Competency of Math Majors inJob Employments I. IntroductionAsdescribed in the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order no. 48,Series of 2017, Mathematics can be used as an important tool in many fields,such as natural sciences, engineering, medicine, finance, and social sciences.Also stated in the said memorandum, Bachelor of Science in Mathematics andBachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics students are exposed to the “breadthand depth” of the subject itself and importantly, this will also cover the coreareas as well as advanced courses that will help graduates to have a potentialin higher studies and the capacity to work in different fields.Basedon the stated nature and goals of the program, Math majors are expected toobtain jobs in many different fields. It can be related to actuarial sciencesand banking, statistics and business, and also in computing and informationtechnology. From the study of Xu in 2012 about the “Career Outcomes of STEM andNon-STEM College Graduates”, people with occupations closely related to theircollege major will have the high possibility to become successful on their joband apply what they have learned in college. But employment is still dependenton the employer’s hands and the job-seeker’s skills.
Asincluded in the report of the National Statistics Office, now known asPhilippine Statistics Authority (2013), 18% of the unemployed are collegegraduates. Moreover, Bird (2012) stated that it takes a fresh college graduatea year to find his/her first job, and an additional year to have his/herpermanent job. This is mainly due to unsuitability of the abilities of theapplicants and the current demand of the society.Inthis situation, one of the leading causes is the various labor marketmismatches. As explained by Sloane (2014), Labor Market Mismatches is where theskills and abilities of the job seeker are not qualified to the jobrequirements or were not used in that certain job. Additionally, these incompatibilitiescan be found in the following: over and under qualification, over and underskilled, over and under the educational level requirement.
Additionally,our country is also suffering this sickness. According to the unemployment rateof the last quarter of 2017 issued by PSA, it is at 5.6% and this number waslarger compared at the same period last 2016, and as emphasized in the work ofAlejandre et al (2015), unemployment rate here in the Philippines will stillinflate when labor mismatches are not solve, thus greatly affecting theproductivity levels of different companies. Knowingthese obstacles, it is important for ourselves to know what skill set we have.Internationally talking, employers are expecting college graduates to have goodcommunication skills, work ethics, collaborative skills, and critical thinking.(Casner-Lotto and Barrington, 2006) Onthe other side, according to the Job and Salary report of Jobstreet.
com (2015),there are certain behavioral and functional skills in which employers look infresh graduates, some of these are communication skills, analytical skills,trainability, honesty, and self-confidence. But as stated above, freshgraduates don’t always land a job in their first job search.Document-wisespeaking, based on the Policies, Standards, and Guidelines that CHED releasedin their memorandum order as stated above, Math majors are expected to have amastery in problem-solving skills, logical reasoning, pattern recognition, andappreciates the role of using proofs. All of which is needed by most of theemployers.
Inconnection to this, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and theCommission on Higher Education (CHED) released a joint research (2014) statingthat science and math courses still remains a priority course not only forfinancial assistance but also to land in-demand jobs that not only helpsgraduates but also to boost the economy.Followingthis, the study of Zimmerman and Levine (1995) asserted that students whostudied more math and science subjects tend to have greater salaries due to thecontinuously positive inclination of the demand of jobs in the technical sidei.e. works that are connected to mathematics. Also, this results to asignificant advancement of the educational and economical sides.
Specificallyspeaking, Math majors tend to be an expert in understand and solving quantitativeand abstract problems. They also are adept not only in doing criticalobservations but also in finding important information and recognizingpatterns. (Challman n.d)Moreover,the study of Carnevale, Cheah, and Strohl (2010) showed that Computing and Mathmajors tend to have a salary that is among the highest in the industry,likewise in the local side, statisticians are among in the top ten of thehighest paid jobs as per the latest study of DOLE (2017).Toresolve the potential problems that the ideal Math major job applicants wouldface, they must know where to work that will suit the course they finished aswell as the skills required, and in accordance to the aforementioned statements,the main purpose of this study is to show the correlation of the employmentrates of Math majors in the corporate world and the CHED Memorandum specificMath major skills that he/she supposedly developed in the course of his/herstudy. The goal is to survey differentemployers and determine the skills they require to accept different job-seekersand to find the relationship between the required skills and the ideal skills aMath major should have; this will be through getting different weekly newspapersthen analyzing the accumulation of classified ads.
Also,skills required in the position will also be taken in consideration whethermath major graduates really qualify that role. This study will gradually helpdecrease unemployment rate in such a way that qualification skills will bepracticed. The gathered results of the studywill be beneficial to the graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Mathematics becausethis will acknowledge the importance of their course in the society and thiswill show how flexible this course is. Also, this will notify the freshgraduates of this course where their expertise will be suitable.
Alongside with this, the study willalso benefit the undecided students which course they will take in college.Since the researchers will be focusing on the demands of BS Mathematics graduate,this study can be an eye-opener that there are many opportunities if thiscourse is the one they choose to take. This could also cure their Math anxietyfor there’s a good thing if you face your fears in Math.