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Improving your numeracy skills

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Published: 30 September 2021

Students in a class 

Whilst at the University of Sunderland in London, you are learning everything you need to know to reach your career goals.  

You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in a competitive jobs market.  

But it’s important to remember that the more you know, the better your chances of landing your dream role.  

That’s why you should be thinking about the extra skills you can get that will set you above the competition.   

Take numeracy for example – basically, the ability to understand and work with numbers.  

Whether you want a job in finance or run your own business, being numerate is a core skill in any workplace.  

What are numeracy skills?   

Knowing how to use numbers in a business context can include the basics like addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.   

But it goes well beyond this too. Do you know how to create and understand graphs? What about working with statistics?   

Interpreting data is just as important and being able to create the information in the first place.   

How to get better with numeracy  

A lot of people go into a panic when they see numbers. It’s easy to convince yourself you’re not good with them.  

But everyone has the ability to learn the basics which will help you land that dream job.  

Figure out what skills you need  

The first step is to think about what you need to know. This will depend on the roles you are looking at as well as the industry you want to work in.  

For example, if you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur you will most likely need to think about price points and being certain you’re making a decent profit from your sales.  

But if you want to work in the finance department of a large company, it might be more useful to find out about big data and working with interpreting numbers for reports.  

Don’t try and do everything all at once. You will have a much easier time if you identify one or two areas you’ll need and go from there.  

Get training  

You can do this online or in person. For example, sites like Khan Academy and LinkedIn Learning have some great numeracy courses.  

But if you’re looking to go more in-depth, consider applying for one of our BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance or BA (Hons) Accounting and Financial Management (Top-Up) courses.  

Both will teach you a lot more about working in the finance sector and you’ll have access to industry expert lecturers who will be able to help you find ways of improving your numeracy abilities.   

Practice, practice, practice  

Maths, like many other things in life, need to be maintained by repetition. That means practising the skills you learn through your training regularly.  

Of course, once you get the job, you will be practising them every day, but until then make sure you stay on top of things, and you’ll find yourself in demand.  

There are plenty more skills you can learn whilst you are at the University of Sunderland in London.  

That includes things to help you with your career and your studies.   

Make sure you check out the Library’s Study Skills website for everything from reading to teamwork.   

Whatever you decide to do with your future, the University of Sunderland in London Careers and Employability Service is here to help.    

To have a one-to-one chat with them, book a meeting through Compass or email careers-london@sunderland.ac.ukFind out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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