Breakdown for Tutoring Subjects: Math, English, Science, Languages, Test Prep, Business and Music very own Dirk Wagner presented statistical analysis on the distribution of the main tutoring subjects to Dow Jones Journal Editor Missy Sullivan. Today Dirk is going to substantiate this presentation with the in-depth analysis of individual subjects for each main tutoring category. For example the mathematics category will be broken down into algebra, statistics, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, etc.

The original article on the main tutoring subjects was published on March 12, 2011 and can be found here:

This data presented in the distribution of tutoring subjects was taken from the last 5,000 tutoring requests (and not just from search data which is skewed due to spam and robot activity). The main tutoring subject categories with its respective percentage distributions are as follows: math (32%), English (17%), science (17%), languages (12%), test prep (6.5%), business (4.5%), computer-related (4%), music (3%), sports (1%) and other (4.3%).

Math Subjects
As one might expect, the subject category of mathematics is the most dominating category scoring 32% of all tutoring requests. Within this category algebra, calculus, statistics and geometry are the most frequent requested subjects. The requests for mathematics related subjects break down as follows: math (15%), algebra (7.7%), calculus (3.7%), statistics (2.3%), geometry (2%), trigonometry (0.3%), applied math (0.03), differential equations (0.03%).

English Subjects
The English subjects hold place two within subject categories and are tied with the science subjects category at 17%. Reading is the most favorite subject within the English category amounting to 6.2% of all tutoring requests. The precise breakdown of all English related subjects is as follows: English (6.9%), reading (6.2%), writing (2.3%), spelling (0.5%), grammar (0.2%), essay writing (0.3%), speech (0.14%), dyslexia-reading (0.05%), vocabulary (0.03%), creative writing (0.03%), and term paper (0.01%).

Science Subjects
The science subjects are dead even on place two (or three) with the English subjects category. 17% of all tutoring requests called for science related subjects. The most popular science subject is chemistry (6.1%) followed closely by physics and biology. We mention in passing the long tale in the science subjects which includes somewhat more esoteric subjects like pharmacology, thermodynamics and meteorology. The breakdown of all science subjects is given here: Chemistry (6.1%), physics (4%), science (1.5%), biology (1.4%), pharmacology (0.63%), physical chemistry (0.57%), organic chemistry (0.52%), biochemistry (0.36%), physiology (0.3%), anatomy (0.3%), genetics (0.21%), astronomy (0.09%), neuroscience (0.09%), cell biology (0.03%), anthropology (0.03%) and geology (0.03%).

Language Subjects
On place four we find the language subjects category which encompass 12% of all tutoring requests. These 12% break down into 3.5% of Spanish tutoring, 1.8% of ESL (English as a Second Language), 1.6% French tutoring, 0.9% German tutoring, 0.6% Arabic tutoring, 0.46% Japanese tutoring, 0.45% Chinese or Mandarin tutoring. Spanish is the clear winner in the languages category. This has to do with the strong influx of Hispanic workers from Latin America. Spanish is followed by ESL (English as a second language) which can also be seen as a testament of the U.S. being an immigration country. Reflecting the rising important of the largest U.S. trade partner, Chinese has become the 5th most often requested foreign language.

Test Prep Subjects
The test prep (test preparation) subjects hold position five on our subject category ranking. Test Prep accounts for a total of 6.2% of all tutoring requests. There is no clear set of most requested subjects; instead we have a broad continuum of subjects requested: GRE (0.7%), ACT (0.68%), GED (0.57%), PRAXIS (0.57%), GMAT (0.54%), LSAT (0.48%), ISEE (0.32%), CLEP (0.32%), MCAT (0.30%), TOEFL (0.30%), SSAT (0.27%), SAT (0.21%), DAT (0.25%), USMLE (0.19%), NCLEX-RN (0.16%), PSAT (0.16%), FCAT (0.09%), TOESL (0.05%), REGENTS (0.03%), CST (0.01%), and WASL (0.01%).

Business Subjects
On rank 6 we find the business subjects category. It accounts for 4.5% of all requested tutoring subjects. Accounting is the dominating business subject. Finance only accounts for 0.6% of tutoring requests documenting a shift away from the finance sector in the 2008-2009 recessions. The business subjects break down as follows: Accounting (4.5%), CPA (0.86%), finance (0.61%), economics (0.64%), business accounting (0.07%), management skills (0.05%), marketing (0.03%), start-up business (0.03%), business plan (0.03%), real estate management (0.01%), project management (0.01%), human resources (0.01%) and taxes (0.01%).

