In the past, job prospects for mathematicians were very good in Germany and abroad, and can still be considered as excellent.
There is no fixed job description for mathematicians as there is for example for doctors or lawyers. Mathematicians find manifold jobs in industry, banks, insurances, consultancy or software companies. In the last few years the number of graduate mathematicians at German universities was constant, if not declining. At the same time the demand for mathematicians has increased, and they are therefore much sought-after (almost independent from economy cycles).
After their studies mathematicians find a job surpassingly fast and get starting salaries above average. This can be accounted for by a survey of the magazine "Spiegel" of 11th December 2006, in which more than 25,000 graduates participated. These statements were also confirmed by an alumni_interview of the University of Osnabrück. We would like to draw your attention to a detailed survey concerning "Begin of Studies, Course of Studies and Job Prospects for Mathematicians" under Hochschul- Informations-System (HIS) which took place on the occasion of the Year of Mathematics (2008).
It is characteristic for mathematics to examine abstract structures, to analyse them and to use the results for problems within and outside mathematics. Mathematicians are needed in a variety of fields in society in order to analyse, shape or solve scientific, economic or technical problems. Fields of application are for example:
- Universities and researc h departments in companies,
- Teaching at schools,
- Insurances (actuary, risk assessment at reinsurance companies, ....),
- IT-companies (cryptography, coding theory, data compression, ...),
- Logistics (optimisation of processes),
- Consultancy (technology consultancy, optimisation of business processes, ...),
Very often the assignment is not as a mathematician as such, but due to his or her qualifiaction in completely different fields. In the course of study the students are prepared for this by the choice of an application subject. Skills, as for example the ability to communicate with other people, are also essential. Jobs can then be found in management, project work, consultancy, ...