The top 5 best jobs as outlined in this Wall Street Journal article, are all maths related.
See original article here
The Russell Group of universities has set out guidance about academic subject choices in it’s guide “Informed Choices“.
Not surprisingly, the prevailing wisdom is that maths carries a certain kudos.
A recent article in The Guardian considers this:
“A grade C in maths is pretty much essential at GCSE if you want to go to university, but the subject is also generally liked by admissions tutors at A-level. So it is well worth thinking about if you’re capable of getting a good grade.
“Certainly anyone who has ability in maths should consider it,” says Davies. “I see no problem with a combination such as English, history, maths.”
But be warned: there are many degrees where maths is essential, and if you don’t do some careful research, you might not realise it.
“Say you want to study computer science, so you take a computing at A-level. That’s fine, but you also must do maths at A-level to be considered,” Davies explains.”
Looking through this list, it becomes apparent very quickly that the highest paid members of society have to be numerate.
1. Head of a major organisation
There is a great deal of statistical analysis required here for producing and understanding reports. Basic numeracy skills are needed to consider budgets, priorities, staff costs, rates, etc. A degree in Economics would be a common stepping stone to this job, which contains a great deal of maths work.
2. Medical Practictioner
Very strong maths qualifications are required to gain a place on the courses that lead to these jobs e.g. a degree in Medicine. There is also a great deal of mathematical work on these courses.
3. Senior National Government Official
Similar to the head of an organisation, there is a great deal of business management knowledge required here – Economics degrees are common.
4. Airline Pilot
To gain entry into pilot Training Programmes, candidates need to pass an exam which demonstrates strong maths skills.
5. Dental Practitioner
Similar to a degree in Medicine, a degree in Dentistry requires strong maths skills.
At the other end of the scale, the worst paid jobs were also detailed:
Marcus Du Sautoy presents a four-part series for the BBC which manages to present the story of maths in a very entertaining way.
This video is worth watching as a family – it is a great way to set the context of maths and it’s significance in the advancement of the human race, and perhaps inspire the next generation to see the importance of maths skills.
If you speak to even a handful of teachers who have been working in classrooms over the past twenty years, it is very quickly apparent that yes, exams have become easier, and so yes, the grades are “worth less” than they were in the past.
I would argue that one reason for this is that the UK has just come out of a period of being governed by a Labour government who held a noble intention, to make further education available to all.
Their thinking was flawed, however. I do not believe that everyone is suited to an academic, university-based, education. Nor do I believe that society needs us to move in that direction. We need a diverse population with a diverse set of skills.
In fact, I would argue that what Labour have instead achieved, is a watered-down education system that hands out GCSE and A-level qualifications all too easily. At the Sam time, teachers have become more focussed on the narrow goals of high GCSE pass rates than on the teaching children skills for life. Children are spoon-fed information to make the school look good, rather than taught how to learn, and take responsibility for their own achievement. As a consequence, our children are ill-prepared for a rigorous university education, or for life in the working world.
On the other side of this, we have the X-factor culture, where every week children are taught that it is far better to aspire to fifteen minutes of fame rather than have an honest job. Will we ever forget “Andy Abraham, the singing binman” who could not bear to go back to his normal life? Each week, year on year, our children are taught that working for a living is a mug’s game. Twelve weeks on a talent contest, becoming a national spectacle, is pitched as a great alternative path.
I look forward to a shift back to more challenging exams, with stricter guidelines for examiners so that children are not given an inflated sense of their accomplishments and the value of those grades. Perhaps then, they will be able to prepare for their futures more realistically.