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How early does being good in math matter if I want to work in technology?

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Marc’s Answer

Immediately, there are so many factors where math is important and where understanding (not necessarily good at) math is a benefit. Math is not just doing equations, it is an understanding of how things are compiled, it supports critical thinking and we use it every day without even knowing it. Technology is a broad term but as far as education, most tech degrees require higher math curriculums. In the workforce it may not be as critical as an applicable skill however those more versed in math tend to have an easier grasp of reports, performance metrics and hitting deadlines. These skills often lead to leadership opportunities.
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Tina’s Answer

+1 to Marc's response. It's important to understand the fundamentals of problem solving, thinking creatively and using data to measure success in your work. The amount of day-to-day advanced math you would use, though, depends what role you want in a technology or software company. Math is important for a Data analyst, Business Operations or Finance role at a tech company but won't be used as often in Support, Customer Success Manager, or Project Manager type roles.
Thank you comment icon Great advice! I love that you mentioned that you can still work in tech without actually needing to be a tech wiz. There are so many options like Community Management, HR, and other non-technical roles in addition to the somewhat technical roles you mentioned. CareerVillage Office Hours
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Martina’s Answer

Understanding numbers is important in tech. You will be dealing with metrics on how users use the product, how many clicks happened, where are the funnels. Understanding statistics will go a long way. More than complex maths, good understanding of psychology, stats, A/B testing and analytics and how these can be applied will probably come in more handy.
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Stephen’s Answer

I like this question. Before retiring (and now spending my time writing math books), I spent over 30 years as a telecommunications engineer. Over that time period, there were few opportunities to use my math background, and few situations were I needed to apply anything more than basic math. What you need for many jobs in technology (especially system engineering, requirements type work) is the ability to reason logically and to learn new technology. Having said this, one good way to develop your reasoning skills is by learning mathematics. I also agree with a previous comment concerning the utility of statistics.
Thank you comment icon I whole heartedly agree. I am math challenged, however, I am strong in problem solving and logic and that has benefitted me the most in my career. Common sense and problem solving are very critical skills in this arena and will be your strongest assets! Lisa McConnell
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Ambika`’s Answer

I don't think it is ever too late. It is important you explore your options as a student and see what really interests you. I changed my major in college multiple time (within business, engineering, and a few other majors) and in the end I am really happy I took the time to figure out what I want to do .

Also there are many jobs in technology that are not math based (e.g., in strategy or sales and marketing) even some of the technical positions don't require an engineering degree (product management, solutions analyst). Technology is a really broad space with a lot more going on than just being good at math.

Ambika` recommends the following next steps:

Research types of jobs within technology and see what interests you
Understand if you need a specific type of degree to do that job
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William’s Answer

Hi Palo Alto,

It is good to develop foundational numerical skills from primary education as it can affect an individual at high school.

I know a person who was only average in primary education due to poor teaching performance. It made that person average in high school not for lacking numerical ability, but due to missed foundational topics in primary education. That person picked-up after having few months of private coaching, which helped that person to identify the gaps and go back to revise primary mathematics.

That person picked up from then to perform excellently in mathematics up to the extent that the person was one of the best in mathematics and subjects involving numeracy during college education.

Primary education is very important. If any missed that foundation. I advice that the person go and revise the topics before proceeding in high school.
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Kyle’s Answer

Earlier is always better, but keep in mind that is is always not too late to start learning math!

Depending on which tech career you are trying to pursue, the level of mathematics will vary. Data Science or any other in-depth engineering require strong understandings of numbers and relevant fields of science such as Physics and Chemistry.

Software Enginnering is a field I believe is the one that does not require advanced level math compared to other majors. Strong coding and programming skills are preferred.
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