Maths Topics for Career Options
At the start of the year, the UK Government announced it intended for all students to study some form of maths until the age of 18 as part of their agenda to level up the workforce for the digital age.
While further details haven’t been announced yet, it’s worth considering the impact this will have on your child and what you can do to support them. They may not know about the jobs available to them with more advanced maths skills, so they could miss out on a rewarding career path.
But what exactly does the GCSE Maths curriculum comprise, and what are the uses of each topic? Let’s look at an in-depth analysis of this core subject – and what type of higher education courses it could lead to in the future.
GCSE Maths topics and their uses
A lot of the topics covered in GCSE Maths can seem very abstract at first. This can make it difficult to motivate your children to study hard for their exams.
Here are some of the ways the different core subjects can relate to a wide variety of careers.
Probability and statistics
These topics are combined together – probability covers topics like calculating probabilities of simple events and using probability trees, whilst statistics can include understanding standard deviation, and constructing and interpreting graphs and charts.
There are many different careers probability and statistics can apply to, especially in our data-driven age. Market research, healthcare and the civil service are all options for those who enjoy statistics.
As for probability, a strong understanding of the matter is needed for analysing risk and making informed decisions. This does well in data science, computer engineering and actuarial careers.
You’d normally see solving linear and quadratic equations, manipulating algebraic expressions and solving systems of equations in the algebra part of the maths curriculum. It can be pretty abstract for students, so talking your child through its real-world applications can help.
A good understanding of algebra is essential for anyone pursuing a career in STEM fields. Computer engineers use algebra to write software programs; in scientific fields to model data; and in engineering, for things like designing circuit boards and analysing systems.
Ratios are an important part of the curriculum. Calculating ratios and proportions, using scale factors to compare lengths, and understanding how to divide quantities into ratios are some of the things covered in this section of GCSE Maths.
Measuring and comparing quantities is a useful application in many career paths including financial analysis, measuring returns with investments and calculating the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. Even less traditionally academic career paths, such as cooking and construction, will massively benefit from having a good grasp of ratios.
Topics typically covered in GCSE maths include understanding fractions, decimals, and percentages, calculating and manipulating powers and roots, and working with large and small numbers.
Of course, any job involving numbers will benefit from this part of the GCSE. Some examples would be accounting, finance and engineering careers. All of these need a good grip on calculating and managing numerical data to succeed.
Working out the circumference of shapes and trigonometry might seem boring and difficult to your kids, but there are many real-world applications to geometry. Architects, engineers and product designers use these skills regularly in their jobs, as a strong understanding of geometry is needed to design objects and buildings.
Geometry also covers things like measuring distances, a useful skill for anyone in their arsenal regardless of their career, calculating angles and measuring volumes. These are useful skills for more hands-on jobs like a builder or carpenter.
Children can lack confidence in maths, especially as they get older. Our team of specialist private tutors are available to help if your child needs a boost in their maths skills.
Popular higher education courses involving maths
If your child is thinking towards the future and enjoys maths, then there are a few different options in the field they may wish to pursue. There are plenty of resources on the different higher education courses available in maths, though not every university will have the same choices.
Here are some examples of popular higher education courses that many students opt for in the UK.
This course is often ranked as one of the top social science disciplines studied in the UK. But you don’t need to just be an economist to do economics at university – there’s a wide pool of careers available with this university course.
Studying economics can lead to a wide range of career opportunities in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. A financial analyst, policy analyst or management consultant may all have economics degrees behind them.
Computer science is one of the sorely needed skills in order for cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and cybersecurity to develop. Computer science degree programs often strongly emphasise maths, particularly in areas such as algorithms and data structures.
Maths is an essential accounting component as it involves measuring, processing, and communicating financial information about businesses and other organisations. It’s, therefore, a popular degree for prospective students to take when considering a career in maths.
There are many different paths forward for accounting that don’t involve going to university, which may suit your child better. While there are specific disciplines to specialise in, some examples of jobs after graduation include accountant, auditor, or tax specialist.
Compulsory maths might seem like a scary thought for those entering their GCSE and A-level years, but with the wealth of new jobs and careers available that use these skills, it could be the best thing to happen to your child.
Either way, boosting their confidence and ability in maths subjects will help them in later life and open more doors for their careers and everyday life.
If you’re looking for a helping hand towards your child’s maths education, our skilled private tutors are on-hand to help. We offer online and in-person support for children of all ages to help them succeed in their maths journey, no matter what level of ability.