What Are Quantitative Skills? (And How to Develop Them)

Updated May 6, 2023

You can improve your chances of getting the job you want by learning new skills. Quantitative abilities enable individuals to work with numerical data and reasoning. Learning more about these abilities and improving your quantitative competence are useful methods for enhancing your employability. In this article, we define quantitative skills, explore their types, discuss how to develop these skills, and explain how to feature these skills on a resume.

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What are quantitative skills?

Quantitative skills are any abilities related to manipulating numbers. They aid in understanding numerical, categorical, or ordinal data and scientific ideas. Statistics, algebra, economics, finance, and business are examples of fields in which quantitative competence is vital.

Quantitative talents differ from qualitative ones, as qualitative talents are observable but not quantifiable, while quantitative abilities are objective, numerical, and quantifiable. For instance, qualitative skills include trust, resiliency, creativity, and communication, which are flexible, dynamic, and based on the individual's personality and behaviour. Quantitative talents include research, computation, and analysis, which are more rigid and easier to develop.

Related: Types of Variables in Statistics and Research (With FAQ)

Types of quantitative skills

The following are the different types of skills that you can use in your work:

Mathematical expertise

Mathematical aptitude includes the ability to calculate numbers, sizes, and other measures. The basic elements of mathematics include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Knowing how to use these calculations can facilitate the understanding of more complex mathematical ideas, such as statistics. Experts in a variety of sectors improve their efficiency by using mathematical abilities.

Mathematics is a widely-used skill that professionals in any sector may use to solve problems, prioritize work, and manage time and tasks. For example, a finance manager may use these abilities to predict an organization's expenditures for the coming periods or to assess how many additional employees the company can hire.

Related: A Summary of Quantitative Risk Analysis Methods and Benefits

Scientific abilities

Scientific knowledge enables people to understand the physical environment and the effects human activities have on it. You use scientific knowledge to determine and respond to inquiries and to make decisions and form conclusions based on data. Observing, categorizing, measuring, communicating, inferring, and forecasting are common scientific process skills. Science-related employment may require certain abilities, such as manipulating variables, defining procedures, creating hypotheses, analyzing data, conducting experiments, and developing models.

Survey skills

A survey is a technique for obtaining data insights by asking identical questions to many individuals. Surveying expertise includes the formulation of questionnaires, the creation of sample forms, and the development of other standard methods. The objective is to gather information from each responder without introducing any bias that might affect the result. Common surveying abilities include analytical reasoning, reading ability, active listening, complex problem solving, systems analysis and assessment, coordination, monitoring, social sensitivity, and negotiation.

Related: An Explanation of Qualitative Observation With Examples

Research skills

Research skills allow you to discover answers to various questions or to discover solutions to problems. When searching for solutions, professionals use these skills to obtain knowledge. Generally, research skills consist of the following three stages:

  • Collecting information about a topic: This step includes gathering and organizing data from a variety of sources, such as academic publications and books.

  • Examining the material: During this phase, you examine the usefulness and applicability of the acquired data to your study objectives.

  • Analyzing and interpreting the information: Interpreting the material entails comprehending how the information you have acquired connects to your subject and leads you to a solution.

Individuals in a variety of fields use research skills to complete assignments. For instance, health care practitioners may investigate symptoms to help diagnose an unusual condition. In the manufacturing industry, specialists may investigate materials to determine which ones are the most cost-effective for product creation.

Related: A Guide to Quantitative Observation (With Example Scenarios)

Analytical skills

Analytical skills are problem-solving abilities that require a comprehension of numerical facts. You can use your analytical talents to make observations, generate ideas, evaluate facts, identify patterns, theorize, make choices, and incorporate new knowledge. Professionals can use these abilities to get a deeper understanding of an organization's performance to propose modifications for the future. For instance, a risk analyst may collect numerical data on investment returns (ROIs). Using this data in conjunction with an awareness of the organization's objectives and resources enables them to make an informed choice on its capital investments.

How to develop quantitative skills

Acquiring these abilities may require time and effort, but they can help you work more effectively and become a stronger candidate for the job you desire. To develop these abilities, follow these six steps:

1. Attend a course

Consider enroling in a course to enhance your quantitative abilities. There are a variety of courses that teaches statistical analysis methods and mathematical calculation and application. Consider earning a degree in mathematics, business, science, or technology if you want a job that often requires these abilities. You may enrol in the following courses to gain these skills:

  • economics

  • geology

  • physics

  • discrete mathematics

  • algebra

  • biology

  • chemistry

  • computer science

Related: What Are Quantitative Research Methods? (With Benefits)

2. Gain practical experience

Gaining experience in an entry-level or associate job in your selected sector is a good way to gain quantitative abilities. Working alongside other competent people in the workplace allows you to observe how they use their expertise to achieve tasks. For instance, while you may study the fundamentals of a specific subject in an associate degree program, you can enhance your abilities and knowledge further by working with experienced professionals. Gaining experience can also allow you to put your expertise to practical use, which can help you overcome problems at work and may aid in your professional development.

3. Obtain a certification

You can also improve your abilities by participating in a certification program in the field of your choice. Several certification programs contain training modules, courses, and examinations that can help you grow your abilities rapidly. For instance, a professional in human resources may enrol in a certification program that focuses on business management, budgeting, and other related topics.

4. Read literature on quantitative thinking and analysis

Reading books on quantitative thinking and analysis can help you to comprehend the underlying ideas of these abilities. To find books on the subject, run a basic internet search for related material. Consider taking notes or performing additional research on complicated subjects.

5. Perform mathematical exercises without a calculator

To improve your mathematical and quantitative thinking abilities, try practising mathematics without a calculator. Every time you use your ability to calculate, you improve your abilities. Consider memorizing simple multiplication and division equations to answer more complex problems. There are several books and software programs available for mathematical practice.

6. Learn how to interpret several kinds of tables and graphs

Developing competence in reading different sorts of tables and graphs can help you comprehend how to analyze data that appears in different formats. Learning how to interpret charts can also aid in the creation of your own charts based on your data. You can get books and videos that teach how to use different charts with a simple internet search. Here are ten popular kinds of graphs with which you may get familiar:

  • line graph

  • scatter plot

  • stacked Venn

  • pictograph

  • pie chart

  • area graph

  • bar chart

  • bubble chart

  • column chart

  • gauge chart

Related: Quantitative Data Definition, Types, and Methods (With FAQ)

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Showing quantitative skills on a resume

It's important for every resume to have a section for skills in which you can highlight your quantitative abilities. To create a functional resume, you can include a skills section directly below your professional summary. When creating a chronological resume, which focuses more on your employment experience, you can emphasize your mathematical abilities throughout. It's help to prioritize them in accordance with the position's requirements.

Depending on your work experience, try to keep the resume a maximum of two pages. If the description of your job experience and education takes an excessive amount of space and your resume becomes too long, you can also include your quantitative abilities in a cover letter.

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