Many people told me it is much more easier for an applied/computational mathematician to find a job in U.S. than a pure mathematician. I believe that it is largely due to the fact that applied/computational mathematicians have many advantages in finding jobs in industry. I wonder if this is still the case in academia, in particular research-oriented schools. Well, at least in the department I am studying at, most postdocs and newly-hired assistant professors are doing applied\computational math or potentially applicable math.

Specifically, Is it generally easier to find a job in research-oriented schools (regardless of ranking) if one works in applied math rather than pure math? (I naively believe that there is no special advantages for applied mathematicians to apply for a job in teaching-oriented schools. Please let me know if I am not right)

To avoid the tag that "this question strongly depends on individual factors", I want to clarify the words "generally easier". I want to know whether or not most research-oriented math departments (specifically refer to those with both pure and applied mathematicians. I know in some universities, pure math and applied math belong to different departments) are more interested in hiring applied/computational mathematicians as postdocs/APs and the reasons behind it.

Answers based on personal experience and objective evidence/statistics are both welcome here!

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    Apr 4, 2019 at 17:44
  • "[I]t is much [...] easier for an applied/computational mathematician to find a job in U.S. than a pure mathematician." Relatively easier, yet still challenging. Jul 2, 2021 at 16:41

1 Answer 1


Applied mathematics is looks great for research oriented schools, as it is great for connecting field like physics into calculus, it’s evidence that you are aware of the connections and potentially build on them; pure mathematics doesn’t look as good, unless the field you are looking to research in is mathematics itself, as schools in general will assume you are more focused arithmetic, rather than the actual application of your degree to your field of study.

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