It’s not just about the numbers or the ability to tally difficult equations correctly. A business math class prepares students to think logically and critically about finances, both for the home and in their professional life. Taking the time to complete a math class can benefit a student far beyond the lessons learned in the classroom.

Math makes you think. It makes you take a large equation and break it down into more manageable units. Students can apply this math-course practice to difficult issues that can come up in life and use it to overcome obstacles.

Students who are interested in pursuing a degree in marketing, accounting, finance or business administration are usually required to complete a business math course. It can help you to whittle down massive amounts of information in different areas and apply them to your profession or position.

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Parts of a Math Class

While there are many different types of business math classes, most will teach the basics to run a small business, to work with individual clients or to work within a large department.

The valuation of assets taught in a math class calculates the value of inventory using average cost, double-declining depreciation and straight-line depreciation. Being able to valuate assets is key to determining the economic outlook and issues of the student’s employer or of individuals.

The mathematics of finance and time value of money problems covers a lot of material. This section of a math class covers the initial value on a loan, annuity or savings plan as well as the interest accrued, future value and payment plans to consider. The student uses a calculator and specialized computer software to determine these values that are often vital to a client or company.

Business Math in Action

Whether you take a slew of business math classes in college or take one from a continuing education course to increase your earning potential, this information can make a difference in many areas of your life.

Business math can be used in a number of industries. Retail uses math on many levels, from payroll to analyzing inventory, invoices, markup costs, operating costs, net profit and cash discounts.

Payroll mathematics can be quite complex. A business math class will teach a student how to calculate income taxes on the state and federal levels to determine an employee’s net pay.

Assessing Your Math Quotient

If you aren’t sure what type of business math class to take or at what level you would be successful, an assessment exam can help. By taking a math assessment test, you can earn college credit, save time by taking advanced courses and, subsequently, save tuition costs.

There are many online assessment tests you can take. Make sure it is from an accredited college or school so you can receive credit for your efforts.

For example, the Athabasca University math course provides an online assessment test that contains 70 questions. The mathematics diagnostic assessment can help students to assess their mathematical skills to figure out which math course would work best for them.

Math Classes for an Associate Degree

The classes needed for an associate degree in business usually include:

  • Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Economics
  • Accounting

Math requirements for MBA programs can be much more intensive, with a healthy dose of physics and theory, statistics and probability depending on the student’s focus.

Benefits Outside of the Math Classroom

Math contributes to more than just business. It can help a student make informed decisions about life. It teaches problem solving as well as how to navigate failures and turn them into successes.

The often-heard math class phrase “show your work” can help students to figure out why they made a decision or came to a conclusion. A good math class can significantly increase a student’s confidence in other areas of life.

About the Author

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.