When a student says they are studying algebra, a common response from adults is "I haven't used it since I graduated from high school. This kind of reaction can frustrate students who wonder why we learn algebra." It is not effective for life.
I have good news for algebra students: Algebra enriches our lives if we really want to understand it. A course can be completed by memorizing how to do algebra but understanding algebra helps us realize when we can use it to solve everyday problems.
Just as doubling by twelve is faster than counting from 24 or adding 2 times twelve, algebra helps us solve problems faster and easier than we would otherwise. Algebra opens up entirely new fields of life problems, such as graphing curves that simply cannot be solved with basic math skills.
Learning one more type of math may not be an instantly satisfying idea while learning one type of math, statistics, and calculus are used by many people in their work. In general, statistics are used for specific tasks in business, media, health and wellness, politics, social sciences, and many other fields. Understanding statistics makes us consumers of information and better employees and citizens.