The reason for math being voted the most important or valuable school subject in a 2013 Gallup poll is likely due to its broad applicability across a range of employment sectors. The same poll found that math was not considered as valuable among more specialized postgraduate respondents.
Particularly for employment in business and industrial sectors, a strong background in math is crucial for being able to see trends within data, make projections, and analyses, and just to use computer technology. Even entry-level workers in automotive factories need a good grasp of advanced mathematical formulas to accurately wire electrical circuits.
Statistics have shown that students who take classes in algebra and geometry are more than twice as likely to go to college. In fact, the majority of 4-year college degrees require between 3 and 4 years of high school math and science.
Math is important as preparation for college or employment. Nowadays, it is extremely useful to have at least a basic grasp of arithmetic to calculate budgets, make purchases, select insurance and health care plans and plan for retirement. Even following the news can demand a knowledge and comprehension of statistics and graphs that basic math principles provide.