A career in Mathematics

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Mathematics is a very wide subject area. It is the basis for many career areas such as science, engineering, construction, technology, finance, business, commerce, industry, computing, information technology and education.

As such a useful subject, there are plenty of opportunities to work in a career that makes use of maths. There is scope to work in the private and public sectors, in both large and small organisations all across the UK. And maths-related careers are available to people at all levels including school and college-leavers, and university graduates.

Some careers require basic numeracy, while others need in-depth knowledge of complex mathematical techniques. For example, maths can be used to count items of stock in a shop or it can be used to make calculations for space missions. A mechanic uses maths to measure the performance of a vehicle. And, even if you enter a career that doesn't seem to require maths at all, you may find yourself using number skills, even if it's only to fill in a time sheet to show your own working hours!

A large number of employers ask for qualifications in maths for a range of careers. And some employers may ask you to do tests in numeracy or maths before they will employ you.

There are many qualifications that you can do at school or college that are related to maths. These include Key Skills qualifications in application of number, entry level certificates in mathematics, GCSEs in subjects like mathematics and statistics, and A levels in subjects such as accounting and economics.

After school or college, you may take more qualifications related to maths like NVQs/SVQs in accounting or engineering, which you can work towards while in employment. Or you could do a higher national qualification or degree in a subject like applied mathematics, financial mathematics or engineering. Or you could study mathematics along with another subject like computing or business studies.

Work skills that are related to maths include counting, measuring, estimating, budgeting, using percentages, balancing figures, using graphs, charts and tables, and dealing with cash.

While at work, you may also need to use equipment that is related to the use of maths. For example, you may need to use a calculator or computer spreadsheets to make calculations.

As maths is such a useful subject for many careers, you should be able to find a career related to maths that suits you, whatever your level or interest in maths.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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