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Career as a Mathematician


Mathematicians are individuals who use advanced mathematics to develop and understand mathematical principles, analyze data, and solve real-world problems. They conduct research in fundamental mathematics or in application of mathematical techniques to science, management, and other fields and solve problems in various fields using mathematical methods.

Mathematicians make it possible to send secure emails and buy things online. Mathematicians are essential to analyze data and design accurate models in fields as diverse as biology and finance. Mathematicians enabled researchers to complete The Human Genome Project quickly. And because of the prevalence of the computer at work and at play, mathematicians will continue to touch everyone in modern society.


Mathematicians typically do the following:

  • Develop computational methods for solving problems that occur in areas of science and engineering or that come from applications in business or industry.

  • Expand knowledge in mathematical areas, such as algebra or geometry, by developing new rules, theories, and concepts

  • Use mathematical formulas and models to prove or disprove theories

  • Apply mathematical theories and techniques to solve practical problems in business, engineering, the sciences, or other fields

  • Develop mathematical or statistical models of phenomena to be used for analysis or for computational simulation.

  • Interpret data and report conclusions from their analyses

  • Use data analysis to support and improve business decisions

  • Read professional journals, talk with other mathematicians, and attend professional conferences to maintain knowledge of current trends.


Applied Mathematicians

"Applied mathematics" is a broad term used to describe the field of mathematicians who address problems in the real world. Applied mathematicians work in all fields of science, engineering and industry. Applied mathematics focuses on studying and forming mathematical models that apply directly to practical problems. There are many branches of applied mathematical study. These traditionally include applied analysis, differential equations, numerical analysis, statistics and applied probability. Many other areas of math also can be used in the practice of applied math.

Pure Mathematicians

"Pure mathematics" is a broad term for the domain of mathematicians who study theoretical constructs in math. Pure mathematics is pursued largely to discover new insights into mathematics itself, not necessarily to address problems in the real world. A main concept of pure mathematics is generality. Pure mathematicians seek to generalize mathematical concepts to apply to a large variety of different branches of mathematics. Fields of study include such branches as functional analysis, number theory, abstract algebra, geometry and real analysis.

Numerical Analysts

The field of "numerical analysis" deals with all kinds of numerical calculations, especially study and experimentation with computer algorithms to approximate solutions to problems in science and engineering. As the power of computers has increased exponentially, the field of numerical analysis has grown to utilize this power to great benefit. The primary goal for the numerical analyst is to give very accurate approximations to difficult mathematical problems. Some of the specialized fields of study within this broad branch include optimization problems, computing the values of difficult functions, solving systems of equations, and evaluating integrals.

Theoretical Physicists

Though "theoretical physics" is a more specialized term than applied or pure mathematics, the field remains quite broad and uses a variety of mathematical branches. These include electromagnetic theory, quantum mechanics and relativity, classical mechanics and statistical mechanics. Theoretical physicists are typically interested in physical systems and how they work. The main goal of the field is to understand the universe at its most basic level in a mathematical framework. These mathematicians attempt to discover patterns in the behavior of the universal makeup, and they use mathematics to create laws based on these patterns.


The field of statistics involves the use of mathematical techniques and computers to analyze data from the areas of business and science. Statisticians collect and organize data so that it can be accurately interpreted and utilized in the real world. Specialists such as mathematical statisticians are concerned with the theoretical study of the broader subject. A major focus of the study of statistics is to investigate causality, which allows statisticians to show the effects of changes in data on variables that depend on that data in some way. A few of the many specialized fields in statistics include actuarial science, econometrics, demography, data mining, image processing and biostatistics.


Mathematicians typically work in comfortable offices. They also may work on teams with engineers, scientists, and other professionals. Most mathematicians work for the federal government or for private scientific and engineering research and development companies.

Most mathematicians work full time. Deadlines and last-minute requests for data or analysis may require overtime. In addition, mathematicians may have to travel to attend seminars and conferences.

On a daily basis, Mathematicians address the relationships of quantities, magnitudes, and forms through the use of numbers and symbols. They develop computational methods for solving problems that occur in areas of science and engineering or that come from applications in business or industry.

A typical day for a Mathematician will also include:

  • Apply mathematical theories and techniques to the solution of practical problems in business, engineering, the sciences, or other fields.

  • Perform computations and apply methods of numerical analysis to data.

  • Assemble sets of assumptions and explore the consequences of each set.

