Math is a subject that is almost universally despised, feared, and downright hated by students no matter where they are in the world. Most students go out of their way to avoid encountering math over the course of their education, and even those who do come across it are looking to part with it as soon as possible. At this time, we are not going to go into reasons as to why math is not particularly liked by students all over the globe. Instead, we are going to focus on the benefits of pursuing math during high school years.
According to research, pursuing math in high school and subjects which deal high level math, such as geometry or algebra II (or the equivalent) can have a palpable impact when it comes to future employment, as well as salary. Of course, we are familiar with fact the that those students which decide to attend technical colleges and pursue a career in engineering, programming, physics, or simply pure mathematics, can look forward to high-paid jobs and work on cutting-edge projects.
However, recent studies suggest that completing higher levels of math can also have a beneficial effect for those student which decide not to go to college, or those who cannot afford it, which is something that needs to be taken into account when providing students with career advice. According to data, student which have completed courses revolving around higher math have a better chance of finding a job after high school. Moreover, math-oriented students have higher salaries on average than their colleagues which have avoided math altogether, even if all they had to do was ask for help with homework.
The research has included workers with high school degrees working full-time jobs. The data suggests that those workers who took more math courses earned around $1.30 more per hour than workers who didn’t attend classes in geometry or algebra II. But, there is another piece of data that is extremely interesting and speaks volumes about math’s potential and versatility. Workers which dropped out of high school, aged between 20 and 30, have higher wages than pre-algebra dropouts. To be exact, they earn as much as $1.66 per hour more than their colleagues with similar education. They can also look forward to a higher chance of employment.
The conclusion is that one’s choice of math as a subject can better their chances in the job market regardless of whether or not they have completed their high school studies. All things considered, those graduates which were more focused on math during their school days, have a chance to earn up to 10% more than their colleagues, which is the difference in salary between high school graduates and those that have completed one year of college. Making better choices in high school, as is evident, can have a positive impact on your future career.
All this data is pretty compelling, but why is math so useful and why does it have that effect? The research doesn’t provide much information in the way of explaining the reasons behind math’s effectiveness. However, we can speculate on it. It could be because of the job market and inherent characteristic of today’s jobs, which tend to be more very tech-oriented. If that’s the case, those student’s which have excelled at math during their time in high school will be able to use their math knowledge and do the job as it is required of them. The variety of jobs where math might come in handy is immense, because math helps students develop their analytical skills, the ability to spot patterns and think logically, and solve problems on the go. Basically, all that is required from a modern employee in this day and age.
And the school systems seem to be keeping up with this trend, because in the last 30 years or so, the percentage of high school students which have completed courses in high level math has nearly doubled. To be more exact it went from 39% back in 1982, to 75% in 2009. While these numbers are surely impressive, along with those indicating that the unemployment rate for dropouts is 33% for those who have studies math more, as opposed to 27% for those who have steered clear of math, there is still the question of whether or not we should push students even more toward math, since it is so beneficial.
While there is no simple answer to that question, we have to take a step back and realize that math is still one of the most dreaded subjects among students, despite all the benefits. Research shows that the majority of students will ask for math assignment help at some point while they are in high school, because they won’t be able to keep up with the curriculum involving that much math. The situation gets even worse if we are talking about higher math.
The problem is not exactly new, because math has been around for quite some time, and it has been hated by students for nearly as long. Parents and teachers are part of the problem too, because they have been in the same boat when they were in high school. They were also afraid of math, because they found it to scary and challenging. And part of the problem can be attributed to the school system, which has changed very little in its essence since the industrial revolution. The school system, as it is now, is built upon the idea that failure gets punished, while success gets rewarded, which may be the reason why students start despising math as soon as they fail to solve a particular problem.
We need to start addressing this issue soon and spark a worldwide debate, because math is definitely a discipline of the future, and that’s where we want our children to go and to succeed. We have to do everything in our power today to improve their chances in the world of tomorrow.