University Liaison Officer, IMA
A Clement W. Jones Lecture
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 1 of 26
Clement W. Jones Lectures
• Prof. Clement W. Jones CMath FIMA
• Founder member of the IMA
• Died March 2007, aged 86
• Bequest £20,000 to the IMA
• Used to promote mathematics to
University Mathematics Societies
and to help students to be part of
the mathematics community
throughout their careers
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 2 of 26
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 3 of 26
Be an accountant
or a school teacher.
There is nothing wrong with either of these
– but they do not tell the whole story!
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 4 of 26
So what do
• Almost anything (overwhelming choice).
• No typical job.
• I can’t tell you what to do!
• This is a good thing (honest)!
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 5 of 26
Jobs listed on IMA
Careers Advice leaflet
Market Researcher, Marketing, Advertising Account Planner, Social Researcher, Management
Consultant, Logistics, Retail Merchandiser/Buyer, Transport Planner, Human Resources
Officer, Business Analyst, Defence Analyst, Statistical Officer, Cryptologist, Operational
Researcher, Statistician, Teacher, Lecturer, Aerodynamicist, Aeronautical Engineer,
Communications Engineer, Quantity Surveyor, Principal Engineer, Project Engineer,
Thermal/Structural Analyst, Auditor, Banker, Chartered Public Finance Accountant, Chartered
Accountant, Tax Advisor, Tax Inspector, Investment Banker, Financial Advisor, City Trader,
Merchant Banker, Investment Analyst, Corporate Treasurer, Commodity Broker, Actuary,
Insurance Analyst, Insurance Underwriter, Insurance Broker, Insurance Account Manager,
Insurance Claims Inspector, Credit Analyst, Pensions Advisor, Financial Risk Analyst, Computer
Game Designer, Computer Programmer, Software Developer, Multimedia Programmer,
Database Administrator, Applications Developer, IT Consultant, Network Engineer, Software
Engineer, Systems Analyst, Systems Developer, Statistician, Statistical Programmer, Biometrist,
Data Analyst, Biomedical Engineer, Cartographer, Hydrographic surveyor, Land/geomatics
Surveyor, Hydrologist, Seismic Interpreter, Petroleum Engineer, Geophysical Data Processor,
Biomathematician, Meteorologist, Oceanographer, Research Scientist (Maths).
N.B. Not an exhaustive list by any means!
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 6 of 26
What do IMA
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 7 of 26
Skills of a
The QAA Benchmark Statement for Mathematics, Statistics and
Operational Research (MSOR)  suggests skills MSOR graduates
possess should include:
• general study skills • able to transfer knowledge
• ability to learn independently from one context to another
• work independently • to assess problems logically and
to approach them analytically
• pursuing the solution of a
• highly developed skills of
problem to its conclusion
• time-management and • general communication skills,
organisation “such as the ability to write
• adaptable coherently and communicate
• general IT skills results clearly" (p. 11).
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 8 of 26
• Challis, et al  say as well as academic knowledge,
"professional mathematicians require good transferable skills“,
• Applied mathematicians (scientists, engineers, economists,
actuaries, etc.) will work with others to solve problems in
"industry, commerce or a social context".
• Pure mathematicians will conduct research and teach.
• School teachers will need good interpersonal and leadership
• Mathematics graduates in general employment "will need all
of the aforementioned transferable skills." (p. 79).
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 9 of 26
• It is because of their skills that MSOR graduates
"find employment in a great variety of careers
and professions" (QAA , p. 11).
• Mathematics graduates "play an important role in
meeting the demands of employers for skilled
personnel to ensure the UK can maintain its
competitive edge in a global market" (Hibberd
, p. 6).
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 10 of 26
What do employers
• Challis et al report the findings of an employer survey
which "suggested that a mathematics graduate is
advantaged by being logical, systematic and rigorous,
being able to take an abstract and broad approach,
and being analytical, clear thinking and fast to
understand. On the negative side, mathematics
graduates tended to lack presentation and
communication skills (including report writing and
presentation to a non-technical audience),
pragmatism in real problem solving, social skills and
commercial awareness" (p. 81).
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 11 of 26
Skills of a
• Your analytical, logical, problem-solving and
numerical skills are highly sought after in
many different areas of employment.
• However, you should think about how you
could demonstrate to a potential employer on
your application/CV or in an interview your
skills of written and oral communication, team
working, real experience of problem solving.
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 12 of 26
Get a better job
• Mathematics graduates earn more over their
lives than the graduate average .
• Unemployment for Maths graduates is below
the graduate average .
• Careers advisors say “Maths undergraduates
are frequently targeted by employers because
they have the key skills sought by business”
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 13 of 26
Get a better job
• A Jan 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal 
says mathematics leads to a career path that
provides “a steady stream of lucrative, low-stress
• The article reports on a study of the “Best and
Worst jobs” and out of 200 jobs the top three
• All three are jobs for mathematics graduates!
