For many high school and college students, learning mathematics can be frustrating. Math can be especially frustrating if you do not understand the importance of learning it. Many believe that they will never use any of the mathematics they are learning (or trying to learn). While there is little chance that you will be using Calculus or taking derivatives, using foundational math such as Algebra is part of every-day life. This post is about which subjects I believe to the most important for anyone, regardless of your career.
Algebra: Perhaps the most fundamental and basic tool we learned in Algebra was “solving for x”. Believe me when I tell you that I use “solving for x” nearly daily. Whether I am calculating my budget, determining the best value at a grocery store, or determining what percentage of my money to invest into my retirement fund, I am always using “solving for x”. While you may not need to remember the quadratic formula to shop wisely at a grocery store, you should understand some basic algebraic concepts that are useful in life.
Statistics: A lot of people hate statistics. But, no matter what job you have, you will likely have to look at a set of data. Whether you are like me, analyzing data for a living every day, or you work in a small business, you can always use statistics. Understanding some basic concepts from statistics will help you tremendously in life and in your career. Whether you are doing something simple, like understanding what an average is versus what a median is, or you are using previous statistics to estimate what to expect in the future, you can always use statistics. Trust me when I say that you will add value to any company, business, or organization by understanding some basic statistical concepts.
So, fight through those frustrating math courses knowing that it will be useful to you one day.