Algebra is arguably the most hated subject among students who do not plan to study or do anything math-related in the future. No other subject in the school curriculum gets as many “How is this useful in real life?” questions as algebra does.
Most agree that people use arithmetic dozens of times a day and do not contest its usefulness. This is not true for algebra, though; few students who prefer liberal arts recognize algebra as something they need. While understandable, such a perception is completely wrong.
Algebra is equally helpful in college, work, and everyday life. So, here is a short list of reasons why we should study algebra.
Algebra is Great for Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills
If you ask a sample of employers what they value in employees, chances are that critical thinking is one of the top three most common answers you will get. No matter how skilled and competent someone is, if they cannot distinguish between credible and noncredible information or form an opinion based on the facts given, they can only go so far in their professional development. What is more, critical thinking is key for being an informed person in general. For example, look at the news media outlets. Depending on where they fall on the political spectrum and what sources they use, they can present the same information very differently. Your critical thinking skills are what can and should guide you.
Sure, algebra is not the only way to develop one’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Learning and challenging your biases is no less if not more important. However, algebra teaches us the art of analysis and synthesis. When solving an algebraic problem, we have to dissect it into components, look at each of them independently, and then try to see the bigger picture. The same is necessary for the critical analysis of complicated or controversial issues. If nothing else, algebra can teach one how to be more convincing in heated discussions.
Students use Algebra in a Bunch of Unrelated Classes
It is a misconception that algebra is only needed in calculus or statistics classes. Sure, if you major in something akin to engineering, you have to deal with much more complicated algebra than, say, marketing students do. However, almost all college students, regardless of their majors (except perhaps humanities), need basic knowledge of algebra to feel competent and comfortable in all of their classes.
People tend to forget that STEM is not only engineering, computer science, and biology. In fact,
psychology, which is typically considered a social science, is part of STEM as well. No matter what university you are enrolled in or think of enrolling if you choose a psychology program, know that at least some knowledge of algebra is expected. If nothing else, you will have to master the basics of statistics (which relies on algebra) to understand and produce quality research. Psychology is just an example here; basically every major aside from humanities requires one to understand the principles of algebra.
That being said, if algebra is something you struggle with, you can always pay and get help from
online academic assistance services. Luckily, there are quite a lot of them, so feel free to check
out CWAssignments or any other company whose experts offer students algebra homework help online. However, it is much more fulfilling to realize that in spite of how difficult algebra is, you are capable of using it all by yourself. Besides, nothing is as cheap as completing school assignments yourself.
Algebra is Essential for Various Professions
The use of algebra does not end with graduation. A lot of professions, including those that most
people consider more or less math-free, actually require one to know at least primitive algebra.
For example, managers rely on binary integer programming (BIP) in decision-making. It implies
the use of binary variables to find evidence-based answers to yes-or-no questions. As you can
probably guess, this makes BIP relevant for quite a lot of problems. Say you need to choose the
best site for a would-be warehouse and are considering two potentially great options. BIP can
help you make an informed choice in a matter of minutes. But to understand how it works, you
Another example of a non-STEM profession that requires some knowledge of algebra is marketing. A lot of things in marketing rely on statistics, including market research. Marketing professionals cannot work without constant market research projects because it informs all marketing decisions. It helps answer such questions as “What would customers like to see?”, “How effective is campaign A compared to campaign B?”, “What is about to become the next trend?”, and much more. Almost every marketing expert uses SPSS Statistics software. To understand how it works, simple algebra is vital.
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Knowledge of algebra makes a lot of mundane things simpler
Finally, contrary to what many people believe, we do use algebra in everyday life. Think about
complicated healthcare plans or mortgages. Algebra is definitely not necessary to analyze the
options you have and choose the better one. But it does help a lot. For any of these, you will need two-variable equations to make an informed decision. While they are not part of basic math, two-variable equations are not that difficult to master. If you try to (with at least an ounce of dedication), you will see that algebra is not as scary as you might remember from high school.
Sure, it is not impossible to get by without algebra. After all, enough software is available that
makes things simpler for those of us who are afraid of math. But why would you try to avoid algebra by all means? Software is great and all, but it is rarely free. Even if it is (or if you do not mind extra expenses), it is not flawless. To understand what you are doing and be sure that there are no mistakes in the calculations, it is better to learn the principles of algebra-based programs.
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