A bachelor in applied mathematics prepares students for a wide range of career opportunities in today’s fast-paced and complex world. Dania Molina García, for example, has used her degree to land exciting jobs in cybersecurity with organizations like the Spanish military, NATO and even Mercedes-Benz. With a focus on real-world applications, including sustainability and climate change, applied mathematics can be a driving force in many industries and is an essential tool for solving global issues. IE University’s upcoming Bachelor in Applied Mathematics offers practical, hands-on training to prepare students for careers in cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence, logistics and many other fields.
My name is Dania Molina García. I am from Spain and I studied a double degree in computer engineering and mathematics. That undergraduate program was what led me to pursue a master’s degree in information security and a career in cybersecurity. Climate change is one of my biggest concerns, and you don’t always think of mathematics as a way to solve climate change, but applied mathematics is actually a driving force in the sustainability sector. That gives me hope that I can someday put my analytical skills and unique perspective to use and make a real difference, using math to help create a better planet for everyone.
Can you tell us a bit more about your background and job?
My academic background is in mathematics and computer engineering. After I finished my applied mathematics studies, I started a career in cybersecurity. Eventually, I felt the need to further my education and pursue a master’s degree in information security, which led me to work on various projects for organizations like the Spanish military and NATO—and even for multinationals like Mercedes-Benz. Currently, I’m working as an information security engineer at Sanitas, a Spanish health insurance company. My job is primarily focused on cybersecurity, information security and awareness.
What is your typical workday like?
My tasks revolve around the company’s security culture plan. We focus on the dissemination of security knowledge within the company and educating the employees on these matters. We do it through raising awareness, organizing training sessions and talks on cybersecurity and running ethical phishing campaigns to identify weaknesses and improve employee awareness.
How did your training in mathematics help you get where you are today?
Math is everywhere. So the ability to understand mathematics can give you a deeper understanding of any challenge that life puts in your way. Studying applied mathematics taught me to think about the real world through math. It may sound complicated, but it actually streamlines the complexities of life by breaking them down into simpler formulas. I think that it has made me very resilient when it comes to problem-solving—and also more open-minded, because I can now look at the world from a more analytical point of view.
What would be your advice to someone interested in mathematics?
First of all, it is very important to have an open mind. Applied mathematics is going to seem very different from the math you will have learned in high school. But only at first! So, my advice is to be patient; you will get used to it and end up discovering a new way of enjoying mathematics. And that’s the second most important thing: be sure to enjoy it and have fun! If you are passionate about math and its applications, you will get a lot out of this program. By pursuing your passion for math and studying a bachelor in applied mathematics, you’ll be opening up a world of exciting and diverse career opportunities in so many different fields.
Do you think mathematics will be playing a role in different industries and fields?
As I said before, math is everywhere—and in today’s modern world, that’s truer than ever. Companies in many fields require mathematicians to work in cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence, logistics and many other areas. The Bachelor in Applied Mathematics does a good job of preparing you with a big array of skills in many different disciplines. We receive a lot of practical, hands-on training and develop a very versatile set of skills that can be applied to a variety of fields and industries. It’s very easy to translate what we learn in the classroom into any future career.
On a more personal note, if you could apply your math skills to solve any global issue, what would it be?
I would love to find a way to solve climate change through math. Climate change is a global issue that concerns us all and being able to solve it would mean making the lives of everyone on the planet better. Climate change is the root cause of many of the problems we face today, after all.