Maths and numeracy are two key skills that can significantly boost your chances of getting a job. But why?
Across All Career Choices
Many people fall into the mode of thinking that maths and numeracy are key skills for only a few jobs, such as being a teacher or an accountant. But, math skills are used every day in a wide range of other careers.
For example, a nurse needs to be able to perform simple calculations relating to medication; failure to do so could result in someone being made ill from the wrong dose. Fashion designers, architects, surveyors, butchers, bakers, teaching assistants… you name it! There is not one career that is not informed by the need for a good working knowledge of maths and numeracy.
Now that we have established that Maths knowledge is important across many career areas, we need to look at why. Here are just a few ideas of why maths plays an important daily role in any job you do:
Handling money, giving the correct change, and performing basic mental arithmetic are all essential when it comes to accurately handling money.
Some job roles will involve taking and recording measurements. This can be a pilot working out how much fuel he or she needs to fly across the Atlantic, or a logistic manager working out if they have enough warehouse floor space to accommodate an order.
It could also be the tailor taking measurements for a bespoke suit, or a TA working with children to calculate the mass and volume of various materials. The possibilities are endless.
- Map Reading
Maths is about calculating and coming up with precise data. This is never more important than when looking at and reading maps. There are many job roles that require looking at maps and calculating distances, such as lorry drivers, pilots, farmers and more…
- Handling data
Sometimes information is given not in the form of written words but in the shape of digits, data and graphs.
This information needs to be interpreted – what are the numbers and digits telling you? This is called quantitive information, and it is the hard facts on which many companies will base their decision.
For example, a social media manager needs to interpret the analytics that the program is giving them in relation to a recent online campaign. They need to show how valuable and successful the campaign has been in order to design future campaigns.
Look at Data in a Different Way
Data gives you a certain amount of information, but someone good at maths can play around with this information and extrapolate even more.
This is about reasoning processes. The good news is that you don’t have to be a maths genius to be able to drill deeper into what the figures are telling you.
Companies and businesses sometimes want a more analytical approach to problems. This means having someone who can look at the hard data objectively rather than apply emotion.
Find Solutions to Problems
Every business wants as high a level of productivity as possible, with no bottlenecks and no issues. And yet, when there is a problem the solution is often ‘ill-fitting’.
Having mathematic skills means that you have the powers of reasoning and investigation necessary to seek a solution that is a better fit.
For example, on a production line, why is the same amount of goods produced on days when there is less staff on hand as when the production line is fully staffed? It is an interesting conundrum and suggests that economies of scale are reached. Someone good at maths can assess this issue.
When these economies are passed, the process becomes wasteful. With a strong mathematical thought process, you could work out what is happening and why, as then develop solutions.
Many people who have a natural and learnt mathematical aptitude are often naturally organised.
This is not just in how they organise their desk but in regards to their approach in general. They can think in a clear way, producing strategies for getting things done that revolutionise a work process.
But, I’m no good at maths…
Maths is a subject area that will either fill you with horror or make you clap your hands with glee. We teach ourselves that maths is hard by remembering days of complex-looking algebra that made no sense and other mathematical concepts that we say we ‘have never used since’.
But you have, you just didn’t realise that you were using them. Employers want people with a strong mathematical knowledge, which is why many employees are now looking to distance learning maths courses to equip them with the knowledge and the analytical thinking skills that so many employers are looking for when they hire for lucrative positions.
How do you think maths is used in your current role?