My background (bachelor + part of my master degree) was as mathematics. Then I complete my PhD in developing statistical models. My study does not apply to a specific area (for example, finance, sport, health, etc). That is I am a model developer. Because I did not focus on a specific area, I found it is hard for me to find a job at university as they require a specific field of study. Now, I am thinking to improve myself in a specific area such as finance. However, I really do not know how to start or even stay in my way (developing statistical models) is better for me? any advice or help, please?

  • I don't understand your comment that "they require a specific field of study". That doesn't seem true to me. Maybe it is just a tough job market. Where is this happening? Maybe Australia as your profile indicates. Is it special there in some way?
    – Buffy
    Jun 24, 2019 at 10:47
  • @Buffy Hi and thank you for your comment. I mean that the university offers some jobs for biological, health, spatial, finance and so on. For me, I did not have a specific area. My models help the researcher in a different field. Do you advise me to stay as a model developer or try to write in a specific area?
    – Mary
    Jun 24, 2019 at 11:06
  • I don't have a good understanding of academia in Australia. Model building seems like a good thing to me. Is it enough just to find some collaborators in an area of application and work with them for a while? A question, not a statement.
    – Buffy
    Jun 24, 2019 at 11:09
  • @Buffy It is a good idea to find someone to work with. I tried this, however, as I am not employed in any university, the role is that I cannot use their data and hence I need to work on general data (open source) and for some filed this is not a good option for journals.
    – Mary
    Jun 24, 2019 at 11:12
  • Is it possible to get employed as a researcher on someone's grant? If so, you could work out co-authorship at the start so as to build a CV. Or a postdoc?
    – Buffy
    Jun 24, 2019 at 11:28

2 Answers 2


It seems to me that you have all the tools needed to either stay is your area or develop models in any of the sub-areas mentioned above. You just need to learn the "state of the art" in each of them (or finance, as you've specified). My advice for you is to build a portfolio with some personal projects, as this counts a lot more than just having a diploma on the specific area. Access some databases and create some financial models by your own and host your work on GitHub or something like this, then you can bring this up on any upcoming interview and show the company/university you know what you're doing.


Something you might find out is that, whether the position is academic or not, there are many people coming from a scientific or financial or engineering, etc., background who learn how to create mathematical or statistical or simulation models for their own field. Their advantage is that they typically understand the principles of their fields, understand core concepts and considerations, and can formulate problems. I suppose places hire general purpose modelers, but in my experience, relatively speaking they seem to be pretty rare.

To get started, find a field of interest to you, learn its terminology and basics. If possible, see if you can land an internship in it somewhere.

By the way, how did things turn out for you in the last few years?

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