I am a student of mathematics, pursuing masters degree at a reputable institution in India. My course is algebra intensive and my masters thesis is based on commutative algebra (until now, I have been learning about Hilbert syzygy theorem, free resolution and betti numbers etc etc). Also I am good at programming. I participate in online coding competition and regularly solve SPOJ problems. Recently I am working in revamping our departments website (We use Drupal by the way).

Areas that I am specially interested are, commutative algebra, group theory, cryptography and writing codes (C, C++, PHP, Python).

But let me tell you I have no intention of becoming a professor. I would love to be a researcher but not a professor. That is why I want to work in some R&D. I don't know what to do after my masters degree. People are saying that you should pursue PhD in Math, but I don't know if this will help me or not. Data science seems really good and lucrative but I don't know whether I am fit for it or not. Or how to proceed from here to have a career as data scientist. I really do like cryptography and its link with algebra and number theory. So being a researcher in this field is also lucrative option for me. But I don't know what to do next. Thanks !


2 Answers 2


I'm glad that you're interested in further study. I'm actually not familiar with the Indian job market right now, but if you're not interested in academia, then in that case, here is what I would recommend:

Get a PhD in CS or Business (Computer Information Systems) - go to Data Science is a great career, even if you don't enjoy it that much, it is very lucrative as you said, and it is also pretty interesting. Information Security is a booming field, and is huge right now. You can also do this through pure mathematics, by getting your PhD in Math and specializing in computational number theory, while staying involved in InfoSec work (through internship, for example).

The academic job market in India, especially for Professors, seems to be relativity good at the moment, so it may be easy to get a job as one. I don't know this for sure though. It seems like this isn't an option for you though, so here is what I would say:

Do something like I suggested above (I strongly believe that Data Science is the way to go), and try to get into a reputable institition in India (if you plan to stay there), like IIT. Otherwise, there a lot of good institions throughout the world that you can look into. To become a data scientist, you need to apply to PhD programs in CIS/Business/CS, and join a research group that has a Data analytics concentration (talking in regards to my experience here in the USA). There's a lot of US Companies that have major offices in India, and Data is a big field now that is under-saturated currently.


I can relate to you very well and wish I knew that there are so many opportunities available for mathematics majors.

Since you like research, you can work for companies like Google and Facebook. Other opportunities are available if not in the research field, e.g. more practical application of mathematics, include quantitative analysts and finance.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .