Subject: job outlook

Name: Shelby Faust
Who is asking: Student
Level: Secondary

what is the future demand, in numbers, of a secondary mathematics teacher? what are the projected costs for this career? what technology skills will be needed for this career?

Hi Selby,

Across North America, it seems that the demand for secondary mathematics teachers is higher than the number of people qualified and interested in teaching math.

Certainly, in Ontario (where I work) there is a shortage and we expect the shortage will get worse for the next five years or more. I am co-chairing a committee trying to come up with solutions.

The costs will depend very much on where you study As tuitions are very different in different universities (and between the US and Canada).

The demand that teachers use technology (computers, graphing calculators) is increasing and is expected to increase over the next decades. For example, last spring the government in Ontario made a mass purchase for every school and every teacher of the dynamic geometry program Geometer's Sketchpad. Only a few teachers knew the program, but all grade 9 classes are expected to use it now, and it will likely be part of government testing of grade 9 students next fall.

That is an example. In general, working as a mathematician means, more and more, also using appropriate technology for various purposes. It only makes sense that students and teachers would use some of that in their courses. Pencil and paper IS an old technology and no-one would imagine doing mathematics without it. Some of the new technology will be as natural as pencil and paper, within the career of anyone entering teaching today.

Walter Whiteley

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