  • Conduct research to extend mathematical knowledge in traditional areas, such as algebra, geometry, probability, and logic.

  • Develop mathematical or statistical models of phenomena to be used for analysis or for computational simulation.


Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.


Analytical skills. Mathematicians use mathematical techniques and models to analyze large amounts of data. They must be precise and accurate in their analysis.

Communication skills. Mathematicians must interact with and propose solutions to people who may not have extensive knowledge of mathematics and to convey information effectively.

Math skills. Mathematicians use statistics, calculus, and linear algebra to develop their models and analyses.

Problem-solving skills. Mathematicians must devise new solutions to problems encountered by scientists or engineers and review related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Critical Thinking. Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension. Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Learning. Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Active Listening. Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing. Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Judgment and Decision Making. Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Learning Strategies. Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Science. Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Speaking. Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Systems Analysis. Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Systems Evaluation. Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.


Analytical or scientific software — Minitab ; SAS; StataCorp Stata; The MathWorks MATLAB etc.

Database management system software — MySQL

Database user interface and query software — Microsoft Access; Structured query language SQL

Desktop publishing software — MicroPress VTeX

Development environment software — C; Formula translation/translator FORTRAN; Microsoft Visual Basic

Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook

Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML

Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop

Internet browser software — Web browser software

Object or component oriented development software — C++; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl; Python; R etc.

Office suite software — Microsoft Office

Operating system software — Linux; UNIX

Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint

Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel

Web platform development software — JavaScript; PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor

Word processing software — Microsoft Word


Mathematical Reasoning. The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Number Facility. The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

Deductive Reasoning. The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Inductive Reasoning. The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Information Ordering. The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Written Comprehension. The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Oral Comprehension. The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Category Flexibility. The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Fluency of Ideas. The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Near Vision. The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Problem Sensitivity. The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Oral Expression. The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Written Expression. The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Originality. The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Speech Clarity. The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Speech Recognition. The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Flexibility of Closure. The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.

Selective Attention. The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.


Interacting with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


  • Determine appropriate methods for data analysis.

  • Apply mathematical principles or statistical approaches to solve problems in scientific or applied fields.

  • Design computer modeling or simulation programs.

  • Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables.

  • Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends.

  • Prepare analytical reports.

  • Present research results to others.

  • Analyze security of systems, network, or data.

  • Develop computer or information security policies or procedures.

  • Develop scientific or mathematical models.


Work Styles-

Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Work Values-

Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.


Mathematicians typically need a master’s degree in mathematics. However, there are some positions available for those with a bachelor's degree.

In private industry, mathematicians typically need an advanced degree, either a master’s degree or a doctorate. For jobs with the federal government, candidates need at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or significant coursework in mathematics.

Most colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Courses usually include calculus, differential equations, and linear and abstract algebra. Many colleges and universities advise or require mathematics students to take courses in a related field, such as computer science, engineering, physics, or statistics. Candidates who have a double major in mathematics and a related discipline are particularly desirable to many employers.

Many universities offer master’s and doctoral degrees in theoretical or applied mathematics. Many students who get a doctoral degree work as professors of mathematics in a college or university, rather than work in government or private industry.

Also, holders of bachelor’s degrees who meet state certification requirements may become middle or high school mathematics teachers.

For the training process of a mathematician in India, the regular route for a student is a three-year B.Sc. course followed by a two-year M.Sc. programme in mathematics, after which she or he could join a doctoral programme in a recognized university or research institution. There are the following variants to this theme.

The IIT-Kanpur pioneered the five-year M.Sc. programme (admission is through the joint entrance examination) which combined the B.Sc. and M.Sc. programmes. IIT-Bombay followed suit. Now, this pattern is followed by all the IISERs and NISER. The Central University of Hyderabad and that of Pondicherry have also started such programmes.

Recently, the three science academies in India have been advocating educational reform that involves the introduction of a four-year B.S. programme followed by a year of research and training leading to an M.S, launched foremost in IISc.

Institutions of pure research (the TIFR, the IMSc and the HRI), the IISc and the CMI also have integrated Ph.D. programmes. Promising students are selected after a bachelor's degree in any science discipline or engineering directly for their Ph.D. programmes, provided they clear the entrance tests and interviews on a par with M.Sc. candidates. They pick up an M.Sc. degree after two initial years of course work and research.

