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Information for prospective maths students

This link will take you to the undergraduate admissions pages on mathematics, containing course details.

A maths degree will give you many different career options. A degree in mathematics can be a requirement for some highly numerical career paths, such as working in operational research, quantitative analyst roles in banking, roles in cryptography and statistics. In some other professions, such as actuarial work, while not an absolute requirement, a maths degree de facto offers the main entry route. For many other positions in finance, business, consultancy, management, supply chain management, IT, and many analytical or problem solving roles, employers recruit those with a strong numerate background and maths is obviously one such discipline. Beyond these areas, over 50% of the graduate jobs which we advertise for employers are open to those from any degree discipline, which obviously includes mathematics.

If you are contemplating reading maths, or indeed any other discipline, then you may like to consider the following. This is crucial information which some students only appreciate when they are well into their course. Increasingly good employers require more than just a good academic background. They look for evidence of the key transferable skills which are required in their roles. Some of these you can demonstrate from your academic work, but they will look for evidence of skills gained or improved in two other areas: real world work experience and positions of responsibility. You may have experience in these areas already, from holiday jobs or running societies at school. However, your summer before starting University provides another opportunity for vacation work or some sort of voluntary activity. Likewise, your first (and subsequent) years at University. In Freshers' Week there is a Societies Fair where you can meet people from hundreds of student societies, and there will be many other societies in your college. The Careers Service has lots of advice and information, including vacancy advertisements for vacation work, but in all these areas it is up to you whether or not you wish to engage. Cambridge doesn't do "careers in the curriculum". And of course you need to manage your time (another transferable skill) so that you stay on top of your academic work, which is always your primary priority.

One of our careers advisers is responsible for working with mathematicians and you can see from the sidebar the range of information for mathematicians provided on our password protected site.

Other introductory resources

This document on careers advice from the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) contains a good list of roles in different sectors with a high mathematical content.

For some excellent careers interviews with mathmos in a wide variety of jobs see this link from +plus magazine

Travels in a Mathematical World is a site containing a number of podcasts about real world usage of different areas of mathematics. Episodes include mathematicians talking about their work and careers, maths history with Noel-Ann Bradshaw and maths news with Sarah Shepherd.