Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

A Numbers Game

Unless you’re a mathematician, engineer, statistician, or other number-crunching wiz, you may not see how math impacts your job search. It appears, however, that math skills may have more of an impact on your job search than you might think. A new study shows that number system knowledge, a fundamental math skill which allows people to conceptualize numbers into physical quantities, may be an indicator of future job search success.

Basic math skills may not seem like such an issue, but only one in ten candidates, all of whom have completed high school, pass a basic math test offered by the General Plastics Manufacturing, Co. for employment making foam products in the aerospace industry. If only 10% of high school graduate applying for these manufacturing positions can complete basic math tests, it likely means a rough job search for the remaining 90%.

It may not correlate to most job seekers, but understanding of fundamental math concepts can help aid your job search. One in five adults lacks the math competency of an eighth grader. That’s 20% of the adult population! And a significant percentage of adults who are disadvantaged from an early age in their job search.

From the Business Insider article, “An early deficit in number system knowledge creates a weak foundation for later learning,” said lead author David Geary. “That weak foundation can lead to a lifetime of problems, not limited to reduced employment opportunities.”

Number system knowledge skills demonstrate logic and reason necessary for all jobs, regardless of how much math computation is involved. An educational system which teaches basic memorization, rather than how to conceptualize the principles of mathematics in the physical world, harms candidates later on in the job search.

Even candidates who lack basic math comprehension and become employed may be disadvantaged still when it comes to wages.

Poor math comprehension at basic levels can hurt a person’s job search, and their employability as a whole. If you feel your math skills lag behind your peers there is no shame in brushing up on some basic comprehension, learning to conceptualize numbers in addition to just memorizing formulas. It’ll help both your job search and overall life skills.

Have your math skills impacted your job search? Let us know below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by lydia_shiningbrightly

Jen Schiller

Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.