A common argument from high school students about why they don’t need to learn algebra is, “I will never use this in my job!” Most high school students have no idea what their future career path will be but the reality is, most jobs do involve using algebra in some way. Here are six jobs that all require using algebra:

If you plan to go into banking, accounting, or financial planning you will definitely need algebra to calculate loan payments, interest rates, and to be able to explains gains or declines on investments. Traditional business owners use algebra use algebra to set their prices and to understand profits and losses. And accountants use algebra to be able to track transactions and manage a spreadsheet.

To make blueprints and design buildings architects use algebra to convert inches to feet or yards. This ensures the building is structurally sound and won’t collapse on its occupants.

Filling prescriptions and administering medications require the use of algebra. It also helps doctors know when a medication loses its effectiveness and should be thrown away. Algebra helps medical professionals know how to convert units of measurement and ratios.

In order to cook a meal you need to have the correct number of ingredients and the right amount of each. Plus restaurant owners use algebra to figure out how much it costs to make each dish which helps them determine how to price the meal for their customers.

Algebra helps personal trainers measure their client’s body fat, determine how many calories they should eat daily and how much exercise is needed to maintain an ideal body weight.

Knowing different players’ batting averages, how many times a player has struck out, and how many bases are open all requires an understanding of algebra. Not to mention this happens live with an audience so there is very little room for error.

Pretty much every aspect of parenting involves some basic understanding of algebra. From figuring out how much to feed your baby, how much sleep your older children need, how much medicine you can give them when they are sick, to what time you need to leave to drop them off at school in the morning. Not to mention the obvious fact that it will come in very helpful when your kids start taking math themselves and you have to help them with their homework.

This will probably surprise a lot of people as most people don’t imagine artists use a lot of math in their work. But in order to figure out the shutter speed, calculate depth of field, and figure out light exposure — all within minutes — requires knowing and being able to apply algebra.

Designing video games sound like a pretty cool job and it definitely requires using algebra. Even if you aren’t designing math games you will need to have a strong understanding of probability and should also study calculus, physics, and trigonometry.

Civil engineers design and inspect bridges, tunnels, buildings, and construction projects. They use algebra to figure out how much weight bridges and other structures can handle and what their capacity is to withstand wind and other natural elements.

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