Computer Subjects
The computer related subjects maintain position 7 on our tutoring subjects category ranking. Students ask for computer tutoring 3 and one half times out of 100 requests. There is no one subject asked predominantly; instead computer tutoring subjects spread out across a spectrum: computer (0.81%), JAVA (0.70%), programming (0.30%), C++ (0.27%), Photoshop (0.16%), computer science (0.16%), computer programming (0.12%), HTML (0.12%), SQL (0.07%), Microsoft Excel (0.07%), SAS – Software As a Service (0.07%), python (0.07%), Internet (0.07), Keyboard typing (0.05), database programming (0.05%), JavaScript (0.05%), C-programming (0.05%), Microsoft Access (0.05%), Microsoft Word (0.05%), Algorithms (0.05%), Unix (0.03%), Visual Basic (0.03%), LINUX (0.03%), PHP (0.01%), ASP.NET (0.01%), VB.NET (0.01%), mySQL (0.01%), Word Processing (0.01%), Combinatorial Algorithms (0.01%), Ruby on Rails (0.01%), Microsoft FoxPro (0.01%), Perl (0.01%), C# (0.01%), Adobe Illustrator (0.01%) and Computer Engineering (0.01%).

Music Subjects
The eight most requested tutoring subject category is music. It accounts for 2.5% of all subjects requested out of which piano is the most favorite — alone drawing 1% of all music requests. Piano is followed by guitar (0.30%), violin (0.25%), voice (0.14%), dance (0.14%), music (0.10%), flute (0.07%), composition (0.07%), lute (0.07%), saxophone (0.05%), trumpet (0.03%), tap dance (0.03%), cello (0.03%), music theory (0.03%), accordion (0.03%) and jazz (0.01%).

Sports Subjects
The sports subjects request rate is 0.5% and is the least often requested tutoring subject category. Karate is requested most often (0.10%) of the sports subjects category. Karate is followed by basketball (0.07%), tennis (0.05%), surfing (0.05%), swimming (0.05%), ballet (0.03%), drums (0.03%), aerobics (0.03%), jeet kune do (0.01%), yoga (0.01%), volleyball (0.01%), triathlon (0.01%), gymnastics (0.01%), and boxing (0.01%).

Other Subjects
The tenth and final subject category is the “other subjects” category or the list of remaining subjects. These remaining subjects are loosely coupled and range from college subjects over test preparation to arts. Their precise breakdown is given here: Elementary (1.15%), history (0.6%), dyslexia (0.55%), education (0.32%), study skills (0.23%), special education (0.19%), sewing (0.18%), home schooling (0.16%), philosophy (0.10%), social studies (0.09%), world history (0.09%), nursing (0.07%), civil engineering (0.07%), sociology (0.05%), zoology (0.05%), nutrition (0.03%), chemical engineering (0.03%), calligraphy (0.03%), biotechnology (0.03%), law (0.03%), government (0.03%), electrical engineering (0.03%), communications (0.03%), sound (0.03%), driving (0.01%), DMV exam (0.01%), acting (0.01%), nanny (0.01%), American history (0.01%), painting (0.01%), fine arts (0.01%), Industrial engineering (0.01%), genetic engineering (0.01%), logic (0.01%), knitting (0.01%), graphic design (0.01%), journalism (0.01%), heat transfer (0.01%), European history (0.01%), sign language (0.01%), coaching (0.01%), pottery (0.01%), political science (0.01%) and photography (0.01%).

Dirk Wagner

About Dirk Wagner

Dirk Wagner is owner of Tutorz LLC. He holds a M.S. degree in computer science and has 8 years of experience as software engineer and researcher. Dirk has tutored math and computer science to dozens of students in Southern California. You can find him on Google+, youtube, facebook, twitter, tumblr, quora and pinterest.
This entry was posted in Tutoring.

3 Responses to Breakdown for Tutoring Subjects: Math, English, Science, Languages, Test Prep, Business and Music

  1. I saw your breakdown of most requested tutoring subjects. What is the math 15% column mean? Is it just general math or a request for more than 1 subject?

    • Dirk Wagner says:

      I am glad you notice my blog post on the tutoring subject distributions.

      32% of all tutoring requests pertain math-related subjects such as algebra, calculus geometry and statistics. Out of these 32% of request 15% were asking for general math tutoring. Typically, general math requests pertain elementary math, numbers, sequences, fractions, equations but may also include other major math sub fields as algebra, calculus, geometry and statistics.

  2. Rainer Winkel says:

    Thank you for publishing your findings on the relative frequencies of tutoring subjects. I am writing a paper on statistical methods (CS major) and could use your data to test some of my methods and hypotheses. Would you grant me access to your data? In what format do you have it available? Csv, Excel or SQL would all work. In return I would mention in my paper. Regards Rainer.