminars on careers opportunities and ‘milk-round’ visits.

Below are some possible careers.

**Finance and Commerce**

Over half of our graduates are employed in
what is described as ‘financial services’ such as accountancy,
banking, insurance, tax and management consultancy and actuarial
work. Large firms, such as RBS and Ernst and Young,
visit the Department and give presentations to our students.

**Computing and Information Technology**

Increasing numbers of UCL Maths graduates
join the information technology industry where developments such
as the Internet, electronic commerce and banking, artificial intelligence,
multi-media and virtual reality all need the skills which mathematicians
have in abundance. Starting points are often applications
programmer, systems programmer, analyst programmer, help-desk trouble-shooter,
or in research and development. Some of our graduates have
even established their own software companies.

**Scientific Establishments**

Government research establishments such as
the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the Meteorological
Office, the Southampton Oceanography Centre, the Environment Agency,
the Rutherford-Appleton and Proudman Laboratories and the Atomic
Energy Agency (UKAEA) Technology, as well as large organisations such
as the European Space Agency, Qinetiq, the Wellcome Foundation and
the Leverhulme Trust offer interesting work requiring a high level
of mathematical expertise.

**Industry**

Some graduates are employed in large firms
in the general area of ‘operations research’.
Problems facing firms are modelled by mathematicians and analysed
by computers. There are numerous employers of mathematics
graduates in both the public and private sector, for example, London
Transport, British Gas, ESSO, Thomson Travel, Google, to name but a few. (A UCL Mathematics
graduate used to be the Managing Director of London Underground.)
In addition mathematicians are employed in aeronautics, hydrodynamics,
thermodynamics and fluid flow, for example, in British Aerospace,
in oil companies (modelling oil wells) and in designing cars (suspensions).

**Teaching**

The shortage of mathematics teachers in schools
means that there is little difficulty in getting a post with the
likelihood of rapid promotion. Some of our graduates are now
teaching mathematics overseas in places such as Botswana and Sri Lanka, and another
is now Head of Mathematics at Harrow School - the first female ‘master’
employed at the School!

**Other Careers**

In addition to jobs where a mathematical training
is a pre-requisite or a direct advantage, mathematics graduates
can and do take up those jobs which simply require a degree.
Indeed approximately 40% of all jobs available to graduates are
open to graduates of all disciplines. Being numerate can often be
a great advantage when applying for these jobs especially a graduate
of one of Britain’s top five universities! UCL mathematics
graduates have gone on to have a varied range of careers such as
a policeman, work in the travel industry, a children’s nurse,
a stage manager, a pilot, the bridge correspondent for the Independent
newspaper, an independent video director and so on!

**Further Study **As might be expected in a research
oriented department, something like between 30% to 40% of our students
continue in further study. It may be a PGCE teaching qualification, a
specialist Masters degree, in say, Operations Research or Differential
Equations or a conversion course, in say, Medical Statistics or
Information Technology. The Department of Mathematics at UCL offers an MSc in Mathematical Modelling and an MSc in Financial Mathematics.
Other students who have done exceptionally well may go on to do a
research degree, the two-year MPhil or the three-year PhD. PhDs are
expected to produce substantial and original work in a thesis after
three years. Several of our own graduates are currently taking PhDs in
the Department and elsewhere.

Please click here for the UCL Careers Service pages

Please click here for the University of London Careers Service pages

Please click here for further information on careers for mathematics graduates (mathscareers.org)

Please click here for the The Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA)

Page last modified on 11 sep 12 20:51