What can I do with a degree in Mathematics?

Dr Rua Murray, Mathematics lecturer

Mathematics is a living subject with new processes, techniques and theories constantly being devised, tested and explored. Modern mathematicians and statisticians are being asked to develop new tools and techniques to deal with problems in areas from business management through to biology. New insights are also being opened up in the more traditional areas of physical science and engineering. All this activity leads to new applications of mathematics and statistics, as well as new theoretical work on the structure of the mathematics involved.

Mathematics graduates develop a valuable set of skills that includes:

  • Logical and quantitative thinking
  • Practical application of mathematics in problem solving
  • Numerical confidence
  • Computing
  • Interpretive and analytical thinking
  • Dealing with abstract concepts.

Opportunities to apply your learning outside the classroom are available in this subject, through internships and consulting projects. These experiences deepen your skillset, awareness of others, working knowledge, and employability

Destinations for Mathematics graduates are extensive. A variety of organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand have recently hired Mathematics graduates, for example:

  • Government eg, The Treasury, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Government Communications Security Bureau, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, NZ Institute of Economic Research, Wellington City Council
  • Banking sector eg, ANZ, Westpac, BNZ, JP Morgan Corporate and Investment Bank, Heartland Bank
  • Financial services eg, Russell Investments, NZX Limited, Mercer, Latitude Financial Services, EY, FNZ, KPMG, Optiver Australia, IMC Financial Markets
  • Software and technology eg, Xero, Planit Software Testing, Tenzing Management and Technology Consultants, Atlassian, Orion Health
  • Insurance eg, Suncorp Group, IAG, Aon, Sovereign
  • Electricity, gas, water and waste services eg, Meridian, Transpower, Vector, Mercury
  • Market research eg, Colmar Brunton/TNS, UMR Research
  • Telecommunications eg, Tait Communications
  • Construction eg, Trimble
  • Scientific eg, Metservice
  • Transport and tourism eg, Air New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand
  • Retail eg, Icebreaker, Huffer, Foodstuffs
  • Not-for-profits eg, World Vision NZ, Givealittle
  • Entertainment eg, Fusion Entertainment, Lightbox, Weta Digital
  • Education eg, Education Perfect, St Bede’s College, Cashmere High School, University of Canterbury

 Graduates with this degree are employed in a wide range of jobs. See some examples below. Note: Some of the jobs listed may require postgraduate study. See the ‘Further study’ section.

Research mathematician

  • Formulates and solves problems
  • Develops math theories and techniques
  • Provides foundations for applied mathematics

Software / game developer

  • Researches the target audience and market
  • Writes computer code, sources graphics/effects
  • Tests and improves software, fixes issues

Statistical methodologist / analyst

  • Plans, designs and tests ways to collect data
  • Analyses information to find patterns
  • Draws conclusions and writes reports

Data scientist

  • Analyses past and current data
  • Makes predictions and provides insight
  • Links IT experts and business analysts

Research economist

  • Analyses economic insight and predicts trends
  • Advises organisations or government

Secondary school teacher

  • Plans and delivers instructional lessons
  • Evaluates performance and provides feedback
  • Sets and marks tests and assessments

Financial / business analyst

  • Gathers financial information and data
  • Uses analytical models to identify trends
  • Helps clients plan and solve problems

Retail / category analyst

  • Researches pricing, sales and competitor information to identify market opportunities
  • Advises how to lower costs and increase profits
  • Develops brand/channel marketing strategies

Actuarial analyst

  • Assesses the likelihood of an event occurring
  • Looks at past trends to predict future outcomes
  • Explains implications eg, possible costs

Traffic management planner

  • Develops traffic management models and plans
  • Conducts studies and analyses the data
  • Manages projects and liaises with professionals eg, engineers, architects


  • Creates real-time and cinematic animation and augmented reality content
  • Tests animation in game engines and experiments with emerging technologies
  • Collaborates with other creatives and developers

Research analyst / associate

  • Organises and conducts organisational research
  • Uses mathematical modelling and computer software to improve operations, sales etc

Entrepreneur and CEO

  • Develops an idea to form their own business
  • Gets involved in a start-up

Get started with Entrepreneurship here

As they progress, students and graduates often join professional bodies or organisations relevant to their area of interest. These organisations can provide regular communications and offer the chance to network with others.

Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues to keep upto-date with industry knowledge, networking opportunities, events and job vacancies.

Learn from our students' experiences

For more information

see the Mathematics subject page