Numerical degrees still blighted by stigma, study finds

A NEW VISUAL research project was recently published by financial broker Spread Co. looking into a negative perception of numbers based degrees was recently published, and examines whether these degrees still face a negative perception and how graduates dealt with their critics.

Spread Co.

Spread Co.

According to their new study, Economics, Finance and Maths in the UK face highly negative questions, ranging from playful “don’t you just make the numbers up?”, to “are you really going to do that for the rest of your life?”

Graduates responded to the visual research project by highlighting their financial achievements, career progression, travelling opportunities, and charity work, showcasing that they do have full and enriching lives outside of their work. The respondents’ qualifications ranged from Business Management, to Masters in Mathematics, defying stereotypes that those wanting careers in the mathematical industry are exciting and interesting, and not “the traffic wardens of the finance world”.

Shameer Sachdev, from Spread Co, commented:

“There is for some reason an age-old perception that these sorts of degrees are boring, whereas in fact nothing could be further from the truth. To work in the fast-paced and constantly evolving world of finance, you need a diverse skillset and the sort of intrinsic drive that these competitive degrees give you. Whether it’s backpacking around the world or landing their dream job over thousands of other applicants, the graduates we surveyed are clearly interesting and dynamic individuals, which makes them perfect for our industry.”

All these supposed negative perceptions of mathematical science degrees don’t seem to have put prospective students off, however, as more people than ever are applying for courses within the subject area. In June 2015, there were 48,130 applicants for mathematical science degrees, a rise of 2,500 applicants compared to 2014. At the same time, there was a drop in applicants to medicine, technology and art courses, putting mathematical subject applications at a five year high.

What with this data, and Spread Co’s study of their own graduates, it’s difficult to comprehend where all the stigma towards numerical degrees stemmed from in the first place.

You can find more out about the project, including the full list of questions and comments at: