If you have got something for numbers, maybe a calculus-loving cranium or an aptitude for algebra, and you want to use your skills in maths for your career. Then you’re in the right place!
Research Scientist Job Description
Scientists charged with the duty of undertaking mathematical research (a.k.a. research mathematicians) apply their in-depth knowledge of maths for not only commercial purposes but also academic research.
If we take a shallow dive into the commercial domain of research mathematicians, they are employed by organizations of all sizes that use statistics and quantitative reasoning for the forecasting of business trends and possible future market developments, such organizations are investment banks, insurance companies, and other related financial services.
Those who function in this aspect of mathematical research, most likely use statistical modeling, quantitative analysis, and trend forecasting to influence strategic business decisions during the course of carrying out their duties effectively.
It is important to note that mathematicians with jobs in the commercial sector are vitally important for the development of business intelligence and performing in-depth business analysis. Research scientists could also sometimes apply their vast mathematical research expertise in other industries like aerospace, information technology, and product development industries.
On the flip side, those mathematicians who focus their energy and time on academic research would most likely end up holding teaching positions with universities and other educational institutions. The aforementioned academic professionals also mostly are prone to publishing a certain number of mathematical papers every year, this is done to help them to secure research grants and other related forms of funding.
If you hold a job in this aspect of mathematical research, you might have to be performing independent studies which would focus on specialist sections of mathematics, like algebra, geometry, and calculus.
If you get into this aspect of the profession, a lot of the research duties carried out by you would likely be focused on using state-of-the-art equipment and very advanced programming languages to manipulate and analyze data while also building mathematical models, which in turn would enable you to proffer solutions to mathematical problems.
Those researches, findings, and conclusions would be used also to influence business decisions as well as informing the academic research community. For this reason, you would be mandated to present all your findings in the form of research papers and e-journals, while in meetings with clients, by doing presentations or a discuss at academic conferences.
Salary & benefits
The annual average mathematical scientists salary in the early stages of their careers ranges between £20,000 to £35,000, while the annual salaries for professionals with a few years of experience can range from £30,000 to £45,000.
Senior lever mathematical scientists in academic positions could rake in about £68,000 annually, while their peers who are employed by commercial enterprises rake in salaries in the excess of £80,000 annually.
Mathematical scientists have been known to work about 35-40 hours weekly, but depending on where you work, you might be required to work a few extra hours on a frequent basis in other to meet the deadlines for researches.
The vast majority of your job roles would be performed in a lab or office, although some established professionals may have to travel around the world from time to time in other to gather research data from different parts of their organization, or just for the sakes of attending industry-specific events, like conferences and seminars.
Obviously, you would be needing a good undergraduate degree in mathematics, operational research, statistics, or physics to be employed as a research mathematician.
Nevertheless, candidates who apply for the research positions in this profession are usually well-qualified, with a relevant postgraduate degree (MSc or Ph.D.).
Training & progression
Generally speaking, Research mathematicians ought to be totally completely trained and well-versed in their specialized area of mathematics prior to being hired for a full-time position. For that reason, there are really no formal, structured training schemes if you choose this line of work.
Nevertheless, some employers like to sponsor their employees as they study towards bagging their advanced professional qualifications and membership of the relevant professional bodies, like the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS).