What can you do with mathematics?

22 Dec 2021

Biarri and the UQ Mathematics Student Society map out the exciting and rewarding careers available to mathematics graduates

Mathematics is a challenging discipline, and not just because the theorems and proofs can be difficult to wrap your head around, but because it can be very difficult to identify what career pathways are possible with a mathematics degree once you graduate.

To help students solve this conundrum, Evan Shellshear from the mathematical modelling firm Biarri and Matthew Low from the UQ Mathematics Students Society worked together to create a Mathematics Career Overview.

After searching universities across Australia (and the globe) for such information in one place, they discovered that a succinct summary of the job opportunities related to specific university subjects was missing. Hence, they decided to fix the mathematics employment enigma by making one.

The developed overview defines the broad career categories available to students, as well as Queensland employers, and then the UQ study pathways to learn the skills needed for this career. It also lists relevant career events at UQ and how students can gain some early experience before graduating. Finally, the Overview lets students explore their passion by finding related courses and further studies to deepen and expand their knowledge.

The overview was developed in close consultation with current and graduated students, and the feedback on early versions was inspiring for the team:

“It shows the applications of my learnings and helps guide me toward a career path. It's been really hard to find this information online. Most of my insights are from talking to later year students.”

and

“I believe this will be invaluable in helping new students planning out their degree and current students if they’re planning to change degrees or gain some job-related knowledge for electives.”

Taking this feedback and then working closely with Geoff Burmeister from the UQ design team, the important information was given an on-brand design to provide UQ mathematics students with an aesthetically appealing infographic of the most important career information in one place.

The Overview can now be accessed from the Careers and Employability page on the School of Mathematics and Physics website, in the “Plan for your future” box. The UQ Mathematics Students Society will continue to update it as the field and career pathways change.

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