How to become a Mathematician

Mathematicians apply and develop mathematical principles to solve problems in all areas of the sciences, technology, social sciences, business, industry and commerce.

Personal requirements of a Mathematician

  • Enjoy mathematics
  • A good imagination
  • Analytical skills
  • Able to take initiative
  • Able to persevere
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team
  • Enjoy problem-solving

Education & Training for a Mathematician

To become a mathematician you usually have to study mathematics at university. There are a number of different degrees within which you can study mathematics. These include arts, engineering and science. Mathematics can also be studied at some universities as part of a double degree with other courses such as law, medicine, actuarial studies and finance. Mathematics and statistics are closely related areas and many students combine study in both. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Duties & Tasks of a Mathematician

Mathematicians:

  • apply geometry and calculus to design objects in fields such as architecture, computer graphics and robotics
  • analyse statistics to find predictive models for traffic flow, insurance risks, consumer research, market analysis and clinical trials
  • develop predictive models for financial markets and products for financial risk management
  • simulate processes in chemical, mining or agricultural industries by translating them into mathematical models
  • develop computer modelling
  • develop and improve mathematical models
  • design computer programs to make and break complex security codes, or investigate and develop schemes for information security.

Employment Opportunities for a Mathematician

Mathematicians are employed in a wide range of capacities, such as scientists, top-level and mid-level managers, executives and administrators, academics and research personnel in universities, teachers, computer systems analysts and developers, and in the finance sector. They are in demand in ever-increasing areas where mathematical models are used, such as in insurance models in the finance industry, econometric models in government departments and models related to the physical sciences. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and other government bodies also employ mathematicians. Additionally, there is nearly always demand for teachers of mathematics, particularly in secondary schools.

Future growth:

Moderate

Employment by state:

ACT ACT 6.2%

NSW NSW 40.3%

NT NT 1%

QLD QLD 13.8%

SA SA 4.3%

TAS TAS 0.4%

VIC VIC 22.5%

WA WA 11.6%

Hours worked:

37

Unemployment:

Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 57.3%

Female 42.7%

Education level:

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0%

20-24 - 8.1%

25-34 - 37.5%

35-44 - 18.5%

45-54 - 28%

55-59 - 6.1%

60-64 - 0%

65 and Over - 1.8%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.




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