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The numbers of secondary school students who take higher-level maths and science are low in Australia. In 2012, there were 30,000 more Year 12 students than in 1992. But the numbers of students studying physics, chemistry and biology decreased by 8,000, 4,000 and 12,000 respectively.
Enrolments in intermediate and advanced mathematics also fell over this period, by 11% and 7% respectively.
Curriculum - Maths - Year - Students - Subject
The Australian Curriculum mandates maths until Year 10. But we're seeing more students dropping the subject as soon as they can.
In 2008, 31.2% of the NSW student population were studying maths for the High School Certificate, compared to 28.9% in 2017. This was a drop of around 5,300 students.
Brings - Benefits - Reasons
But studying maths brings many benefits. Here are three reasons to persevere.
Many industry and economic experts predict future economies—specifically those using technology to rapidly create goods and services—will be built on maths and science knowledge and skills.
Research - Nature - Employment - Predicts - %
Research on the changing nature of employment predicts that, by 2030, we will spend 77% more time on average using science and mathematics skills. With youth (people aged 15-24) unemployment in Australia on the rise, maths skills may offer some protection.
There are more engineering jobs in Australia than skilled people to fill them. Between 2006 and 2016, the demand for engineers exceeded the number of local graduates. Employers often look overseas for suitable applicants, with some figures showing more vacancies are filled by overseas engineering graduates than locals.
Studies - Students - Maths - School - Earnings
Some studies have shown students taking higher maths at school go on to have higher earnings in adulthood.
The relationship between studying higher-level maths and earning more may be one of causation (that maths skills lead to higher earners), correlation (that people with good maths skills are more likely to have other skills that lead to higher earnings), or a bit of both. But, either way, it exists.
US - Analysis
According to US analysis...
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