You probably hated math in school. Will we ever need it in real life, you asked? But while most of us may never need calculus in a job, understanding basic math concepts are useful and even necessary in some jobs. If you want to be a bank teller, you better be good at counting. Even making change at your first part time job requires you to be quick on your feet and comfortable with math.
Lots of teens are looking for jobs and typically one of the ones they can get is a cashier type position. Many jobs 17 year olds will be hired for will require basic math and those that don’t have that skill won’t be hired.
Math is important for more reasons than just finding a job. It helps you develop thought processes that translate into all sorts of other skills. Math at all levels is a puzzle and being able to figure out puzzles helps you in many ways throughout life. So the next time you get frustrated at a math problem or think that learning how think mathematically isn’t important, realize that struggling through the problem is buy far your best option.
For example you can use maths as a gateway into lots of careers that are very attractive to youngsters. How does working as a computer programmer for a leading games company sound? Well without a decent level of mathematical knowledge this simply wouldn’t happen. Indeed any job in computers will need some level of numeracy as things like security, programming, VPNs and even configuring that Irish proxy are going to need some maths.
It’s unfortunate in some ways that maths has a reputation for being a rather boring subject certainly at school educational levels. There is some truth in the perception that maths is often taught in a dry and somewhat dull way although this is certainly not the case for all maths teachers.
There are some great science and maths teacher who make the subjects fun. However many argue that the curriculum in the UK stifles this sort of ‘fun’ and innovative teaching as there simply isn’t scope for this. In some countries who have identified the shortfall in mathematics education they have introduced more flexibility in lessons and schools. I’ve even seen computers and TV broadcast in lessons to explain some concepts rather than listening to the teacher all the time. The idea is that you can do something like stream YouTube or BBC iPlayer maths programs to Australia – using programs like this, and then have the teachers explain further.