Career in Mathematics and Statistics

To put it simply, Mathematics is the study of numbers, equations, functions, geometric shapes and their relationships. Statistics –on the other hand- is the presentation of data in the form of numbers apart from collection of data in numbers, its analysis and interpretation.

Right from the price of your new Iphone to the smart watch fastened to your wrist, numbers play an important role in our daily lives. While the everyday math maybe an easy thing to do, the more the numbers, the tougher it gets to study them. This is what Mathematicians do. They study numbers, mathematical equations among other things to solve problems. Mathematicians are trained in areas such as Analysis, Numerics, Probability, Statistics and Algebra
 
Mathematics and Statistics graduates are hired by both the public and the private sector, in India as well as internationally to devise solutions to complex problems. They track the combustion phenomena for oil companies, forecast weather, evaluate stocks and run field trials for drug companies.
 
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) or B.S. is one of the most popular academic degree courses among the science students after class 12th. B.Sc. (Hons) Mathematics or Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Mathematics is an undergraduate course for three years.
 
B.Sc. (Hons) Mathematics program provides in-depth knowledge about geometry, trigonometry, calculus and various other theories in Mathematics or related disciplines, such as computer science or statistics in addition to study of the normal Bachelor of Science subjects like Physics and Chemistry. The duration of the course being three years, the syllabus for the course is divided into six semesters.
 
For admission in to bachelor’s degree, the candidate must have passed the higher secondary school certificate (10+2) examination with science subjects such as (physics , maths and chemistry) with an aggregate of 70% and above.
 
For admission in to bachelor’s degree – Statistics, the candidate must have passed the higher secondary school certificate (10+2) examination with science subjects such as (physics ,biology, maths and chemistry).  
There are various options available for B.Sc Mathematics/Statistics graduate to pursue their higher studies. Let’s take a look at the details of best higher studies options.
  • M.Sc/Ph.D: One of the best higher studies option available for the B.Sc Mathematics graduate is to do Master’s Degree in Mathematics followed by a PhD or M.Phil. This way they can find a promising career in Research or Teaching field. Another option is to do a Master’s Degree in Economics or Econometrics and then pursue a career in the Indian Economics Services (IES).
  • MCA: Master of Computer Application (MCA) is also a great higher study option for the B.Sc Mathematics graduates who wish to pursue their career in IT sector. Research Agencies like Defense Research and Development Organization prefer MCA graduates with Mathematics background in their Remote Sensing Centers. So MCA is a good higher study option.
  • MBA: For those who wish to pursue their career in the management field, MBA in mathematics is the most apt option. If they specialise in Finance in MBA, then they can reach up to higher positions like Chief Finance Officer in Corporate Sector.
Some other options include:
  • M.Sc Actuarial science
  • M.Sc. in Library and Information Science
  • M.Sc. in Quantitative Economics
  • Masters in Math
  • Masters in Statistics

Top Colleges

There are various courses available, if you wish to pursue Mathematics and Statistics studies. US, UK and India are the top 3 preferred destinations for students wishing to study Mathematics and Statistics.

USA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) | Harvard University | Princeton University

UK

University of Cambridge | University of Oxford | University of Warwick

INDIA

Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) | St. Stephen's College | St. Xavier's College

Career Prospects

A degree in Mathematics and Statistics does not train you for a specific job. Rather it will provide you with a wide range of skills for an easy entry to a plethora of careers. Most Mathematics and Statistics students would find lucrative jobs in the following domains:
  • Scientific research, design and development​
  • Management services and computing
  • Accounting and professional services
  • Banking- investment and retail
  • Operational and statistical research
  • Teaching

Jobs & Salary

Apart from the regular positions that are filled with Mathematicians, there is always a possibility of starting up an entrepreneurial venture no matter which course one pursues. One could start an accounting or an investment firm. Alternatively, you could help other firms optimise their performance by opening up a firm for Operational Research. In fact, you could also work as a freelance Cryptologist and help make banks and ATMs secure. Following are some of the organisations that employ graduates with Mathematics and Statistics background:

  • Deloitte
  • KPMG
  • American Express
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Du Pont

The income of a Mathematician mostly depends upon his/her qualifications, experience and the organisation that he/she works in. According to US pay scale, a Mathematician’s average annual salary scale is $100,000.

Pros & Cons

What did Galileo Galilei receive after his extensive research on the cosmos? A wrath from the Church! So being a Mathematician is not always an advantage. Following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being in this field:

Advantages:

  • High earning potential
  • Employment available in assorted industries
  • The exciting possibilities of research and development

Disadvantages:

  • Non-government jobs typically require a master's or doctoral degree
  • Higher education costs due to possible post-graduate degree requirement
  • May attract pressure at work
  • Seemingly minimal mistakes may undo the whole work

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