Marketable Math Skills

The SIAM Report on Mathematics in Industry found that the most important traits of nonacademic mathematicians are

Problem solving Skill in formulating, modeling, and solving problems from diverse and changing areas
Flexibility Interest in, knowledge of, and flexibility across applications
Computation Knowledge of and experience with computation
Communication Communication skills, spoken and written
Teamwork Adeptness at working with colleagues ("teamwork")

(These skills are important for academic mathematicians as well!)

Computing skills are particularly important. 93% of nonacademic Ph.D. mathematicians rated advanced computation as essential or very important to their discipline. According to the SIAM report, "expertise in both programming and numerical analysis is essential."

Mathematical specialties cited by nonacademic Ph.D. mathematicians as primary technical requirements for their positions are listed below. The percentage of mathematicians listing each specialty as a primary technical requirement is given on the right.

Specialty Percentage
Modeling and simulation 73%
Numerical methods/analysis 65%
Statistics 55%
Probability 50%
Engineering analysis/differential equations 50%
Operations research/optimization 38%
Discrete mathematics 26%

Further Information

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Geoff Davis <>

Last modified: Fri Nov 22 13:36:19 1996