Statisticians work in virtually every area of industry and government, helping corporations, politicians and bureaucrats interpret data. If you're interested in turning your aptitude for number-crunching into a successful career, statistics might be the right field for you. Read on to find out about the education and training you need for a career in statistics.
Statistics is a branch of mathematics primarily concerned with the analysis of large sets of data. Its objectives are to transform otherwise unwieldy bodies of data into forms that are easy to present and understand, as well as to make predictions from that data using the core principles of mathematics. The American Statistical Association (ASA) indicates that statisticians contribute to important government decisions, such as on social and economic issues (www.amstat.org). They also help investigators and scientists make accurate predictions by ensuring information is valid and precise.
The ASA recommends that undergraduate students planning on a career in statistics major in applied mathematics or another related field. A bachelor's degree with sufficient coursework in statistics and math is generally the minimum requirement for entry-level employment with the federal government; however, upper-level and non-government positions in the field typically require a master's degree in statistics.
A strong background in applicable fields, like biology, economics and computer science, may also increase chances of employment. Some positions, such as in industrial research, entail several years of experience beyond graduate school, while university-level teaching and research positions require a doctoral degree.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), around 30% of statisticians were employed by local, state and federal governments in 2008 (www.bls.gov). The rest typically worked in scientific research, pharmaceuticals and other private sectors. The bureau reported that employment of statisticians was expected to increase 13% from 2008-2018. For statisticians across all industries, the BLS reported an average annual salary of $76,070 in May 2011. The federal executive branch, which had the highest level of statistician employment, offered an average annual salary of $94,420.
Learn More About Statistics
There are a variety of career opportunities for statisticians and a range of education options to prepare for the profession. No matter what your ultimate career goals are, Education-Portal.com provides you with the resources to plan an education and career in statistics.
Education is essential to a career in statistics, and there are several undergraduate and graduate degrees from which to choose. Here are a few articles describing some of the possible degree options for aspiring statisticians.
- Applied Mathematics Degrees by Level
- Statistics Degrees by Level
- Mathematics Degrees by Level
- Master's Degree in Statistics
- Ph.D. in Statistics
After earning an education in statistics, you may qualify for employment in a wide range of government and private sectors. Below are just a few possible career paths to consider.
- Clinical Statistician
- Career Information for Statistics Majors
Distance Learning Options
A great deal of statistics coursework can be completed through distance education. While some online courses don't count as credit towards a degree, they may serve as continuing education for professional statisticians.
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