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Published in the 1-15 Feb 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Education & Careers

Careers in Mathematics and Statistics

10+2 students and Science Graduates

Being a mathematician is not every individual's dream. Only a "few" with a burning desire to play & work with numbers are fascinated by this subject. Why? Its because playing with numbers, working out new calculations, deriving new formulae, etc. is all about becoming today's Ramanujam. (The great Indian Mathematician of the 19th Century). Mathematics has fascinated only those "brains" who went on to be the world's best. So if your child is a Maths wizard, just let him play with numbers. Who knows he / she might be tomorrow's Shakuntala Devi.

Next in line to Mathematics is Statistics. We all know the importance of statistics in our daily life as well as the functioning of any government/ company/organization or even a cricket match. If not for statistics, it would not have been possible for us to know the World records or the Olympic records. Be it the sensex or exit polls or census, we need statisticians for their efficient and correct analysis of data for it be useful to us. Similarly, innumerable sectors, need statistical applications to achieve better economic planning and implementation. So being a statistician, alhamdulillah gives one plenty of opportunities and choices to select and plan a great career.

This article shows the way on how to take up a career in mathematics and statistics. 
Personality requirements

  1. To be a mathematician or statistician one has to be really good at numericals.

  2. Solving puzzles, discovering new techniques and urge to innovate and advance methods matters a lot.

  3. Ability to put in loads of hard and smart work, both independently as well as part of a team is needed. 

  4. One should be able to adapt as well as set new standards. This paves the way for being an expert. 

  5. Working long hours, avoiding frustration and being self-motivated, is a prime requirement.

  6. Last of all one needs to be attracted towards numbers. Just love playing with them.

Diploma courses

  1. Diploma in Applied Maths.

  2. Diploma in Maths with computer programming, etc…
    Eligibility: 10+2 pass with Maths & English.

Undergraduate courses ( 3 years )

  1. Bachelor of Statistics ( Hons).

  2. Bachelor of Mathematics ( Hons ).

  3. Bachelor's in Statistical Methods.

  4. Bachelor's in Applied Mathematics andStatistics, etc..

Eligibility: 10+2 with Maths and English, atleast 50% or 75% ( depends on conditions set up the university ).

Post Graduate courses ( 2years )

1. Masters in Statistics
2. Masters in Mathematics.
3. M.Tech in Quality and Reliability and operations research.
4. Masters of Science ( MS) in Quantitative Economics (3 years.)
5. P.G. Dip in Applied Maths ( Industrial maths ) - 1 year 

3 years B.Stat or B.Math or BSc ( Physics,
Mathematics ). 
4 years BE or BTech or equivalent. Like AMIE, GRAD, etc..
Since eligibility criteria varies according to institutions, one needs to get more info.

5 year Integrated Program after 10+2
The IIT's and BITS pilani offer 5 year integrated program ( Maths & applied Maths ) for 10+2 students.

For Diploma Courses 

  1. 1. University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad.

  2. College of Engineering, Chennai.

  3. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and many more…

For Undergraduate Courses 

  1. Indian Statistical Institute - Kolkata, Bangalore and Delhi.

  2. Chennai Mathematical Institute, 92 GN Chetty Road, T Nagar, Chennai 600017.

  3. Osmania University, Hyderabad 500007.

  4. Punjab University, Sector 14, Chandigarh 160014.
    5. University of Poona, Ganeshkind, Pune - 411007. and many more…
    For Post Graduate Courses, Research and PhD.


  1. Indian Statistical Institute - Kolkata, Bangalore and Delhi.

  2. The Mehta Research Institute of Mathematics and Mathematical Physics ( MRI), Allahabad.

  3. Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Road, Mumbai 400005.

  4. The Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), CIT campus, Taramani, Chennai - 600113.

Indian Statistical Institute - Kolkata, Bangalore and Delhi 
Features of ISI

  1. Good academic programs, highly qualified professionals and excellent placements every year. 

  2. Admits students based on merit only. Conducts all UG and PG courses mentioned above.

  3.  Offers stipend for all courses conducted ( Rs.800/- to Rs.12,000/- per month.)

Junior Research Fellowships @ ISI
ISI offers fellowships in Statistics, Mathematics, Demography, Library and Information Sciences, Psychology, Computer and Communication Sciences, etc.. with a stipend of Rs.8,000/- per month.

Admissions in ISI for Academic year 2005 - 2006
Applications are being issued for various UG and PG courses and Junior Research Fellowships listed above. The last date to get applications is 25th February 2005. For more details log on to

Job Prospects for a mathematician.
Mathematics has two main categories - Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.

  1. Good openings to work in operations research, numerical analysis, industrial research and development.

  2. Work in computer systems design and software programming, information and data processing. 

  3. Opportunities are also open in the field of aerodynamics, applied physics, robotics, market research, population studies and commercial surveys. 

  4. Mathematics also offers the scope of being teachers or lecturer or professors in schools and colleges.

  5. Being an applied mathematician one can find practical solutions for social sciences, life sciences, physical sciences and earth sciences. Etc..

Job Prospects for a statistician.

Statisticians are divided into two categories - Theoretical statisticians and Applied statisticians.

One can find good openings in 

  1. 1. Government and Semi Government sectors like agriculture, insurance, banking, etc.. in India and abroad.

  2. R&D divisions of National Laboratories, companies, organizations and MNC's like Reliance, Mahindra, Pfizer, Saudi Aramco, BPCL, TATA, Infosys, etc…

  3. Research Organizations handling operations research, economic planning, etc..

  4. Conducting Census, Exit polls, Surveys for the Government, TV channels or NGO's. 

  5. Maintain and update sports records of various sports like cricket, football, athletics, etc… 

  6. Start publications like Guinness Records & Co…or Manorama year Book which highlight statistics.

  7. Teaching statistics at undergraduate and post graduate level.  «

See also: Career Queries

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