What is a Statistician?

Working as a statistician is not for everyone. This high-paying job requires an enjoyment of mathematics, an ability to teach others and an interest in studying data. If you’ve always seen yourself as a bit of a math or research oriented person, this field could be a great career option for you. It’s expected to grow substantially in the next 10 years. Keep reading to learn more about the top-ranked job in the world of business according to the U.S. News and World Report.

What Statisticians Do

In this career, you’ll be working closely with data gathered from market research, academic studies or consumer trends. You will choose the best mathematical tests for analyzing the data and present it to your coworkers, peer-reviewed journals and conferences or outside companies that have contracted with your agency. In many positions, you will be the authority on quantitative research methodology, so you may find yourself giving advice to other researchers on how many subjects to recruit, what tools to use in their research and how to interpret their results. You will need to understand complex mathematical equations and be able to explain them to others with different backgrounds. Staying up to date on current statistical research is also important, so you’ll spend some of your time reading academic journals and news releases. Almost all of your analyses will be done with computer software, so you must have basic familiarity with SPSS, R, SAS and even Microsoft Excel.

Type of Education Needed

You can begin working as a research assistant or junior-level analyst with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, economics or stats. However, most jobs require at least a master’s degree, and you’ll need a PhD to lead research studies or work as a professor. At the graduate level, you have many options for specializing your interests. If you want to work in health sciences, you could earn a Master of Science in Public Health with a concentration in Biostatistics, an Master of Science in Statistical analysis or a Master of Science in Mathematics focusing on statistical research. It’s also a good idea to take coursework in related areas; if you want to work for a pharmaceutical company, a basic understanding of health policy and chemistry will make you a stronger candidate.

Job Outlook

The job market has a rapidly expanding need for statisticians. Sports teams, major corporations and biomedical companies all need analysis of the data they’re collecting. With the rise of smart phones, Internet connectivity and big data, trained statisticians are more needed than ever before. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 34% rise in the employment of statisticians by 2024, so you won’t have to worry about finding a job in this market.

Related Resource: What is an Operations Research Analyst?

With the right educational background, you can enjoy an exciting career on the cutting edge of research innovations. Most statisticians love their job because they work in a low-stress environment helping others share their findings with the world. If being a statistician sounds right for you, start looking for a great university program to deliver the education you need.