Recently, the South African Department of Basic Education announced a new policy that would allow students from grade 7-9 to achieve a passing rate of 20% in mathematics and still progress to the next year of learning.

This 20% pass rate would, according to the Northern Cape Department of Education, equate to a Level 1-Fail-under the National Senior Certificate Scale of achievement in their final year of high school.

Before this, learners needed to achieve at least 40% in mathematics in order to pass the year and avoid repeating a grade which, according to Parent24, could cause more harm than good. The Department of Basic Education also found that the requirement prevents learners who excel in other areas from advancing to the next grade.

Many people have questioned how the 20% pass rate would impact students in the future and whether there are jobs that would not need them to have a high maths pass rate, or even take mathematics as a subject at all.

In one of our previous articles, 5 high paying SA jobs you don’t need a degree for, we shared six high earning jobs - from developers to real estate agents - that do not require a university degree.

READ MORE: 5 high paying SA jobs you don’t need a degree for

For those looking to study further, there are many other high paying careers that - although require a diploma or degree - do not require a high maths pass rate or to have maths as a subject.

According to the University of Cape Town, the following would not require mathematics to study: 

Architectural Studies

Mathematics would not be required for this, on the condition that Physical Science is taken as a subject and a score of 50% or above has been achieved. Other conditions include 58 Faculty Point Score (FPS) score and a Portfolio weighted at 50%. According to Job Mail, design architects can earn up to an average of R231, 883 per year.


For guaranteed admission into law, an FPS of 510 or above, a National Benchmark Test (NBT) score of 70% for Academic Literacy (AL) and an Intermediate level achieved for Quantitative Literacy (QL) is required. According to Jobmail, starting salaries for qualified lawyers range from R643, 440 up to R655, 000 per annum.


In the world of Arts, the list is endless; you can choose anything from Dramatic and Digital Arts, to Film and Television. For Guaranteed admission a requirement of 450 FPS or above should be obtained with an NBT AL of Proficient.

Other high paying jobs that do not require mathematics include:

Managing Director of Sales & Marketing

According to Pay Scale, the average pay for a Managing Director of Sales & Marketing is R912, 941 per year.

Public Sector Manager & Administrator:

This would allow someone a job within the public sector from local level to provincial level of government with salaries dependent on level of government and position of employment.

Basic mathematics will always form part of our daily lives and will continue to be beneficial to many occupations; however, the lack of mathematics is not a requirement for you to be successful in the job market. There are plenty of opportunities – outside of the world of equations- waiting to be explored.