Preface :

On Ada Lovelace Day (13th October) Capgemini is celebrating the launch of the TechFuture Women’s Network.  Together with the Tech Partnership we’re a creating a network of women to bring together initiatives from across our industry.  We have one mission – to ensure that young female students connect with women in the Tech industry so they understand the exciting opportunities working in Tech both now and in the future.

The initial focus and drive is with ‘Apps for Good’ as they’ve a great track record in engaging young women.  But many other initiatives will follow, and joining the Network means that women will hear about opportunities as they are launched.

Maths doesn’t have to mean Accountancy

Nivedita Krishnamurthy, Executive Vice President & Head of Markets
“You’re good at Maths – you’ll make a great Accountant”

I’m hearing this quite a bit at the moment.  My guess is that if you’re good at maths you’ve heard it too.  And it’s absolutely true.  If you’re good at maths, accountancy might be for you.

But as an employer I feel the one dimensional association between a talent for maths and a career as an accountant just isn’t helpful, I’d go so far as to say it lacks a bit of creativity on our part! 

As an accountant myself I know accountants are a vital in a thriving business.  But today unlike when I left school, there are so many more careers open to talented maths literate young people.  After all, maths fosters problem solving skills, which are fundamental to business success.  Problem solving careers also tend to attract a more diverse range of young people including girls.  Whilst maths A level is on a steady increase, less than 30% of 2015 students were girls* So, to me it’s imperative that we showcase maths as the doorway to interesting and vibrant careers.

From the classroom the variety of careers where maths is either essential or a real help are probably not obvious.  Looking within Capgemini we have a wealth of careers for those with a flair for maths.  Here’s my top five:

  1. Programmer or Software Engineer.  Understanding A level maths will give you a head start in a career creating software programmes with the potential for millions of people to use.
  2. Business Analytics.  You only have to look at the Capgemini analytics team blog to see the vast array of topics that business analytics consultants get involved in.  From queues at Wimbledon to the weather and cinema releases, being able to see numbers for what they really are allows them to share insights others don’t see.  Understanding the power of big data is most definitely a high flying future job.  A wonderful skill set and a blog well worth reading
  3. Cyber Security.  Clearly maths is a core skill for cryptography (decrypting texts or making James Bond look good!).  However, in a business sense maths would be useful for deciphering statistics and cross comparing activity to understand the strategy behind attacks or particular hackers.  This is another job function that will be in high demand now and the future.
  4. Project Manager.  We run some of the biggest and most high profile technology projects in the world, great project managers make them happen.  To do that you need to know how many hours a project will take to deliver at what cost and what other resources are needed.  Not to mention what are the risks and the peak and troughs. 
  5. Event Management.  Like all big organisations whether for clients or our own people we frequently bring people together.  If you can’t work out how much space 1,000 people need, or will eat and drink you’re not going to cut it as an Events Manager.  And don’t forget you’ll need to manage the budget – can you afford live music and goodie bags?

Of course, accountancy will remain an attractive option for many young people (especially with some great apprenticeships available).  If you do opt for this route, I hope you will have the kind of varied and challenging career that I’m enjoying!  For those who are reluctant to go the accountancy route, I hope you can see that numeracy is a key skill employers want and we can offer a range of careers.  

Nivedita Krishnamurthy,
Executive Vice President & Head of Markets


*   The Guardian