All the IITs and universities also have independent M.Sc. and Ph.D. programmes. Admission is based on entrance tests and/or interviews. The CMI has an M.Sc. programme in applications of mathematics with specialization in financial mathematics and computational applications of mathematics. It is contemplating a stream specializing in cryptology. The ISI has an M. Math. Programme, held alternatively at its Kolkata and Bangalore campuses.

A special word on the undergraduate programmes of the CMI, which is B.Sc.(Hons.) in Mathematics and Computer Science in Chennai, and the ISI — B.Math at its Bangalore campus, if a student has a strong taste and talent for mathematics from an early age, these are the places to go for mathematics education. Both these programmes are very intense. At the end of three years, the students can compete with any master's level student anywhere on equal terms — and often they fare better.

About scholarships; First of all, there is the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana which conducts a test for high school students. The successful ones opting for a career in science get a handsome scholarship all through their higher education, up to completion of the doctoral programme. The CMI and the ISI provide modest stipends to their undergraduates and postgraduates, together with tuition waiver, as long as the students maintain a healthy academic performance.

For the doctoral programmes, university students need to take an examination conducted by bodies like the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research or the DST for a research fellowship. The current rates are Rs.31,000 for the first two years and, subject to satisfactory performance, Rs.35,000 a month thereafter. There is an annual contingency grant as well.

All research institutions and institutions of teaching and research mentioned here have their own funding for Ph.D. scholarships at the same rates. In case the institution cannot provide subsidized accommodation on campus, house rent allowance at the same rates as applicable to faculty members is allowed.

Post-doctoral fellowships provide for a consolidated pay ranging from Rs.50,000 to Rs. 1,00,000 a month (with the provision for HRA), along with a contingency grant, depending on the candidate's post-doctoral experience.

The National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM), set up by the DAE to promote mathematics, conducts an examination every year for the award of a scholarship for M.Sc. programmes in mathematics in any recognized university or institution, and pays a monthly stipend of Rs.28,000. The advertisement appears in newspapers by the end of June; the written test is usually held towards the end of September. It also awards Ph.D. scholarships, at the same rates as other research fellowships, by conducting another examination which is advertised in November; the test is usually by the end of January or early February. The NBHM also offers post-doctoral fellowships.


The average salary for a Mathematician in India is 8,30,000 Rupees.

Hourly Rate 0 - 1,200 Rupees

Bonus 0 - 1,50,000 Rupees

Total Pay 1,14,377 - 37,03,796 Rupees

Most mathematicians work full time. Deadlines and last-minute requests for data or analysis may require overtime. In addition, mathematicians may have to travel to attend seminars and conferences.

The entry point (roughly between the ages of 28 and 32) is that of an Assistant Professor, who can expect to start at a monthly basic salary of Rs.30,000. To this, add the dearness allowance (which has well crossed 502 per cent of the basic), transport allowance, and (if accommodation is not provided by the employer) a house rent allowance (which touches 30 percent of the basic in the metros). Thus, before tax, we arrive at something like Rs.50,000 or more a month. This, unlike in industry, is not the ‘cost to company' but what the employee actually gets. Added to this are perquisites such as comprehensive health care, leave travel concession, aid to children's education and employer's contribution to the provident fund or the pension fund. All in all, the remuneration today does guarantee a very good standard of living with all the creature comforts.

In order to attract young Ph.D.’s who have done rather well by way of research, especially but not limited to those from abroad who seek employment in India, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) offers the Ramanujan Fellowship for three years. It carries a high salary and a generous contingency grant that allows purchase of research equipment, travels abroad for conferences, and so on. Institutions like the IITs and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore also offer generous start-up grants to freshly-recruited faculty members to facilitate their research.


All the highest paying jobs are directly or indirectly related with mathematics. Mathematics jobs are available in both government as well as private organizations. In the government sector, mathematics graduates may be consumed in government departments, semi-governments, PSUs, research organizations, technical branches, banking sectors, colleges and universities. Besides academics jobs, trained mathematicians are also engaged at good remuneration and package in Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), National Aeronautic Limited (NAL) and Society for Electronic Transaction and Security (SETS). Good opportunities are in specific areas such as financial mathematics and computing along with mathematics.

Financial Mathematics is the booming area where one can get one of the best packages in the industry. IT giants like IBM and Microsoft hired candidates as scientists where salary is beyond your expectation.

Teaching is one of the most sought-after professions after Ph.D. One may be appointed as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Reader and Professor in colleges and universities. Schools also offer good jobs for mathematics graduates both in the government as well as in the private sector.

