Discovering Exciting Careers on International Womens Day

On International Womens Day, the Australian Maths and Science Institute (AMSI) invited girls from Years 8 to 12 to join them at QUT for a day of inspiration and information led by female maths and science experts.

Seventeen BAC girls (19 percent of female students from Years 8 to 12) took up the offer and attended this event. They enjoyed the program, finding it inspiring as they learned more about the exciting possibilities offered in maths and science-related fields. 

They learned that the numbers of students taking higher levels of maths at school has been on a continuous decline over the past 20 years, with only nine percent of students (both girls and boys) studying higher level maths in Years 11 and 12. Yet up to 75 percent of jobs of the future will involve science, technology, engineering and maths! 

The panel spoke about the broad opportunities offered to graduates with qualifications in maths. While lawyers study law, scientists study science and engineers study engineering, students who study maths go on to become involved in many, many different jobs and industries. This includes careers in robotics, engineering, science, computing, technology, environment, aviation, finance, software engineering, geology, banking, accounting, energy, marketing, teaching, security and more!

The females on the panel were young and relatable. One panelist had a PHD in mathematics, however recounted how she had only received average maths grades at school. Working hard at maths in university gave her the experience and credentials to now be involved in searching for a cure for motor neuron disease through the investigation of data sets.  

A chemical engineer explained that she had received 27 percent on one maths exams at school, which prompted her to get involved with a daily maths gym in order to improve her grades. It worked.

A mathematician who now works as a marketing analyst said that she loved maths at school but also loved sport and so focused on PE during senior high school instead.   

The speakers gave students ample reason to think that they too could aim high, work hard and end up in exciting careers. 

Year 8 student Mian George said about the day: “Attending the AMSI Choose Maths event at QUT last Friday was truly eye-opening. Throughout the presentation, four very inspiring women spoke to us about their careers involving maths and what a huge impact maths has on their roles. By listening to where they came from and where they are now, I learned about the importance of maths and how beneficial it can be. I learnt so much at this event and it has really encouraged me to pursue maths in the future.”

Year 12 student Isabelle Santos said, “The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute inspired me to continue exploring the mathematical field. The guest speakers revealed the different, unexpected jobs that are open for those who have studied higher level mathematics. Overall, I came out of the event motivated because of the versatility of mathematics and the endless opportunities it provides." 

At BAC, we encourage all of our students to work hard at maths and choose higher level mathematics subjects in the senior years. We hope to see more students choose Math Methods and Specialist Maths in the future.