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 Careers in Statistics
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Updated 7/8/2010

We live in a data-driven world. Almost all of us deposit data, usually unaware, into some database on a daily basis. Across all industries, organizations, and disciplines the reliance on data is ever-increasing creating many opportunities for the statistical professional to contribute. These disciplines will depend on the statistical professional for statistical thinking and reasoning to translate data into actionable decisions. According to the American Statistical Association, With the growth in the use of data comes a growing demand for the services of statisticians, who are experts in the following: producing trustworthy data, analyzing data to make their meaning clear, and drawing practical conclusions from data. Hal Varian, chief economist at Google put it in these terms, I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians, and Im not kidding.

The Statistics profession embraces several areas. Quite often a person interested in some area of study and who is good with numbers may gravitate toward a statistical career while still remaining in that area. Such areas include

  • Health and Medicine (Examples: genetics, epidemiology, clinical trials, and pharmacology)
  • Business (Examples: economics, engineering, quality, marketing)
  • Physical Sciences (Examples: astronomy, chemistry, physics)
  • Government (Examples: census, law, national defense)
  • Environment (Examples: agriculture, ecology, forestry, animal population)
  • The American Statistical Association has excellent resources on statistical careers. Information on the profession, statistician roles in various areas, salaries, and a Career Kit may be obtained from http://www.amstat.org/careers/otherresources.cfm.

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