Hugh Baird College

How will Maths and English affect your career prospects?

Some people fail to see the importance of maths and English once they’re out of education. It’s true that you may never need to use Pythagoras’ Theorem ever again, but it’s the core skills of maths and English you will need throughout your life.

Many careers will need you to write emails, proofread documents or even communicate effectively with clients and customers. These are the abilities a solid grasp of English arms you with.

Even if your dream career doesn’t have an obvious connection to either maths or English, there’s a very high chance both will become handy in later life.

Employers value the basic skills of maths and English over other qualifications

Employers are typically looking for job applicants who show a good level of maths and English skills.

It’s not the academic maths they’re interested in such as algebra – but the ability to apply maths and English skills to your working life.

For instance, practical skills are highly sought after, including mental arithmetic, approximation and the ability to analyse and interpret data correctly. There’s also a gap for applicants with the ability to problem solve and carry out basic calculations. These maths skills would be required in many walks of life – not just a mathematics related career.

Despite having 5,000 apprenticeship opportunities and 30,000 applications, car manufacturer Mercedes Benz were unable to fill all of the positions because of a lack of maths and English qualifications.

Employers are frustrated with applications not having basic skills such as written and oral skills, including spelling, grammar and diverse range of vocabulary. Some of the major concerns for employers regarding English is the ability to construct professional emails and employees using text speak rather than proper sentences.

How will your maths and English skills affect your wage?

Government research suggests those who have the best maths skills and achieve academic qualifications in this subject, generally go on to earn a higher wage.

These Government statistics show that those in the top 15% in maths ability, earn on average 7.3% more than those lower. So what does this equal in terms of a money? Well, the calculation ends up at around a £2,100 increase annually for those with better mathematic skills.

It’s not just maths skills which seem to boost your wages either, as those in the top 15% for reading would go on to earn an extra 1.9%.

Maths and English in Industry

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