Finishing school can be both a daunting and exciting experience for students. For most, it is the first time in life where you are no longer told what to do. After years of progressing through the education system you are now faced with one of the bigger decisions in life, what next?
This decision is nothing to be feared, as students should take comfort in the fact that there is no rush on this decision. Many adults don’t find what it is that they want to do for decades after they graduate from school. There is no pressure in deciding where to take the next steps of your life, as it is entirely up to you.
Students should consider that there are many paths into the career that they want. If you don’t get the points or entry requirements that you needed for a particular course, more often than not there is an alternate path that you can take. Students can enter PLC programs, or study in a different university than they had initially planned.
The same is true in situations where you may find yourself unsure as to what you want to do after school. Often the best course of action for many students is to take a yearlong degree or an internship in a related field to trial the subject and see if it suits them.
From my experience, this seems to be an option that few students consider, yet those that do are almost always thankful that they took the time to figure out their next steps.
Where can I continue my education in maths?
In this article, I will explore the options available to students who wish to pursue a degree or a career in mathematics-oriented fields.
Maths is a subject that typically presents candidates with the necessary problem-solving skills and reasoning skills that are so sought after by employers. The subject is embedded in a multitude of careers from engineering to sciences as well as the obvious option of teaching the subject itself at a multitude of levels of education.
If the prospects of mathematics are something that excites you then you will take some value from exploring some of the many opportunities that are at your disposal in universities across Ireland. Maths degree entry requirements at a university level typically require students to have achieved an honours grade in the higher level leaving certificate exam.
I always encourage students not to limit themselves in the decisions that they make, and a decision such as choosing where to study is no exception. If you have been unsuccessful in your application or feel that you do not meet the advertised minimum entry requirement for your preferred maths course, you may also have success with international applications.
There are many different systems of education across the world, so with something as important as deciding what you want to do or work as for the rest of your life, why limit yourself to just Ireland?. Each year countless applicants are accepted into foreign universities as international students and this may be an option that enables you to study something that you are passionate about so why not give it a shot?
The same is true for students who wish they had studied maths in college but decided to go down a different path or perhaps were unsuccessful in their applications. You are also entitled to apply as a mature student when you are just a few years older.
This allows students to have a place on the course despite not having met the required CAO points when they had finished school initially. In my undergraduate course there were several mature students, many of which were extremely academic so please don’t let things like this impact your decision to pursue a degree in mathematics.
You may also increase your chances of being accepted into your desired maths course by conveying your interest in the subject. This is something that will quickly separate you from other candidates that may be applying for a place in the course.
Universities tend to prefer candidates who have a genuine interest in the subject and are driven to learn about it. Students should try and convey their interest in the subject through participating in math-related events or clubs in their spare time outside of school. This can also be a practical way of decorating your cv for when you decide to enter the working world after your education too.
You should also consider what subjects you need to study for a maths degree.
What to expect from a Maths Degree
No two maths courses will be the same in college, but the majority of maths courses will cover a lot of the same material. Many of the universities will also have worked closely with many of the companies that employ maths graduates and as a result, will teach a lot of the same skills.
Here is an example of just a few of the topics that you can expect to cover in a maths degree after you graduate from secondary school.
Many of the topics will be familiar to students after having been introduced over the course of the higher level leaving cert program. As expected these topics will of course be explored in much greater detail at the university level. Many of these topics might also be new to students and will make for an interesting and engaging course.
- Data analysis
- Algorithms and applications
- Differential calculus
- Probabilities and statistics
- Structured programming
- Regression and anova
- Problem-solving methods
- Analytical and computational foundations
Depending on the university, you also have the option to study maths alongside accounting, finance, engineering, or another related subject. The opportunities which emerge from studying for a degree in mathematics are endless.
A maths degree job salary is on average far beyond that of other subjects due to its applicability in the workplace and scarcity amongst contemporary graduates. Graduates with a background in math-related fields typically set themselves up for career progression due to the valuable skills which they pick up over the course of studying for a maths degree.
How to become a maths teacher in Ireland
Another popular option for students who have an interest in maths is to pursue a career in teaching. Like most professions, teaching is no different as there are many avenues into becoming a qualified maths teacher.
Students can go directly into teaching by studying the subject in universities such as the St Pats campus of DCU. Here, a student may study the subject along with others over the course of four years and go directly into teaching once they graduate.
There are also a number of placements throughout the degree that gives students a sense of what being a full-time teacher is like, or build confidence in their ability to teach a full class while under the surveillance of an experienced full-time teacher.
These placements can also provide some valuable connections and typically result in long-term employment prospects once the student has graduated from their degree.
Students may also choose to go into teaching maths after they have graduated with a maths-related degree. They would just have to complete an additional one-year teaching course before they could become a maths teacher.
As you can see there are many avenues into becoming a math teacher as well as an abundance of maths teaching courses Ireland has on offer to get you off on the right foot for your dream job. There are also some exciting prospects for teaching maths that come from perusing a part-time maths degree.
There are a lot of considerations for a student that is preparing to study for a maths degree.
Continue studying maths with Superprof
If for any reason you feel like you need to brush up on your maths skills after finishing school, there are still a number of things that you can do to ensure that you don’t forget all of that information you spend so long learning.
Perhaps one of the more effective resources, and also possibly the least adopted by students is availing of a personal tutor. A personal tutor can provide some much-needed clarity for students even after they finish secondary school education.
Superprof is a community that comprises millions of tutors around the world. There is certainly no shortage of maths tutors available to Irish students looking to continue their studies after the leaving cert course.
The platform also provides students with a degree of flexibility in how they learn. Students are given the opportunity to learn through both ‘in person’ and ‘remote’ options, either in the home of the student or tutor or via webcam.
Many of the maths tutors on the platform offer help right up to college-level mathematics and even provide their first session free of charge, so why not pick up where you left off and continue developing your maths skills with Superprof today.
Check out the study portal to see some of the best maths courses in Ireland!
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