Maths Career Guide

Gaining experience


A maths degree opens up a wide range of career options and opportunities to gain work experience will depend on the direction you want to choose. You may want to increase your commercial awareness, build experience in analysis and statistics or gain classroom experience if you are considering teaching.

Overall, the key to success when looking to gain experience is to prepare thoroughly, carry out research and to organise your placement, internship or volunteering opportunity in good time.

On this page you will information about the types of work experience opportunity available, where to look, and top tips for success!

Types of opportunities

An internship is usually a work experience opportunity that is offered for a fixed period or a limited amount of time. Internships tend to be undertaken by students and graduates who are looking to gain more relevant/industry specific skills and experience in their particular field.

These opportunities can be paid for a period of between one to four months and typically take place over the summer, with closing dates generally around January to March, but some can be earlier.

Look for opportunities at:

  • InsideCareers - search for internships, placements and insights across career sectors including actuaries, insurance, pensions, banking and investments and accountancy.
  • RateMyPlacement - offers information on a range of internships and work experience, including accounting and finance, banking, business, consulting and retail.
  • TARGETjobs - provides a specific section on different career sectors, with the ability to search for placement and internship opportunities in accountancy and financial management, financial services, insurance and investment banking and consulting.
  • Gradcracker - as the UK’s careers website for Technology students, Gradcracker provides a search function for placements and internships relevant to your degree discipline.
  • Milkround - provides a search tool for internships and industrial placements across sectors, including IT and related business support roles, accounting and banking, consultancy and education.
  • Bright Network - as part of their annual Internship Experience programme, Bright Network offers a range of virtual opportunities across sectors and employers.

Find out more about internships

As part of your degree programme you may have the opportunity to take part in a salaried placement year, either in the UK or overseas to gain proven industrial experience by the time you graduate. This will provide you with an invaluable insight into working life and offer a unique opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you are learning as part of your studies.

Placements will also enable you to gain transferable skills in the workplace, such as communication, teamwork and time management, in addition to finding out more about a specific job role or industry, which will lead to more informed decisions upon graduating. To find out more about the range of different companies and roles students in your area have previously worked with, please find out more on the Maths, Physics, Computing, Engineering and Surveying placements webpage.

To find out more about sourcing and arranging your placement, we would encourage you to get in contact with your placement office.

Find out more about placements

Getting involved in volunteering gives you the opportunity to develop employability skills and experience a variety of working environments. It also provides the chance to network, meet new friends and boost your confidence.

Volunteering also enables you to gain practical experience and working examples to support your graduate applications. If you choose to commit a significant amount of time and impress the organisation during your volunteering, they may also provide you with a professional reference.


The Careers & Employability Volunteering Bank provides local opportunities to undertake alongside your studies, listing roles such as:

  • STEM Ambassador with STEM Learning

  • Code Club Volunteer with Code Club

Learn more about our Volunteering Team




If you are looking to get into teaching specifically, then the following sites provide more information:

  • The Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme run by the Department of Mathematics enables final year students to undertake a ten week placement in a local school. Students benefit from work experience in an educational environment, as well as the opportunity to work directly with mathematics teachers across key stages and higher level qualifications.
  • Get into Teaching provides tailored advice from teaching experts covering everything from arranging school experience to preparing a strong application.
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Tips for success

When starting your search for work experience, it is important to identify whether or not there is specific experience you wish to gain within a particular sector or could your search be broader where you are looking to gain transferable skills? Some key considerations for your search may include:

  • Are you looking for experience that relates to a specific unit you are taking as part of your university course?
  • What are your career goals and aspirations? How might the opportunity help you work towards these?
  • Are there any gaps in your skillset that need to be addressed? How might an opportunity enable you to fill this gap?
  • What is the time commitment and location of the role? Does this fit in with your plans and other commitments during term time or over the summer period?
  • What type of organisation would you like to gain experience with? A bigger national or multinational company? A small to medium-sized enterprise, charity of not-for-profit organisation?



Explore the Maths Career Guide


Your guide to building a career with a degree in maths.

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Take the first steps to researching a career with a maths degree.

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