Mathematicians will also be needed to help information security analysts create data-security systems to protect the confidentiality and personal information of individuals.


Because the occupation is small and there are relatively few mathematician positions, strong competition for jobs is expected. Despite the strong competition for mathematician positions, many candidates with a background in advanced mathematical techniques and modeling will find positions in other closely related fields.

Those with a graduate degree in math, very strong quantitative and data analysis skills, and a background in a related discipline, such as business, computer science, or statistics, should have the best job prospects. Computer programming skills are also important to many employers.

  • Operations Research Analysts: Operations research has been defined as an interdisciplinary branch of applied mathematics and formal science that uses advanced analytical methods such as mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and mathematical optimization to arrive at optimal or near-optimal solutions to complex decision-making problems. Operations research analysts formulate and apply mathematical modeling methods to develop and interpret information that assists management with policy formulation and other managerial functions. They help managers to make better decisions and solve problems. If you’re planning to take this profession be sure you have a thorough knowledge of strong quantitative and computer skills: an advanced knowledge in mathematics.

  • Mathematician: A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study or research is mathematics. Mathematicians are concerned with particular problems related to logic, space, transformations, numbers and more general ideas which encompass these concepts. They do research, come up with problems and solutions, etc.

Mathematicians can be of two types: theoretical and applied ones. Theoretical Mathematicians develop new principles of Mathematics and try to find new developments in the existing ones. Applied Mathematicians apply the concepts of Mathematics to solve bigger problems in Economics, Scientific, and Engineering domains.

In order to understand the scope of Mathematics in India, one must also understand the fact that becoming a Mathematician requires immense expertise in all the fundamental theories and principles of Mathematics. Students who wish to pursue a career in Mathematics in India must consider becoming a Mathematician.

Qualification: A Ph.D. in mathematics is the most desired educational requirement.

Salary bracket: Rs. 6.5 – 7.5 lakh a year or even more at the beginning of one’s career

  • Chartered Accountant: With the rapid growth in economy, careers in finance and accounts have gained tremendous popularity and the most esteemed career option in this field is that of Chartered Accountant. A Chartered accountant is somebody who specializes in accounting, auditing and taxation.

Qualification: Generally, a graduation degree in business or a chartered accountant qualification would be advantageous.

Salary bracket: Rs. 6 – 7.5 lakh a year or even more at the beginning of one’s career.

  • Software Engineers: A highly fulfilling career, software engineers design and develop software. They apply the theories and principles of computer science and mathematical analysis to create, test, analyze and evaluate the software applications and systems that make computers work. Software engineers are also experts in theory of computing systems, the structure of software, and the nature and limitations of hardware to ensure that the underlying systems will work properly. Professionals in this field have excellent prospects in the next five to 10 years.

  • Banking: You could work in any one of the following areas in Banking – accountant, customer service, front desk, cash handling, account opening, current account, savings account, mortgage loan underwriter, loan processing officer, back end operations, product marketing and sales executive, recovery officer, retail asset manager, property appraiser and customer service executive. As banks provide loans for setting up business and for various development work and thereby generate thousands of jobs and career opportunities in the banking finance sector.

  • Teachers: If you have an affinity for numbers, you can pursue a career in teaching. A maths teacher is always on demand as this is considered one of the main subjects throughout schooling. It is a highly paid job in India as many maths teachers provide coaching or tuition to students. Mathematicians who work in academia usually have a mix of teaching and research responsibilities.

Qualification: A doctorate (Ph.D.) degree is essential.

Salary bracket: Rs. 6.5 – 7.5 lakh a year or even more at the beginning of one’s career.

  • Computer Systems Analysts: Professionals in this field use IT tools to help enterprises of all sizes achieve their goals. Most systems analysts work with specific types of computer systems – for example, business, accounting, and financial systems or scientific and engineering systems to prepare cost-benefit and return-on-investment analysis to help management decide whether implementing the proposed technology would be financially feasible.

  • Data Scientist: Data Scientists are specialists who use Mathematical and Statistical methods, computer modelling and software to extract knowledge and information from structured (such as a database in MS-Excel or SQL) or structured data (such as written text, images, and videos). Data Scientists use models or formulas to analyze a very large pool of data to derive useful information and insights. There is a huge scope of mathematics principles in Data Science.

