Education Week’s assistant editor reminds teachers that the fastest-growing jobs require strong math skills. According to The Muse, data professionals are in high demand. However, Sarah D. Sparks worries that schools are not teaching what business leaders say is most needed — a strong foundation in data and statistics skills. She is right. There is more demand for data analysts and scientists than qualified applicants.
Coursera, an online college, explains that data analysts should have a basic knowledge of statistics and mathematics since much of their work does not require complex math. They should understand linear algebra, calculus, and statistics.
However, students should have already learned these skills in K-12 schools and not be forced to wait until college.
According to Education Week, data and statistics have become one of the more sought-after skills for employers in many different jobs.
The World Economic Forum’s 2020 jobs report noted, “top three jobs with increasing demand across industries in the United States — data analysts and scientists, AI and machine learning specialists, and big data specialists — all fall under the data and analytics umbrella.”
Examples of other jobs needing workers skilled in data analytics include accounting, journalism, sports, and more.
Kappan Online says: “If [U.S.] schools are to succeed in preparing data-literate citizens, then they will have to begin by rethinking the K-12 math curriculum.” Adding a new unit or two to the existing course of study won’t be sufficient. Suppose we’re serious about giving meaningful attention to data science.
“In that case, that should prompt us to ask a fundamental question: In the 21st century, what kinds of math do our students actually need to learn?”
Integrate More Data Science Into K-12 Math
As mentioned above, Sarah D. Sparks is concerned that schools are not teaching the math skills needed for careers in data and analytics.
Her passion for the topic led her to create a TikTok video discussing three careers with the highest growth potential requiring strong mathematics skills.
Elizabeth Converse, the executive director of Utah Tech Leads in Salt Lake City, agrees.
According to Education Week, she sees national declines in K-12 math performance, particularly in data and statistics, as economic “red flags” for the United States.
“Our companies are growing at a clip that is kind of unimaginable in a state our size. We just can’t, we don’t have enough talent to fill the jobs.”
Read more here: Miscalculating Math and The Importance and Emergence of K-12 Data Science.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
EdWeek: These 3 Fast-Growing Careers Require Strong Math Skills. Students Should Know About Them; By Sarah D. Sparks
EdWeek: Good-Paying Careers in Data Are Booming. But Schools Aren’t Teaching It; By Sarah Sparks
EdWeek: Q&A: When Am I Going to Use This Math in Real Life? By Sarah D. Sparks
The Muse: Data Professionals Are in High Demand—Here Are 8 Jobs to Consider; By Deanna deBara
KAPPAN: The importance and emergence of K-12 data science; By Tanya LaMar and Jo Boaler