Innovative careers need maths

April is Maths Awareness Month in the US and this year's theme is 'The Future of Prediction'.

Even though we're across the pond, we thought we'd explore this idea a little further and what it means for our future generations.

For centuries scientists have strived to predict the future, and in business markets forecasting is crucial to help companies strategise and profit.

Innovation goes hand in hand with prediction; in order to make more accurate predictions in this fluid, complex world of ours, new predictive analytics and models need to be constantly developed.

Advances in the mathematical sciences have become a driving force for innovation, making new inventions and more accurate prediction possible.

Developments and advancements are being made in the world every day and things which were unimaginable, even to us living in this technological era, are increasingly becoming a reality.

Let's consider some recent advances: car technology can predict when you are likely to hit an obstacle and alerts you to the potential danger; mobile phones predict what you are likely to text; and healthcare professionals can predict if you are likely to develop a certain illness.

Prediction and innovation is a crucial factor in the growth of world economies and is especially important in sectors like manufacturing, technology, healthcare and professional and business services. This is why it is so important younger generations look to careers in these industries and fill the ever growing demand for skilled works in this enlightened, digital age.

Unfortunately the Tough Choices study (part of the Your Life campaign) found that the falling popularity of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) amongst youngsters in Britain, means we will face a shortage of engineers, scientists and mathematicians within the next few years, unless more pupils are encouraged to take up the subjects at school.

The study found one of the root causes of this decline was inadequate advice from careers experts, teachers, and parents, who were unable to properly explain the range of jobs that maths and science subjects are relevant for, other than in academia.

Maths is the subject employers value most, and it plays an important part in so many different jobs: from architecture and design, to IT, computer and app programming, to motorsport and engineering, accountancy, medicine, law, teaching, cosmetics and beauty. The list could go on. None of these jobs could be done without strong mathematics skills. Studies further show that pupils who study maths to A-level will earn 10% more over their lifetime.

The future is in the hands of the young, and we shouldn't limit their chances with preconceptions. The myths of STEM subjects being too difficult to achieve good results or as stuffy, boring subjects needs to de dispelled. These subjects are the keys to the most cutting edge, fast-paced areas of work and they're behind some of the most exciting new developments in this country and around the world.
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