Undergraduates

Undergraduates banner

You are probably already thinking about your career choices after you leave university. This is exciting but can also be nerve-racking, unless you’re one of the few who have planned their career even before arriving at university. Perhaps you only have a vague idea of what you want to do, or perhaps you have no idea at all, having chosen to take a maths-based degree simply because you were good at, and enjoyed maths at school or college.

The first thing to do is identify your personal preferences.

  • What are your career goals?
  • Where do your interests lie?
  • What are the skills you will be taking with you into the workplace?
  • Do you want a single career for life or do you want to try different things?

For example, don't feel that just because you're good at maths that you have to become a mathematician. If you find that your interests and goals are leading you elsewhere, you will almost certainly find that a maths-based degree is good currency in the job market and is highly valued by most employers. It will have taught you to think rationally and process information clearly and accurately – skills that are useful in any career.

The second thing to do is identify some possibilities. There may well be a host of careers for maths-based graduates that you are not familiar with or that you thought didn’t suit you. Take a look at our Posters page to get some idea of the range of possibilities open to you.

The financial sector, the actuarial profession, ICT, teaching and academia are some of the most popular choices, but there are many other careers that you may not have considered. Most areas of business and industry rely on people with good mathematical knowledge, in research and development, management, and as consultants or technicians. The Civil Service, the NHS and many other public sector employers are always looking for maths graduates and here you can combine your maths skills with other interests. In fact, at some level, nearly every profession needs mathematicians and statisticians.

Related Links

Independent Taskforce on Student Finance Information
Helping students in England understand the cost of their education.

Gocracker
This website offers information and news about STEM subjects, industry sectors, apprenticeships, colleges & universities and leading employers.

Skills Transformer
The Skills Transformer website provides science, technology, engineering and maths students with a structure to help them recognise, write about and talk about their skills: transforming them from dormant experiences to useful, persuasive evidence. Skills Transformer was created by Tania Lyden at The University of Reading as part of a project funded by HEFCE through the National HE STEM programme.

Nuffield Research Placements
Nuffield Research Placements (previously Nuffield Science Bursaries) provide over 1,000 students each year with the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.

Prospects: What can I do with my degree?
The Prospects site offers excellent careers advice.