Confident Maths Skills? Check. Confident and social personality? Check. If you carry these two attributes then you are more likely to have a higher earning potential!
Research by the University of California looked at the impact social and maths skills had on earnings and compared a class of white male US high school senior students from 1972 and 1992 to see how this changed over time. The study used two National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) surveys which focused on senior year maths scores on standardised tests, questions about extracurricular participation and leadership roles, and analysed their individual earnings seven years after graduating high school. The results clearly demonstrated that all three areas which were analysed all led to higher earnings, however, as shown in the graph, those who demonstrated strong maths skills as well as being engaged in sports or leadership activities had the highest earning premium.
The results make sense! Being mathematically, logically smart and a confident ‘people person’ would result in you being able to perform well in job interviews, have confidence to apply for higher-paying roles, demonstrate your leadership ability for more senior positions and negotiate a salary. The study says ‘This is compelling evidence that participation in high school sports or leadership activities – a behavioral indicator of social skills – can be linked to complex interpersonal skills.’
Judging from the research, the demand and growth in jobs has increased over time for those who demonstrate both analytical and social skills. Interestingly, employment jobs which required just one factor or the other, did not increase. The results clearly demonstrate the significance of mathematical and social skills. Nicole Torres for Harvard Business Review explains how the rise of technological innovation could be a reason, as there is increasing expectation for workers to be technologically savvy as well as placing emphasis on soft skills. The rise in demand and higher earnings for the multi-skilled individuals shows the increasing significance of ensuring we do not just place emphasis on ‘textbook’ skills, but also social attributes.