Many careers in maths offer options far beyond a life in spreadsheets and abstract data – and a passionate group of professionals is eager to spread the word. In a new short film created for Pearson, maths graduate Holly Shand explains how her interest in statistics, analysis and football have merged to create her dream job: as a content creator for the Fantasy Premier League.
Holly enjoyed maths at school, deciding to take the subject on at A level and then university. She says: “I decided to take a maths degree because I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do as a career; I wanted to keep my options open.” In 2014, during the Brazilian World Cup, her interest in the sport led her to take up fantasy football – and she has been playing Fantasy Premier League ever since.
Maths now plays a central role in her day-to-day work, which has seen Holly attract more than 15,000 subscribers to her own Fantasy Football YouTube channel. As Holly puts it, “There are a lot of variables at play in football, but if you can kind of play those variables to your advantage by making predictions, using predictive models as well, it really helps to make a more educated fantasy decision.” Those predictions extend to “expected goals data”, which calculates the likelihood of a team scoring, and makes Holly one of the top pundits to watch.
Holly’s story is the latest in a our series Your future in maths: A-Z, which shines a spotlight on the power of maths, and the opportunities it offers for students everywhere – including brilliantly varied careers in aerodynamics, weather forecasting, nutritional science; even wildlife photography.
The options unlocked by the subject are endless, and contributors like Holly are keen to join the mission to myth-bust for maths. Holly says: “I think the big misconception when it comes to careers in maths is people automatically think, ‘Well, you must have to be an accountant or something like that. It can’t encompass your hobbies or be something fun.’ But I’m a perfect example of being able to combine a love of football, and game play and strategy, with bringing in that maths knowledge.”
Educators wanting to help students follow their passions with maths, whatever their hobbies and interests, can signpost them to Holly’s video today, along with an inspiring selection of others.
Simply visit the Your future in maths: A-Z webpage.
At Pearson, we believe that maths is for everyone, and that everyone can benefit from studying maths. Your future in maths: A-Z aims to present teachers and learners with a vast array of diverse professionals, whose careers were shaped by the subject.