math_teens_class_549x366.jpgHigh school students who drop math courses in the higher grades are cutting off access to school programs and jobs in some of the economy’s fastest-growing and well-paid industries.

 

That’s according to Bonnie Schmidt, founder and CEO of Let’s Talk Science, a charity focused on supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning in Canadian kids and youth.

 

Fewer than half of Canadian students complete senior STEM classes, many saying the classes are ‘too boring,’ ‘too hard’ and not related to what they want to do when they leave high school, according to “Spotlight on Science Learning: The High Cost of Dropping Math or Science.”

 

Today’s high school students really should think twice about dropping their math and science courses,” says Schmidt. “Not only are university, college and skilled trades pathways increasingly STEM-dependent but also these programs build skills such as critical thinking and problem solving that are important for any job. Young people who are comfortable and confident in STEM areas will be well positioned in the 21st century for many diverse employment opportunities.”

 

For many jobs, the STEM link isn’t obvious to youth, the report points out. Meanwhile, research has shown Canada needs an additional 1 million skilled workers by 2020, with 70 percent of that expected to be in STEM-related fields.

 

Students without Grade 12 math are excluded from 40 to 75 percent of programs at Canadian universities and those without Grade 11 or Grade 12 math lose access to about half of all college programs, the study found. The study also points out that STEM workers earn an average of 26 percent more and are less likely to experience job loss. Therefore, Schmidt says students should keep their options open.

 

Below are just some of the jobs (and a list of Canada's top jobs) that you may be surprised to discover require math knowledge and/or prerequisites for study.

Jobs Requiring Math:
  • Web Developer
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Technician
  • Land Surveyor
  • Construction Manager, Welder, Plumber
  • Hairdresser
  • Lawyer
  • Automotive Mechanic
  • Chef
  • Pharmacist
  • Social Worker
  • Radiology Technician
  • Machinist
Canada’s Top Jobs include:
  • Oil and Gas Drilling Supervisor
  • Head Nurse and Health Care Manager
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Electrical and Telecommunications Contractor
  • Chemical Engineer