If you’re looking to land a new job, it’s crucial that you can demonstrate a good command of math and numeracy skills. Many people make the mistake of thinking numeracy skills are only required for certain career paths, but this is simply not the case. While it’s true an accountant will require far more in-depth math knowledge than someone working in a customer service role, basic numeracy skills are vital for all manner of jobs.
If your grasp of math leaves a lot to be desired, you should be thinking about utilizing online learning to bring your numeracy up to scratch before embarking on your job search.
Adult Numeracy in the United States
Adult numeracy statistics in the US make for sobering reading. It’s estimated that around a third of all adults in the US have no basic numeracy skills at their disposal. Poor numeracy has a direct impact on employment potential, with those with inferior skills almost twice as likely to find themselves out of work. What’s more, there’s a direct correlation between second-rate numeracy skills and lower levels of earnings.
Why Math and Numeracy Skills Are So Vital in the Workplace
Even the most entry-level jobs will require candidates to demonstrate a basic slate of math skills. When assessing your own numeracy and math skills, you should first focus on basics like addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. Even the most numerate among us tend to turn to a calculator to complete calculations as a force of habit, but being able to handle these manually is essential if you want to progress in the workplace.
Calculating percentages is a more demanding math skill that a calculator alone won’t be able to tackle. You’ll need to understand the basic principles of decimal point usage and fractions in order to master percentage calculations. Adults with a minimal understanding of basic math will struggle to comprehend percentages without the assistance of an experienced tutor.
Understanding Data in Visual Formats
Being able to handle basic calculations is all well and good, but being able to visualize data is a whole different matter entirely. You’ll need solid math skills to be able to decipher the meaning of graphs and charts in the workplace. This means being able to understand graph axes, as well as comprehend data points and trends to discern the meaning behind the data.
How to Improve Numeracy and Math Skills
There are several relatively easy ways you can improve your math skills at home. For starters, you may want to consider investing in some exercise sheets and workbooks. If your numeracy levels are particularly poor, don’t be ashamed to go for materials aimed at younger age levels. You should be aiming to constantly flex your gray matter if you’re serious about strengthening your math skills, so consider downloading numeracy apps to your smartphone so you can practice on the go.
Practice is only really possible once you’ve been introduced to the fundamentals of math. If you’re struggling to wrap your head around core concepts like calculation, you will certainly benefit from one-on-one tutoring. Personal math tutoring becomes even more vital if you’re looking to progress beyond a basic understanding and explore more advanced concepts like algebra, number theory and geometry.