Four myths about maths to bust for your children

Forget what you thought you knew about maths study and career pathways. There are so many misconceptions about studying numbers, and we’re here to challenge them.

If your kids aren’t sure whether to stick with maths, you’ve come to the right place. There are loads of reasons why sticking with any level of mathematics in secondary school is a major plus.

And no, it’s not just about building up solid maths and data smarts that’ll get you through the rest of secondary school. The highly transferable skills of a maths student, and their ability to go down several different pathways, make them seriously attractive to potential Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) employers.

Just make sure your budding maths majors aren’t being influenced by these outdated misconceptions.


Myth 1: Studying maths doesn’t lead you to a job.

Fact: In our data-driven, digital world, maths skills will underpin the careers of the future. Pathways are diverse and often surprising. Think: animation, UX design, cybersecurity, astrophysics, business management, data science and software design.

Although a maths graduate’s pathway might not be as clear as that of an engineer or lawyer, their skills are transferable to so many different careers that reward problem-solving skills and an analytical mindset.

Myth 2: Maths is boring!

Fact: Being fluent in data has become a trending skill, and all the coolest companies are hiring.

Netflix, Buzzfeed, Facebook, ASOS and Apple, for instance, all employ data scientists to analyse complex consumer insights and provide targeted content and advertising.

And with Australia’s most in-demand occupations requiring science, tech, engineering and maths skills, sticking with STEM subjects is a smart career move.

Myth 3: You’re either creative or into maths, never both.

Fact: These days, being both analytically and creatively minded is celebrated by next-generation employers. Those who present themselves as agile and transferable in a competitive workplace are more likely to succeed. Many creative careers involve maths.

Plus, creativity and innovation go hand in hand. They elevate maths beyond rote learning and give an edge to any career.

Myth 4: If you don’t want a maths career, there’s no point studying it in senior secondary school.

Fact: Your child doesn’t have to have maths professor career ambitions to justify sticking with the subject throughout secondary school. Careers that use maths skills are incredibly varied and aren’t always obviously numbers based.

Problem-solving and lateral-thinking skills are in demand and can be applied to jobs in scientific research, policy development, business management, financial services, communications and sales, to name just a few.