Qualification: A Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, or in a similar field followed by a Master’s degree or a Diploma in Data Science/ Data Analytics/ Business Analytics. You can do a Master’s degree in Statistics/ Applied Statistics/ or in a similar field too. A B.Tech. in Data Science and Engineering /a B.Tech. in Computer Science & Engineering with a specialization in Data Science is a very good option too.

Salary bracket: Rs. 3.5 – 9 lakh or even more a year at the beginning of your career

  • Actuary: Actuaries analyze statistical data like mortality rates, injuries, birth rates, retirement rates, etc. to figure out the probability of their occurrences and the costs associated with each event. Actuaries have to deal with risks. Actuaries also have to create new policies for people and firms to minimize the risks associated and also the financial effects of these given scenarios. Actuary is one of the most sought out careers in Mathematics in India and those who have comparatively high command over Mathematics are most likely to be successful in this career. Thus, the scope of Mathematics in this field of work is immense.

Qualification: A Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, Statistics or Actuarial Science, or in a field related to Finance. A Fellow Membership of the Institute of Actuaries of India is essential for becoming an Actuary in India. You can get a good job also with an Associate Membership of the institute.

Salary bracket: Rs. 3 – 5 lakh a year at the beginning of your career

  • Statistician: Statisticians make use of Statistical and Mathematical theories to collect, decode, and interpret numerical inputs and hence provide usable information. Statistics is applied in a wide range of work.

Qualification: A Master’s degree in Statistics or Mathematics is the minimum requirement, but research and academic jobs generally require a Ph.D.

Salary bracket: Rs. 6.5 – 7.5 lakh a year or even more at the beginning of one’s career

  • Astronomer: Astronomers primarily use principles of Physics and Mathematics to understand the working of the universe and contribute to research and breakthrough experiments. A student who wants to pursue a career in this field and is interested in exploring the scope of Mathematics can consider becoming an Astronomer.

Qualification: A Ph.D. in the field of Astronomy is necessary.

Salary bracket: Rs. 7 – 8 lakh a year or even more at the beginning of one’s career

  • Meteorologist: Meteorologists study the physical features and motions and behaviors of various processes of the earth and its atmosphere. They are involved in explaining, understanding, observing or forecasting the earth’s atmospheric phenomena and/or how the atmosphere affects the earth and life on the planet. Thus, a student who wishes to explore a career in Mathematics in India can pursue meteorology. Meteorology comes within the scope of Mathematics.

Qualification: A B.Sc. in Meteorology or a Bachelor’s in Mathematics both are sufficient to get into Meteorology.

Salary bracket: Rs. 7 – 8 lakh a year or even more at the beginning of one’s career

  • Economist: Economics is increasingly becoming a numerical science, given that the job of an Economist is to identify problems and solutions within the requisite distribution and production of goods and services such as land, labor and raw materials. They have to research, analyze and monitor prevailing economic conditions and predict likely economic conditions. Thus, a career as an Economist is one of the most preferred careers in mathematics in India. Moreover, to go beyond and understand the unlimited scope of mathematics, you can take up higher studies like Ph.D.

Qualification: Corporate jobs require a minimum of an M.A. or M.Sc. in Economics. However, possessing a Ph. D. is in economics most desirable.

Salary bracket: Rs. 3 – 7 lakh a year or even more at the beginning of one’s career

  • Physicist: The scope of Mathematics is wide in almost every field of science, including Physics. One of the most attractive careers in Mathematics in India is actually in the role of a Physicist. A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics. The field of physics encompasses the integration of matter and energy at all length and time scales. Physicists perform experiments to conduct research and then to develop various theories related to nature and its laws, energy, motion. Etc. A career as a Physicist is mostly preferred by those who wish to get into research and experiments. Therefore, a student can explore various careers in Mathematics through higher studies in Physics.

