Career opportunities

What sort of careers are there in Mathematics and Statistics?

This is a question many students ask. A quick glance at the 'Situations Vacant' section of Saturday’s Press is enough to see that there are few, if any, relevant jobs listed under MATHEMATICS or STATISTICS. A more in-depth look will reveal that Mathematics and Statistics graduates are employed in many different areas. Industry, commerce, government departments and teaching represent some of the more obvious ones. Some jobs require specific mathematical or statistical skills while others, although not directly involving these skills, require the ability to think precisely and reason logically; these are abilities gained from your mathematical studies. For a good idea of the kinds of careers that Mathematics or Statistics can lead to, visit the American Mathematical Society's Early Career Profiles website.

Generally, business, industry and government want people who have a broad background and interest in a variety of mathematical areas, computation and science. Therefore you need to take papers that will expand your knowledge of applications of Mathematics and Statistics. The most directly applicable papers would be in Accounting, Biology, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Management, and Physics. In particular, there are very good job opportunities in financial mathematics and in computing combined with Mathematics.

Employers in both private and government sectors are increasingly seeking top graduates from a general field, sometimes not specifying any particular discipline at all. They want bright people whom they will train. Also, the need for people who have a working knowledge of Statistics has burgeoned in recent years.

Over the last few years, the following job vacancies have been advertised locally for graduates in Mathematics or Statistics, or for people with expertise in these areas. Many of these jobs require competence in using software packages such as SAS. Familiarity with spreadsheets, such as Excel, and data bases are also useful. Most jobs also require strong oral and written communication skills, well developed interpersonal skills, and the ability to work independently as well as in a team.

(Educational institutes, such as secondary schools and universities, advertising for teachers and lecturers have not been included in this list.)

Statistics New Zealand employs many of our Mathematics and Statistics graduates.

Statistics New Zealand
Analyst - Regional & HousingDegree in statistics, mathematics, economics or a relevant social science.
Analysts - National and Enterprise AccountsDegree in economics, or accounting, statistics or mathematics with some economics.
Analysts - Payments, TradeQualifications or experience in accounting or economics, mathematics or statistics with some economics.
Economic StatisticianDegree and experience in economics, statistics or a similar field is essential.
Mathematical StatisticiansA good university degree with a large component of mathematics or statistics.
Analyst - Maori Statistics UnitHave research and analytical skills. A relevant tertiary qualification or equivalent experience.
Economic Statistician/AnalystHave qualifications or experience in economics, accounting or statistics, with some economics.
Government Departments
ACCAnalystsQualifications in mathematics, statistics, operation research or economics.
Defence Technology Agency (DTA)Scientist/AnalystA university degree in fields requiring good mathematical and modelling skills, for example, physics, engineering, mathematics, chemistry or operational research.
Defence Technology AgencyScientist/AnalystAt least a master degree in fields requiring good mathematical and modelling skills, for example, physics, engineering, mathematics, chemistry or operational research.
Government Communications Security BureauCommunication Systems AnalystAchieved excellence at tertiary level in computer science, electronic engineering or mathematics. A basic knowledge of cryptography and statistics would be an advantage.
Government Communications Security BureauMathematicianAchieved excellence at tertiary level with a mathematics degree (preferably postgraduate). Knowledge of cryptography , computer networks or digital communications would be an asset.
Land Transport Safety Authority of New ZealandEconomic AnalystPostgraduate degree in economics with a strong background in at least one of the areas of econometrics, statistics and mathematics.
Ministry of EducationResearch AnalystsExperience in statistical analysis, investigation and trend reporting activities.
Ministry of FisheriesRegional Intelligence AnalystTertiary qualification, preferably with a statistical and/or information analysis focus.
Ministry of HealthIntelligence AnalystHave a flair for analytical, research, and statistical type activities.
Ministry of Social DevelopmentAnalyst - (several) Forecasting and Modelling UnitRelevant tertiary qualification, preferably at the post graduate level. Experience in time series analysis and economic, statistical or mathematical modelling.
New Zealand TreasuryAnalyst/Senior Analyst - Macro Forecasting and AnalysisStrong tertiary qualification in one or more of: economics, applied mathematics, econometrics, or a closely related discipline.
Industry and Commerce
Meteorological Service of NZTrainee MeteorologistsBSc, BSc(Hons) or MSc in mathematics or physics.
OrionNetwork Investment AnalystA university degree that includes economics, maths and physics.
Pacific Edge Biotechnology LtdBioinformatician/Computational BiologistA recent degree with relevant biological, mathematical or information and computer science focus.
Rodgers & Partners Consultants LtdBusiness AnalystAppropriate qualification in mathematics, finance, engineering or science.
Tower Managed Funds LtdActuarial AnalystExceptional analytical skills, strong mathematical ability. Relevant degree with good grades in mathematics, statistics or economics and finance.
Weyerhaeuser NZLogistics Co–ordinatorProven analytical and mathematical skills with attention to detail.
Zespri International LtdInnovation AnalystRelevant tertiary qualification and experience in the area of statistical analysis and/or computer science.

To find more specific information on occupations explore the careers web site. For general career enquires contact Careers, Internships & Employment, located at Okeover.