The Importance of Math in Career Prospects

Students the world over have been told again and again by their parents to stick at the math and science subjects in school, as they typically lead to better career prospects and salary than the arts or humanities subjects. Is this a realistic assessment or just another example of misguided common perception when it comes to careers?

Essentially it depends on your perspective on what constitutes a successful career. Robert Kiyosaki, author of the famous wealth creation book Rich Dad Poor Dad, argues that anything more than basic education is unnecessary for wealth and prosperity. To give a little background on the book, Kiyosaki compares his two fathers (biological and step-father), one of which has a PhD and esteemed academic career but remains relatively poor, the other who had little education, but built great wealth through his own business. The author champions mindset and personal wealth creation over traditional schooling.

On the other hand, for the majority of students intend to go on into paid employment, having a math and science background certainly does help to keep their options open. For example, medical jobs are widely known to pay more than writing jobs- and earning the ultrasound technician salary requires the same amount of time in college as does copy writing, but medical training usually requires a background in high school math and science.

Many students reason that they hate math and science, and wouldn’t want a job that involved them anyway, but this is wishful thinking. There are many great jobs that do require math and science, which may seem boring and frustrating in the training phase but exciting and well-paying in the actual employment phase. It would be a shame to ditch the subject in high school, just to find out later on that your dream job requires those credits.

Unfortunately high school has a way of making these essential subjects seem distasteful to young people. It would help to think of them thus: rather than the “hard” or “boring” subjects, they are a study of the building blocks and logistics of life and the working universe. Try to see the practical applications of mathematical and scientific principles in the world around you. Try to think from the perspective of someone who hates their boring dead-end job, wishes they could understand the world around them better, and would feel lucky to be supported in spending all day learning about it. Out of high school, you may never again have the opportunity.


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