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 14 of 26
The Class of ‘99
• UK Government-commissioned study by
Warwick University published in 2005 on early
labour market experiences of graduates over 4
year period .
• Mathematics graduates:
– Low for percentage in non-graduate jobs
– High for average gross earnings
– High for probability of being employed in a “high
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 15 of 26
So where are the jobs?
Career profiles and advice for mathematicians:
• Maths Careers website
• IMA Careers Advice leaflet and
Careers for Mathematicians by Sue Briault
Both linked on: www.ima.org.uk/student
• Plus Careers Library
• IMA Travels in a Mathematical World podcast
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 16 of 26
Who are the IMA?
• The chartered UK professional body and learned
society for qualified and practising mathematicians.
• A registered charity, to support the advancement of
mathematical knowledge and its applications and to
promote and enhance mathematical culture.
• 5000 members across commerce, education,
industry, the public sector and research.
• Membership demonstrates a commitment to career
development and maintaining professional status.
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 17 of 26
• Recognition of qualifications and professional experience
– Progression through: Student, AMIMA, MIMA, FIMA
– Professional development: CMath, CSci, CMathTeach
• Your place in the mathematics community
– Networking, Early Career Mathematicians Group
• Discounts on Conferences & Journals
• Support IMA work to promote mathematics and it
applications in education, research, industry and
commerce. This essential promotion is currently made to
the UK Government and many of its agencies.
• IMA members publication, Mathematics Today, six times a
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 18 of 26
In my experience, people join for one of 4 reasons:
• Interest in maths: Mathematics Today, Branches,
general interest conferences
• Research interest: Conferences, journals
• Philanthropic: Support charitable aims of IMA
• Professional development & networking /
promote self to potential employers
What’s your reason?
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 19 of 26
What members say
Source: IMA Fellowship Survey 2008
“IMA provides the principle means of professional
recognition for mathematicians”
“Membership opens doors to corporate collaborations
“To get promoted beyond a certain grade, the
organisation requires that staff are professionally
“Mathematics Today and the e-mail updates help to keep
me informed and up to date”
“To be introduced as a Fellow of the IMA ... has always, in
my experience, been greeted with a degree of respect”
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 20 of 26
• A Dec 2008 Times article  reported on research
by the Consultative Committee for Professional
Management Organisations, which claims:
• Being a member of a professional body earns an extra
estimated lifetime economic benefit of £71,000
• Holding a professional qualification (such as CMath or
CSci) is worth an extra £81,000 over a lifetime
• Total = £152,000 more
• Plus a 9 per cent increase in the probability of being
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 21 of 26
• You’re studying mathematics: well done
• You’re going to think about what skills you have
and how to demonstrate that you have the skills
employers think maths graduates lack
• You can maximise your employment prospects,
promotion prospects, enjoyment of mathematics
and earning potential through IMA membership
and aspiration to Chartered Mathematician
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 22 of 26
IMA Student webpage
• Information about the IMA & its activities
• Download application form for
Student Membership at only £5 per year
• Links to careers resources
• Links to the IMA on Facebook, YouTube,
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 23 of 26
Travels in a Mathematical World,
a Podcast from the IMA
• Interesting mathematicians, talking about
– Their work and careers
– An interesting problem or area of mathematics
• Maths history
• Maths news with Sarah Shepherd, iSquared Magazine
Peter Rowlett, Institute of
Mathematics and its
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 24 of 26
1. QUALITY ASSURANCE AGENCY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, THE, 2002. Subject
benchmark statements: Academic standards - Mathematics, statistics and
operational research. Gloucester: The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher
2. CHALLIS, N., GRETTON, H., HOUSTON, K., and NEILL, N., 2002. Developing
transferable skills: preparation for employment. In: P. KAHN, ed. and J. KYLE, ed.,
Effective Teaching and Learning in Mathematics & its Applications. London: Kogan
Page, 2002, pp. 79-91.
3. HIBBERD, S., 2005. Use of Projects in Mathematics. MSOR Connections, 5(4), pp. 5-
4. COUNCIL FOR THE MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES, 2006. Maths graduates earn more!
[online]. Via: http://www.mathscareers.org.uk/post_16.cfm [Accessed: 08/10/08].
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 25 of 26
5. GRADUATE PROSPECTS, 2008. What do graduates do? 2008 [online]. Via:
_2008/p!eLaFFee [Accessed: 08/10/08].
6. BRIAULT, S., 2008. Careers for Mathematicians. Mathematics Today, 44(3), pp. 117-
7. NEEDLEMAN, S.E., 2009. Doing the Math to Find the Good Jobs. Wall Street Journal,
6 Jan. Available at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123119236117055127.html
8. PURCELL, et al, 2005. The Class of '99: A study of the early labour market
experiences of recent graduates [online]. Via:
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/ier/research/class99/ [Accessed: 08/10/08].
9. LEWIS, C., 2008. Take Five. The Times, 10 Dec. Available at:
e [Accessed: 23/01/09].
Peter Rowlett | Careers talk Slide 26 of 26