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Job for mathematician

Barioth

Member
Jan 17, 2013
52
Hi,

I was wondering how is the job market now a day for mathematician?

How is it for people who studied pure math instead of applied math?

I did found some information on google, but I wanted to ask anyway!

Thanks
 

DreamWeaver

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2013
337
Herro Barioth! :D

I'm ever the optimist in such things, and I hope you are too... Put simply, though, mathematics is NOT a so-called 'soft subject', so provided that you apply yourself fully to whatever field of maths interests you, there will be plenty of well-paid jobs out there for you.

Consider this, as but one example: IT and computing are thoroughly modern, progressive, and largely well-paid job markets. And yet, by and large, if you talk to programmers, you'll often find that they have great computing/programming skills, yet struggle with some of the more abstract, conceptual maths. If you, on the other hand, have already mastered the maths, you'll have no trouble learning the programming side of things.

Pure or applied, it little matters: mathematicians are in demand, and that demand will only increase over time, in line with technological demands for mathematical minds...


Best of luck!! (you won't need it, mind) (Hug)
 

Ackbach

Indicium Physicus
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,192
I agree with DW: the market for well-trained mathematicians is seriously under-supplied. If, in addition, you have great communication skills, you'll be in extremely sharp demand. Some advice I've often given college-bound high-schoolers (which, to my knowledge, has never been followed; take at your own risk): if you're unsure what to major in in college, then do math and English. When you get out, you can do anything you want.
 

Klaas van Aarsen

MHB Seeker
Staff member
Mar 5, 2012
8,779
If you, on the other hand, have already mastered the maths, you'll have no trouble learning the programming side of things.
Many mathematicians and physicists seem to have trouble understanding the importance of writing code that is maintainable by other people, or writing code that can scale up to larger applications.
 

Ackbach

Indicium Physicus
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,192
Many mathematicians and physicists seem to have trouble understanding the importance of writing code that is maintainable by other people, or writing code that can scale up to larger applications.
I would agree with that. If you're going to code, then you should do it right. I once had an electrical engineering boss who didn't think that good style was important to my LabVIEW code. For LabVIEW code, and I'm sure this is true across the board for other languages, style is a very important factor in scalability and maintainability.
 

DreamWeaver

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2013
337
Many mathematicians and physicists seem to have trouble understanding the importance of writing code that is maintainable by other people, or writing code that can scale up to larger applications.

Absolutely! I didn't mean to demean programming, as obviously it's much more than just syntax. But, on a scale of relative complexity - and this is my anecdotal experience from talking to lots of programmers - it is the maths that presents the greatest potential stumbling block to a would-be programmer.


I ROM-hack old SNES games myself, so whilst I'm by no means a programmer, I have a modest idea of what good coding is, and certainly didn't mean to belittle it...

(Hug)

Gethin
 

Petrus

Well-known member
Feb 21, 2013
739
Hello,
Dont forget finance! You can get some good job from there and if you are REALLY good I think that you Will be able to work for bigger company. The most important is you work with something YOU enjoy and not for the money. Well I don't know if you can work with it only reading math..
The best tips is that you ASK yourself what would I ENJOY working with rest of My life:)it's not easy that's WHY it's best if you try get summer job in those area you could possible think you would like to have as a job!
Maybe i went some off topic...
Regards,
\(\displaystyle |\pi\rangle\)
 

Barioth

Member
Jan 17, 2013
52
Thanks a lot guys! I was first thinking about doing my master in number theory, but I was afraid to be jobless, wich I can't afford with my student loan!
 

Ackbach

Indicium Physicus
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,192
There is an application for number theory: cryptography. You could work for whatever the Canadian equivalent of NSA is.
 

DreamWeaver

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2013
337
There is an application for number theory: cryptography. You could work for whatever the Canadian equivalent of NSA is.
No water-boarding, mind... It's against the Geneva Number Theory Convention, methinks. :rolleyes:
 

Ackbach

Indicium Physicus
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,192
No water-boarding, mind... It's against the Geneva Number Theory Convention, methinks. :rolleyes:
Hehe. Well, whatever you think about waterboarding, it's certainly not NSA doing that. That'd be more of a CIA thing, or the military. The NSA does code-making and code-breaking.
 

DreamWeaver

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2013
337
Hehe. Well, whatever you think about waterboarding, it's certainly not NSA doing that. That'd be more of a CIA thing, or the military. The NSA does code-making and code-breaking.
lol :D I noes... Just being daft.

Although actually, water-boarding isn't all that bad if it's done in binary or hexadecimal. :eek:


More seriously though, cryptography is an excellent suggestion. Co-primes FTW!
 

ModusPonens

Well-known member
Jun 26, 2012
45
I would think twice before dipping my hands in blood. I like sleeping well.
 

Deveno

Well-known member
MHB Math Scholar
Feb 15, 2012
1,967
Financial institutions also employ cryptographers (sometimes as third party contractors, such as security consultants) to devise and/or test electronic/computer encryption systems, to guard their financial assets. It's not just governments who have an interest in keeping information "safe".

Ideally, as a mathematician (even if you're working for a programming firm) you want to work as part of a team. In other words, if you are applying your mathematical skills augmented by programming, and working in IT (for example), you want to know enough programming to be able to compute someone with good "coding" skills the ideas behind your algorithms, even if your implementations of them would not be the most elegant.

Job-market-wise, there's always going to be more of a demand for people who can translate "pure" mathematics into applications (in both senses of the words) that have some obvious financial value. Pure mathematical research is most often funded by government and university grants, and often tied to a teaching position.

Some "outside the box" possibilities:

Fourier analysis is often used in signal processing...this has applications in such things as designing audio equipment, radar and sonar systems, and astronomical equipment, so learning about how the most sophisticated of these are put together can give you a shot at working for the manufacturers of said equipment.

Marketing research firms and cellular phone companies (amongst others) are starting to use topologists to apply topological concepts to data analysis (such as: what are the connected components of a consumer demographic?) and network design (example from a cell phone company: how can new cell towers be placed to eliminate dead zones efficiently?).

Polynomial curve-fitting is often used to solve complicated economic/manufacturing problems given a sparse data-set of different configurations...I remember one example of a mathematical consultant being hired to determine an optimal braking configuration for formula one race cars.

Companies that do 3-D modelling/animation software are always looking for people who can come up with ways to efficiently model and render 3-D objects, and implement realistic physics in such programs.

Above all, be creative and persistent: the place you eventually make a career at may not know they need you, yet.