My answer to a question on Quora: Will math eventually rule everything?
Humanity’s dependence on mathematics implemented in software and hardware in all kinds of electronic devices and information technology systems grows with every day. Mathematics hardwired into a smartphone (or even an old-fashioned mobile phone) is beyond understanding of a vast majority of graduates from mathematics departments of British universities. In the world now, there are more mobile phones than toothbrushes. Importantly, mathematics is increasingly invisible: after all, smartphones can be used by innumerate and illiterate people.
My friends working is information technology increasingly complain that software developers (especially the younger generation) more and more often simply copy chunks of code found on Google without any understanding of mathematical algorithms implemented in them.
The number of people who have sufficient mathematical background for understanding how all that works perhaps grows much slower than the human population. Actually, new technology requires smaller number of mathematically educated workers — but with much higher level skills.
It is not a coincidence that in all western democracies the model of mass mathematics education of the kind that existed in 20th century collapses: this reflects the changing role of mathematics and mathematically educated people in the economy.
And this affects people as well: the community of mathematically educated people is undergoing re-crystallization as highly specialised socio-cultural caste.
State schools cannot give all their students mathematical skills needed for the new economy. Moreover, there is no economic need for giving every child mathematics education at that level — and lower-level skills are economically redundant, see my papers Calling a spade a spade: Mathematics in the new pattern of division of labour and Mathematics for makers and mathematics for users. As a corollary, a child can learn proper, real mathematics only if he/she finds support and understanding in the family. What I mean when I say “support and understanding” should be clear from my answer to another question: As a mathematician, how would you mentor your child and help her to learn, do and live mathematics in her free time as she is growing up?