Basically, my background is the following: I was a very good student in a not so bad university in my bachelor, and now I'm doing alright (~ good student but not one of the best) in a very good university at Master's program in Europe. Obviously, mathematics gets harder and to be realistic it will not hurt to keep in mind career options outside academia after I finish my Master's, especially if one takes into account the current competition level in academia.

What scares me is the fact that I feel totally useless outside research. By that I mean I have no teaching experience at all, no classes in statistics, probability, applied mathematics, no programming skills(though I had one class in C programming 3 years ago which sucked and in addition I totally forgot it). Instead I have always been doing courses which are highly abstract like category theory, homotopy theory, algebraic geometry(most of the Hartshorne), topology and this list goes on. There is no way I can use outside academia/research anything I learned before, so I don't see any difference between me and a high school graduate.

Are there any options besides academia with my current background or realistically I'd better stick on academia to survive?

P.S. Even though I enjoy research, but recently it had started becoming tiring so I'm looking for a plan B. Next year which is final will be spent on writing thesis and there is no time to take any additional classes outside of my current research.

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    "realistically I'd better stick on academia to survive?" I doubt academia is ever the easiest way to survive. – Anonymous Physicist Aug 25 '19 at 13:20
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    In industry, you constantly need to adapt and learn new things. The same is true in academia unless you get a job at the institute of advanced study or something. The question for you is,of those high-demand areas/skills you don't know, which are you willing to learn? – A Simple Algorithm Aug 25 '19 at 13:31
  • @ASimpleAlgorithm actually coding sounds interesting. On the other hand, priority is given to the job which can accept just right after graduation and which allows me to learn on my way. That was actually my question and I have an impression that one needs to spend a relatively long time developing programming skills and only after getting a background there is an actual job. Am I right? – researcher Aug 25 '19 at 13:45
  • @researcher nope! perhaps if you want to be a pure developer at a software company. But a company/lab/agency doing heavily mathematical work will preferentially seek math skills, though you'd need some kind of computer skills to actually do useful work there (i.e. using R, SQL, python, ...). I would guess it would generally entail developing/implementing advanced algorithms on data. Some places have people specialized on both sides too (math and software) so your programming would be minimal and high-level, handing over a working script for the software team to implement. – A Simple Algorithm Aug 25 '19 at 13:53
  • I am in the same spot as you. For survival, this depends on the country. In the US, people are open-minded, but you said Europe, and this is scary. I wish you are not French. Because if you are, it's pretty much over. Pure math is useless and not valued here. Your "smarts" also won't be valued (at least not officially) and you'll spend your life being paid like a fresh high schooler ("SMIC") if you don't do engineering. Also, companies are all conniving with each other so you'll be forced to accept their offer, there's nowhere else to go unless you plan to leave. Stick to academia if you can – Evariste Aug 25 '19 at 16:12

This question will probably be closed as it is shopping. You might want to try and learn what people do after having bachelor's in mathematics. There are statistics online and, to my suprise as well, mathematics seem to bring in a quite respectable salary (on avarage, in US). My understanding is that there is some demand for mathematicians in certain jobs. They may train you so you don't really need to know much beforehand.

Given your specific interests a more ideal, non-academic, job placement would ideally use your qualifications. Private companies do have their researchers (for example IBM has researchers for quantum computing) doing serious research. There might be oppurtunities for you, that I am aware of, in communications (coding theory) or data analysis.

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  • It looks like data analysis requires knowledge of statistics and some specific computer software at least. – researcher Aug 25 '19 at 13:23

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