Recently a very nice survey was conducted to show the importance of mathematics in France. This study emphasizes the very strong and growing impact of mathematics for the competitiveness and growth of the French economy:
- The jobs affected by mathematics have a strong added value (15% of GNP and 9% of employment) and are increasing in number (+0.9% per year from 2009 to 2012 vs. +0.5% for overall employment)
- It turns out that 44% of key technologies, identified as such by government reports, are strongly affected by progress in mathematics.
- The mobilization of 5 major competency fields of mathematics (signal and image analysis, data mining, modelling-simulation-optimization (MSO), high performance computing (HPC), computer system security and cryptography) will increase in numerous activity sectors, in particular energy, health, and telecommunications.
The employability of mathematics students is excellent: companies (both large ones and SME’s) are progressively becoming aware of this impact but are still somewhat ill-organized for managing in-house mathematical expertise.
The study finally underlines the necessity to reinforce the links between the higher education system and the companies, in particular for the universities:
- Clarity of the higher education and research system is still too weak.
- Attractiveness of careers for PhD’s in companies is still insufficient.
- Initiatives of support for mathematical expertise in SME’s still needs reinforcing.
By seeking to correct these points of weakness, the scientific excellence of French mathematics will truly constitute a competitive advantage for the economy.
You can find the complete survey here.