Why Being Good At Math Matters Big-Time In Real Life

For many students studying math, the question, “Why should I learn this?” and “What is math good for?” often pops up. If you’re a teacher or parent reading this—it’s absolutely essential to know the right answers to this, beyond the usual: “Ace math and you ace life!” or, “Score 80+ on your next test and you’ll get that Playstation you’re eyeing.”

Cliche answers (and well-meaning bribes!) aside, teachers and parents need to educate young children on the importance of mathematics and how being good at math studies leads to a rewarding future. At Zap Zap Math, it’s our livelihood and mission to make math fun and engaging for kids, and help educators motivate them along.

So we’ve come up with practical answers backed by science and real life examples to convince your kids/students that being good at math seriously matters. Start doing some real convincing, now:

1. Mathematicians Are Rich(ly Rewarded)—Earning Up To 6-Figure Annual Salary Incomes!

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According to the Wall Street Journal, being a “mathematician” beats all other jobs! Mathematicians’ median annual wage is pegged at $111,110 in May 2015, and the top 3 jobs on the list include: Mathematician, Actuary and Statistician.

What do mathematicians actually do? Mathematicians typically conduct research to develop and understand mathematical principles, as well as analyze data and apply math techniques to help solve real-world problems. They often work in the government and in private science and engineering research companies, as well as with teams of engineers, scientists, technologists, and other professionals.

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of College and Employers (that tracks college graduates’ job offers), the top 15 highest-earning college degrees all have one commonality—math skills. These include: 1. Computer Engineering, 2. Economics, 3. Electrical Engineering, 4. Computer Science, 5. Mechanical Engineering, 6. Finance, 7. Mathematics, 8. Civil Engineering, 9. Political Science, 10. Marketing, 11. Accounting, 12. History, 13. Business Management, 14. Communications, and 15. English.Furthermore, 5 of the 6 “Best Jobs” in terms of high compensation, autonomy, low stress, and hiring demand in the “Job Related Almanac” by Les Krantz are all math related.

2. Mathematics Prepares You For The Business World

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Students who major in mathematics usually tend to be highly prepared for business school and beyond. Steven Wheelright, former professor at the Harvard Business School, and 9th president of the BYU-Hawaii had this to say: “Mathematics provided an approach to problem solving and analysis that has continued to be of great help to me in my academic and business career.  It has also been of great benefit as I have tackled both research projects and consulting projects involving data analysis and statistics.  And it was where I started my academic teaching career – and then provided a foundation as I moved into Operations Strategy and New Product Development.”

3. Graduate Schools (Especially Law and Medical Schools) Will Welcome You With Open Arms!

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Mathematics majors have a history of scoring some of the highest average GRE scores, granting students acceptance into better schools and more financial aid. This rings especially true if you’re a mathematics major aiming to get into law or medical school. Mathematics majors consistently outscore almost every other major on the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test). And where medical school is concerned, acceptance rates for mathematics students have averaged 6% higher than for students who majored in biological sciences and 38% higher than for students who majored in health or exercise sciences! (Facts from weusemath.org)

4. The Future Outlook For The Math-Inclined Is Super Bright

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Times are different. Where once gut feeling and experience ruled the day, now data, analytics and logical reasoning skills take the pedestal. Today, more than ever before, math is becoming a powerful tool for gaining deeper insight into the world. Almost everyone from scientists stumbling upon the next medical discovery and engineers building cool new robots, to businesses gleaning new marketing intelligence for improved sales strategies, game animators and builders even—no field of knowledge is left untouched by math.In fact, employment of mathematicians is projected to grow 21 percent between 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average growth for all other career fields. More and more businesses now require mathematicians to analyze an increasing volume of electronic and digital data in this new age of numbers!

5. The World Today Is An Oyster for the Versatile Math Learner

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Image Credit: community.lincs.ed.gov

If your child asks you, “What is math good for?” answer: “For the hundreds of cool things you’ll get to do when you grow up!” Here’s a comprehensive list of ever-evolving and expanding math careers: Computer Games Designer, Special Effects Director, Actuary, Air Traffic Controller, Animator, Astronaut, Attorney, Biologist, Biostatistician, Financial Analyst, Chemical Engineer, Chemist, Climatologist, Professor, Technologist, Computer Scientist, Cost Estimator, Economist, Electrical Engineer, FOREX Trader, Forensic Analyst, Geographer, Geologist, Market Research Analyst, Physician, Political Scientist, Technical Writer, Stockbroker, High School Teacher, Technical Writer, Urban Planner, Physicist, Inventory Control Specialist, Purchasing Agent, and so much more!

6. Math Actually Makes You Smarter!

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Just like your body needs a repetitive workout to build stamina and strengthen your muscles, your mind works the same way. The more math concepts you grasp, the better you are at problem solving, analyzing theories, strategizing and formulating new ideas. Math even helps you to recognize when you’ve made an error in judgment or in an argument, and detect if someone is lying to you or trying to cheat you. So tell your kids: “Get smarter and nobody can bully you into the corner, ever!”

7. Mathematicians Are The World’s Best Inventors

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From your personal computer to the airplane you fly on, and chair you’re now sitting on—everything takes math to work. Almost all the inventive comforts and necessities we enjoy today were made possible by math. In fact, ask your kid right now to point at anything around him now, and say “math did that!”

Now you have 7 strong reasons to help your kids understand the importance of math—in defense of one of the world’s most underestimated study subjects! And Zap Zap Math to give them a great headstart, too. 

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