As a Ph.D graduated in mathematics (combinatorial algebra), I would like to apply for jobs in industry such as finance and/or Data science. I have some knowledge on programming but no real-world experience. Do I have any chance to get a job in industry? I looked for industry jobs, in most finance and data mining sector jobs, there exists


as one of the field of studies that students of them can apply for. My question is about my chance for these types of jobs.

3 Answers 3


If you don't apply, you won't get the job. So, apply!

Yes, it's possible to find a job in industry and many Ph.D. graduates in mathematics do this every year. There are lots of things that you could have been doing earlier in your graduate career to help you prepare for a career outside of academia, but there are also many things that you can do starting right now to help you develop a non-academic career.

One very recent resource that you might find helpful is the book:

Rachel Levy, Richard Laugesen and Fadil Santosa, Big Jobs Guide: Business, Industry, and Government Careers for Mathematical Scientists, Statisticians, and Operations Researchers. SIAM, 2018.

  • Maybe one thing to add is that different companies look for different things at different times (and sometimes at the same time). Some positions want people with specialized skills, and some positions don't. So the OP probably has reasonable chances for the latter, but perhaps not the former.
    – Kimball
    Jul 25, 2018 at 6:17

If you look at your local jobs portal for positions that require a PhD in mathematics, you'll find if there are opportunities for people like you. Here is an example. Yes you have a chance - if they weren't looking for people with PhD in mathematics, they wouldn't list that as a requirement. Besides, there're more graduates than there are academic positions, so most of those graduates end up in industry.

Good luck, and be sure to visit your university's career center if they have one.


Another option you might want to look in to is Actuarial work. I haven't looked at it in decades so my information may be long out of date, but it used to be a very highly paid profession - and highly mathematical. To get a proper license you need(ed) to take a series of tests, but a doctorate in math would give you a pass on some of them.

The actuarial business may have changed this century of course, and also entry to the profession, but it can be a good fit for some mathematicians. See: http://www.actuary.org

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