Qualification: A doctoral degree (Ph.D.) would be an advantage although some jobs require a minimum of an M.Sc. in Physics. Salary bracket: Rs. 6 – 7.5 lakh a year or even more at the beginning of one’s career

  • Market Researcher: Market Researchers are involved in inspecting the market conditions to analyze the potential sales of a product or service. They conduct various polls and surveys to understand factors that will affect the sale of a particular product. This is a key job necessarily required prior to any new product launch. Qualification: A bachelor’s degree would pretty much suffice for any research job, but a master’s degree is usually required for technical positions. Salary bracket: Rs. 3 – 10 lakh a year or even more at the beginning of one’s career

A trained mathematician can be very well employed outside academia. Government departments engaged in space research (the Indian Space Research Organization, or ISRO), defence research (Defence Research and Development Organization, or DRDO), aeronautical research (National Aeronautics Limited, or NAL), all employ mathematicians to solve their special problems. Today, cryptology is in vogue (the systems ensuring the safety of your credit card transactions are based on some very sophisticated mathematics). Organizations such as the DRDO and the Society for Electronic Transactions and Security (SETS) are interested in mathematicians with training in this area. Financial mathematics is another area that leads to well-paid jobs. Computer giants such as IBM and Microsoft have research departments which have highly paid scientists who are either mathematicians or theoretical computer scientists. (They can, for all practical purposes, be considered as mathematicians). Thus, there is plenty of scope, outside academia, for well-paid jobs for mathematicians.


What is some good advice for Mathematics Students?

  1. Practice, practice, and more practice! This isn’t much of a secret, but many students overlook this essential advice when it comes to maths. You’ll need to understand the logic and processes behind the problems, which comes naturally with practice. It also allows you to identify and work through common errors and mistakes, helping you become a better maths student.

  2. Do all of the homework. Don’t ever think of homework as a choice. It’s the most important way that students practice and master the concepts taught in class. Set up a regular time and place that makes doing the homework feel automatic.

  3. Fight not to miss class. Math class moves fast, teaching a new concept every day. What students do today builds towards tomorrow. Math punishes absences; to keep up, students have to make time to come back and learn what they missed. So, if there’s an optional appointment to be made, take care not to schedule it during math.

  4. Find a friend to be your study partner. We all have reasons for legitimate absences. So, find a friend who will take good notes when you’re gone and will call that night to fill you in on the homework. This is good practice for the real world, where building positive relationships is necessary to thrive. In more advanced classes, it’s a good idea to build a study group to practice for tests.

  5. Establish a good relationship with the teacher. Teachers respond best to students who show that they care about the class.

  6. Analyze and understand every mistake. Our culture has become perfection- focused, and it’s tempting to ignore our mistakes. But it’s important to fix mistakes and understand why they were made; otherwise we’re doomed to repeat them. Take time to figure out the thinking behind a mistake, and figure out how to do it right. Ask the teacher if you’re unclear. In advanced classes, it can be helpful to write a paragraph of reflection about why errors were made.

  7. Get help fast. If a student realizes that something is difficult, he should seek as much help as possible as quickly as possible. Teachers are very receptive to requests for extra help. Straighten out misunderstandings before they start to snowball.

  8. Don’t swallow your questions. Questions are the vehicle by which we learn. Asking good questions is a lifelong skill, and school is a safe place to practice. The more questions we ask, the easier it gets.

  9. Basic skills are essential.

  10. Understand what the calculator is doing. It’s not enough to know how to use the calculator; students need to know what the answer means. They should ask themselves what the calculator is doing for them, and always analyze the calculator’s answer.

What is it like being a Mathematician?

Studying math can make you a great problem solver in any career. The analytic skills honed studying advanced mathematics would even benefit you as a CEO. Math is also fun and is universal in the sciences and engineering. Mathematicians have the envious job of creating new patterns from nothingness. With Math, you get to see the nuts and bolts of how the universe of patterns works. Make that: the multiverse of every possible universe of patterns. When you make a discovery, there is nothing like it. When you prove a theorem, it is as if you’ve bypassed all the noise of everyday life and peeked into a locked treasure box.

Is mathematics an art or science?

Science is driven by observation. Mathematicians analyze patterns. They might use a computer to help discover them, or simply use pen and paper.

An artist is driven by creativity, expression and aesthetics. Artists focus on creating new objects from nothing. They use paint, words, sculpture, or any medium imaginable to create art. Mathematicians are also intensely creative. They too make theorems from nothing, much like the way a writer writes a novel from a blank screen or paper. Their expressiveness is limited by their imagination. They may use geometry, analysis, or algebra, but they tell a story through their own mathematical language.

Mathematics is inherently different from other disciplines. While it is wildly creative, it is not art. While it can be used to model natural phenomena, it is not science. There are elements of both art and science in the field, but it isn’t a subset of either.

Is it worth it to study Mathematics?

