Careers involving mathematics center around analytical ability. Being able to "recognize if the answers you found are reasonable ones is a crucial skill," says Lake Michigan College math instructor and program coordinator Mimi Elwell. "In math there is a correct sequence of how to solve a problem. Students need to recognize the orderliness of mathematics."
From basic algebraic equations and fractions to logarithms and factoring polynomials, the ability to apply mathematical knowledge is key. "Memorizing formulas and using your calculator will be useless if you do not understand the process. Calculators are a great tool, but a calculator cannot be used in lieu of your mind working," says Mimi.
Additional skills needed include:
- Active reading and learning
- Inductive and deductive reasoning
- Computer program capabilities
Mathematics demands persistence in identifying, evaluating, and solving problems. Along with the technical skills, oral and written communication skills are also important.