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The Pure Mathematics major within the Bachelor of Mathematics is often said to be the study of mathematics for mathematics’ sake. Theoretical mathematicians increase knowledge by creating novel principles and discovering correlations or relationships between principles in mathematics that are already in use – without thinking much about the practicality of its use. However, the work of pure mathematicians is highly influential in the application of mathematics to real world problems.
Graduates seek to clarify, through mathematics, why things are the way they are. They are valued for their ability to apply their logic, mathematical modelling and experimental design skills, and manipulate, analyse, and interpret large amounts of data. Employment opportunities exist in research and scientific development facilities, varying levels and departments of government, the manufacturing and mining industries, and the business and finance sectors.
Please Note: it is recommended that those who are interested in complimenting their studies with a major outside the Bachelor of Mathematics program, apply for a combined degree program.
A good description of mathematics can be found on the School of Mathematics and Physical Science site.
Academic advice: view Study Pathways for this major »
Some jobs require additional qualifications at Honours level. Honours is a one year stand-alone program, completed after successfully fulfilling the requirements of the undergraduate degree. View Bachelor of Mathematics (Honours).
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of postgraduate study options available. Postgraduate study may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the postgraduate study options following the Bachelor of Mathematics include:
Postgraduate coursework programs can add further specialisations in areas including business, safety, quality assurance and teaching. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/program/postgraduate/
The sample job titles listed include a range of opportunities for graduates at degree, honours, postgraduate study and experience levels. Because pure mathematics underpins a variety of applications of mathematics in different fields, you will notice a variety of roles in this list.
Graduates are also able to use the transferable skills gained in their studies to work outside the mathematics field. In some instances, further study and/or work experience may be required.
- Analyst Programmer/Programmer
- Computer Scientist
- Data Analyst
- Data Mining Analyst
- Environmental Logistician
- Financial Dealer and Broker
- Fluid Dynamics Analyst
- Game Programmer
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Mathematics graduates are employed across a variety of industries, in large and small organisations. Below is a sample of employers who recruit graduates, including those organisations that have graduate programs.
- AAMI (Australia)
- AC Neilsen (Australia)
- Accenture Australia Ltd (International)
- Adobe (International)
- Advanced Spatial Technologies (Australia)
- Air Services Australia (Australia)
- Animal Logic (International)
- ANZ (Australia)
- Apple (International)
- Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economists (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Meteorology (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australia)
- Australian Defence Force (International)
- Australian Genome Research Facility (Australia)
- Australian Secret Intelligence Service (Australia)
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Australia)
- Australian Taxation Office (Australia)
- Australian Universities (Australia)
- Bain & Company (International)
- Boston Consulting Group (International)
- Cisco (International)
- Clickgamer (International)
- CSIRO (Australia)
- Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO) (Australia)
- Defence Materiel Organisation (Australia)
- Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) (Australia)
- Deloitte (Australia)
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australia)
- Department of Communication, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) (Australia)
- Department of Defence - Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) (Australia)
- Department of Education, Science and Training (Australia)
- Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Australia)
- Department of Transport and Regional Services (Australia)
- Deutsche Bank (International)
- Ericsson Australia (Australia)
- HSBC International Management (International)
- Hunter Medical Research Institute (Australia)
- KPMG (International)
- Maersk Logistics (International)
- Masterfoods (Australia)
- Medicare (Australia)
- NASA (International)
- National Australia Bank (Australia)
- Oracle (International)
- Productivity Commission (Australia)
- Telstra (Australia)
- Westpac (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Americal mathematical Society (International)
- Australian Mathematical Society (Australia)
- European Mathematical Society (International)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate Attributes and Employability
Graduate attributes for the Bachelor of Mathematics are the skills, abilities and knowledge that are highly sought after by a broad range of employers. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.
On completion of the Bachelor of Mathematics degree, a graduate will be able to demonstrate:
1. In-depth knowledge and skills in mathematics;
a. Proficiency in the fundamentals of mathematics and statistics.
b. Knowledge and skills of at least one area of Mathematics to a depthsufficient for further study, research or employment as amathematician or statistician.
c. Overview of areas of mathematics and understanding of connectionsbetween them.
2. Experience and understanding of mathematical applications;
a. Ability to formulate mathematically problems arising outside mathematics.
b. Ability to validate mathematical models and to interpret their results.
c. Ability to apply and adapt mathematical or statistical knowledge to a wide range of situations.
3. Judgement and ability in problem solving;
a. Ability to form conjectures and test them using mathematical or statistical methods.
b. Ability to reason formally from hypotheses to conclusions.
c. Experience in the use of mathematical and statistical resources from the literature or in computational tools.
d. Ability to develop mathematical methods for the solution of problems.
4. Effective communication with the mathematical and broader community;
a. Ability to use mathematical or statistical tools to assimilate and to present information.
b. Ability to present clear and systematic reasoning in an appropriate form.
c. Ability to articulate mathematical concepts and arguments.
5. Independence and collaboration;
a. Capacity to work autonomously.
b. Capacity to work in a team.
c. Sound basis for independent learning and awareness of directions further study might take.
6. Understanding of the importance of standards of mathematical practice within the profession and broader community;
a. Awareness of importance of using appropriate mathematical and statistical models.
b. Able to validate the reliability of mathematical techniques and cognisant of their scope.
c. Prepared to keep up with developments in mathematics and statistics