The Footnotes

ACCOUNTING, BANKING & FINANCE

6 careers if you love maths

I used to hate maths but then I realised decimals have a point.

If you’re one of those magical beings for whom, the solving of a good math problem is as satisfying as a McDonalds meal, then a) who are you? And b) keep reading for you are about to be in careers heaven.

Accountant

It’s easy to think that life as an accountant makes you destined for beige pant-suits, filing cabinets, and women named Joyce who would time your toilet breaks. But the world of accounting is far from a box of tax file numbers, calculators, receipts, and old vegemite sandwiches for lunch.

Accountants are problem solvers who work with people. They are trained to analyse a business and help them make decisions. Tax accounting is a tiny, small, miniature specialisation in the industry. Being an accountant could see you work in just about any industry you could imagine.

You could be an entrepreneur, a financial advisor for a non for profit, work in a big bank or firm, you could even work for a record label in LA!

Accounting is just a starting point that’ll open doors to just about any industry you can imagine. If you want to know just how maths you need to do, day to day – find out here. 

How to get there: You’ll need a Bachelor of Accounting or Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting).

Engineer

Are you amazed that humans can travel to the other side of the globe in less than 24 hours, or even into space. Or that the iPhone in my pocket is more powerful than that of the total technology used to first send those men to the moon? Yes? Consider engineering.

I know what you are thinking, because I used to think it too: engineering is all about bridges and machines, and nothing like me.

But you know what? You’re wrong.

Engineers have some of the most enviable jobs around, from running Facebook or Google, to working at NASA, or even pioneering a huge not-for-profit; engineers are the change makers of our generation. They use maths and science principles to solve problems for businesses, individuals and society.

Do you like problem solving? Take our general knowledge quiz.

How to get there: Degrees vary but you’ll need an undergraduate degree in Engineering and a masters or PhD to progress.

Economist

As long as people exist, money will exist too and when there is money, there will be economists.

If you like to keep up to date with current events around the globe and love anything to do with startups, businesses, it is probably a good idea to look into an economics degree. 

Economics is a social science that explores an entire range of issues that influence financial decisions. Economics looks at how individuals and organisations use, produce, consume, and distribute the world’s goods and services. Knowing about money is not enough: areas like sociology, law, psychology, politics, geography and history.

How to get there: You’ll need a Bachelor of Economics  (this will focus more on mathematics and statistics) or Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) or a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Economics (this degree takes more of a qualitative approach and incorporates related theoretical fields such as psychology or sociology).

Whether you decide to pursue a pure Economics degree or an Arts degree that majors in Economics you’ll have no trouble getting a job in public policy, business, or financial industries.

Physicist

It’s not just rocket science: physics is the route to so many careers, from predicting climate change to designing computer games. Last year, 18% of physics graduates were actually recruited into the financial services sector!

Technically a physicist learns about the ‘stuff’ that explains the behaviour of energy and matter. You know, no biggie. But, where do physics graduates work after university you ask…. Well, CSIRO and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation spend a lot of money on research and development, they also employ large numbers of graduates. With the current focus on climate change and the reduction of carbon emissions, there are also many job opportunities for physicists in the renewable-energy sector, for example with energy companies such as E-ON, and Npower.

Big oil companies like BP, Shell and Schlumberger also have major research and development projects into technologies such as solar cells where physicists have a role to play. There are also many positions in the area of environmental modelling, which uses mathematics to understand and predict complex environmental systems. You could take a class in oceanography, marine science or meteorology which would be directly relevant to work in the Bureau of MeteorologyWeatherzone and CSIRO.

How to get there: A Bachelor of Science (Physics) is required at minimum with a masters or PhD needed to excel in the field.

Statistician 

(Also known as a Data Scientist, Quantitative Analyst or a Computer Scientist)

Yes, you can make a living by knowing every detail about maths.

Statisticians come up with “meaningful conclusions to messy data”. While statistics isn’t the same as mathematics, they do go hand-in-hand. Statistics is a branch of applied math—the study of the physical, biological, or sociological world—and it uses mathematics to solve statistical problems and to develop new ways of solving statistical problems.

As clear as mud? Let’s simplify it. Have you ever wondered how announcers come up with those totally obscure stats right after a play, the answer is that it’s someone’s job to research that data. It’s also someone’s job to figure out how to optimise plays by studying the numbers. That’s why many teams have statisticians on-hand….  ESPN even has an entire analyst group.

Sports & gambling companies, marketing firms, big banks, governments and technology groups (like Google) all hire statisticians to conduct a risk analysis of business events, to solve business challenges through historical data and to make prediction all through mathematical & sociological modelling.

Having a degree in statistics today means reserving a spot in one of the best paying careers in the world. 

How to get there: You’ll need a Bachelor of Statistics or Bachelor of Science (Statistics).

Actuary

If there were a prize for Career With The Most Undescriptive/Misleading Name, this would be it.

What do they do? They manage risk. With unbeatable analytical skills (thanks to three years of MATHS) they help organizations plan for the future and protect themselves from loss. By understanding the very nature of risk, they are the backbone of financial security for insurance companies and financial planners who are hesitant to make certain moves without consulting someone first.

Actuarial studies is the study of mathematics, statistics, accounting and economics in one degree. No biggy. Think you have what it takes? Try applying your math skills to sample actuarial exam questions.

How to get there: You’ll need a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies or similar.

Keen to get started? 

 

6 careers if you love maths
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