The non-linear brain evolved as a successful survival strategy in a nested, fractal, non-linear world. As a coping strategy, emerging from that brain came a nested, fractal geometry we call "mathematics" (if the world was linear, it would be linear, if the world was a circle, . . . you get the picture. Mathematics is a "reflection" of nature, you know, "when in New York, act like a New Yorker". To study math, is to study the reflections of nature.

There is no science without math. Math is the purest of languages. It is the only known way to communicate observations and conclusions in a manner that is unambiguous and incontrovertible.

Therefore, taking into account this all, yes mathematics is a great subject to study, interest wise. Moreover, it's a rather stable, well paid and respectable job.

Are Mathematicians happy?

Mathematicians rate their happiness above average. They are among the top 27% of careers in the happy and satisfaction scale. They rate their jobs to be intellectually satisfying, flexible, respectful and collaborative. It is an ever-learning subject They root their happiness to the ability to make a choice at living a laid back or an ‘on your toes’ life or switch and balance the two.

Should I become a Mathematician?

Mathematics is challenging, rewarding and fun. It is both logical and creative. It requires a person to have skills like critical thinking, problem solving, analytical thinking, quantitative reasoning, ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, construct logical arguments and expose illogical arguments, communication, time management, teamwork and independence.

Other than these skills, an interest in Math is a must. To really decide on match your interest areas and certain skills and you’ll know if this is a right career for you. For more help approach a career counselor.

Although being a Mathematician gives you a stable and great payscale(right from the very starting), job security, job satisfaction( you get to choose your research problems), a good quality of life( the timings are regular with vacation periods that are well-defined), plenty of opportunities to set up research collaborations with fellow-researchers in India and abroad, providing possibilities of interesting domestic and international travel, being in contact with young minds all the time has a rejuvenating effect on one's outlook to life.

On the other hand, the real downside is that the gestation and apprenticeship period is quite long. It takes about five years to get a master's degree and between three to five years more for the doctoral degree. Even after that, it is expected that a person does at least two years of post-doctoral work, which is the time when one emerges from the shadows of the thesis supervisor and chalks out one's own path of research. Thus, as mentioned earlier, one can expect to get one's first job when in the 28-32 age group. But this period is not financially barren, and the remuneration keeps increasing.

What are Mathematicians like?

Mathematicians are people who are genuinely curious and intellectual. They mostly like taking things literally and analyze everything they come across. They are very interested in the mechanism and not the looks. They are creative and critical. They usually like to work in their own pace and space. They are observant, innovative and persistent. They hold high integrity and put a lot of effort to achieve or conclude to some result.

What are the job opportunities one can pursue as a Mathematician?

Operation Research Analysts, Professor/Teacher, Researcher, Chartered Accountant, Software Engineer, Banking, Computer System Analysts, Software, Insurance, Market Research, Education, Securities, Banking Sector, Economics, Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Technical Branches, etc. are some major jobs available in India.

There are three kinds of institutions of higher learning-

Purely research-oriented institutions like the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai, the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) in Chennai, and the Harish Chandra Research Institute (HRI) in Allahabad. Interestingly, all these are autonomous aided institutions that are fully supported by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) of the Government of India. TIFR is now a deemed university, while the IMSc and the HRI are affiliated to the deemed university called the Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) that covers all other aided institutions of the DAE.

Institutions of teaching and research which can offer degrees but do not come under the purview of the University Grants Commission (UGC). These are set up by Acts of Parliament, and some come under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). These are the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), the IITs, the IISc, and the newly set up Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) in Bhopal, Kolkata, Mohali, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram, and the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) in Bhubaneswar (set up by the DAE). Then there is the precursor to these latter new institutes, the unique Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI), which is an example of public-private partnership. ISRO has also established its own such institution in Thiruvananthapuram.

The State and Central universities- While the State universities have plenty of vacancies, these being filled is often tied to the policies and politics of the State governments.

All the other institutions of research and teaching mentioned above have well-established and transparent methods of selection, and all of them have a crying need for fresh faculty. In fact, the need is so great and the supply so meagre that the age of retirement has been increased to 65 for these institutions. And in many cases, they are allowed to re-employ superannuated faculty members till they are 70. The government has suddenly started NISER, the five IISERs and about eight new IITs, all of which need faculty members. These are currently functioning with a bare minimum of recruits, augmented by adjunct faculty members, who are retired mathematicians. This is not sustainable in the long run.

Thus, for those who hold a reasonably good doctoral degree, there are plenty of job opportunities in such institutions. This will be so for a long time to come.

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