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Careers Centre

Mathematics and Statistics - using your degree


Popular career areas for Maths and Stats students:

A degree from Scotland's first university is an excellent start to any future career. St Andrews has a reputation for excellence and the ability to attract the brightest students world wide. With this as a starting point you are well on the way to impressing future employers.

As a mathematics/statistics graduate you acquire and develop a range of skills, both specific and general throughout your degree. Your highly developed numerical skills will allow you to be able to use numerical concepts and arguments throughout your work.

You will develop an analytical approach and be able to apply logical reasoning to problem solving. You will be highly adaptable, being able to address new problems in new contexts and transferring knowledge from one problem to another.

You also develop more general transferable skills including:

Mathematics is involved in more fields than you may have thought possible and there are many options to consider when choosing a career. Applied mathematicians and statisticians work for the government, the forces, financial services, scientific research and development services, biomedical research, pharmaceutical industry and consulting services specializing in management, science, and technology. Software publishers, insurance companies, aerospace, pharmaceutical, and other manufacturing companies also employ applied mathematicians and statisticians. Pure mathematicians work extensively in academia, teaching the next generation and developing innovations through their own research. They can also be found in cryptography, defence, security, energy, finance and intelligence roles.

“There is no branch of mathematics, however abstract, which may not some day be applied to phenomena of the real world.” — Nikolai Lobachevsky From N. Rose, Mathematical Maxims and Minims, Raleigh NC, Rome Press Inc., 1988.

Review your degree skills

The profile below identifies the skills that can be developed through the study of your discipline based on subject benchmark statements developed by UK higher education academic communities. It may help you to identify the valuable skills that you can offer to potential employers.

Student success story

Katy Barlow
Katy collecting her award from Fiona Bruce and Chris Jones, Head of Global Resourcing at Gazprom.

TargetJobs Mathematics, Economics and Finance Undergraduate of the Year Award 2015

St Andrews student, Katy Barlow, studying Maths and Economics, has won the TargetJobs Mathematics, Economics and Finance Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by Gazprom. Her prize is a summer internship in the UK and Singapore.

Katy and 109 other undergraduates were invited to the final in Canary Wharf where the winners were announced.

Where do our Mathematics and Statistics graduates go?

Recent Mathematics and Statistics graduates
Bluefin Solutions - Junior IT Consultant Sainsbury's Bank - Senior Analyst   Hymans Robertson LLP - Investment Analyst      
TeachFirst - Mathematics Teacher   Deloitte - Financial Services          Royal Bank of Canada - Risk Analyst      
Graduates who are established in their profession

Ogilvy & Mather - Tech Innovation Strategist

Aberdeen Asset Management - Marketing Research and Intelligence Manager

Fidelity Worldwide Investment - Managing Director, Asia Pacific ex Japan

Hyder Consulting PLC - Managing Director, East Asia

dunnhumby - Data Science Analyst

EY - Transaction Advisory Services

Tom Petrie

Tom graduated in 2009. He is a Life Insurance Actuary for EY.

Read Tom's case study.

Jilly McKay

Jilly graduated in 2012. She is an Information Analyst, NHS Education for Scotland.

Read Jilly's case study.

Visit the Graduate Destinations page to see what graduates and postgraduates from your School are doing now.

Network with alumni

Many jobs and internships are not advertised. One of the best ways to find out about these ‘hidden opportunities’ is by networking. Networking can also help secure a job that is publicised or is part of a training scheme. Your contacts can open doors, set up meetings, help prepare you for interviews, and provide you with an inside look at a company or industry.

How to contact alumni

There are two main ways to contact alumni on-line:

  1. Saint Connect - brings together alumni and current students to facilitate networking, enable informal mentoring, provide industry discussion groups, and enable graduates and students to stay up to date with their student societies and sports teams.
  2. LinkedIn - most comprehensive resource to connect with alumni is the University of St Andrews LinkedIn – Alumni Tool. There are also many LinkedIn St Andrews Groups, mainly based on location, which you can join to network with fellow students and alumni, eg St Andrews North America Careers Link.

Postgraduate study/research

In 2014, 41.4% of Mathematics and Statistics graduates went on to do further study.
Advisers are able and willing to discuss postgraduate applications - vocational and academic.

Popular postgraduate institutions and courses:

See also:

Summer internships/work experience

Campus Opportunities

Work experience is becoming ‘essential’ in the UK when it comes to securing graduate level employment.

During the 2015-16 academic year, more than 90% of the UK’s leading graduate employers offered paid work experience programmes for students and recent graduates. Altogether, 55% of St Andrews finalists had completed some element of work experience with a graduate employer whilst at university – much higher than the survey average. More than two-fifths had a part-time job during term-time and three-fifths had some form of casual vacation work.Source: High Fliers –The UK Graduate Careers Survey 2016.

Professional organisations/societies

Joining a society and/or a professional body, particularly if you take on a role of responsibility, can impress future employers and also enhance employability skills such as team working, negotiation, event management, controlling budgets, leadership etc. Here are a few relevant examples:

Other opportunities

Case studies

Key links and resources

Career related

Professional Bodies, Trade Organisations and Journals/Magazines

These can often be a good source of information on internships, jobs and postgraduate study.