Want Today’s Hottest Career? Start with a Statistics Course

Statistics is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. and a top job for Millennials.  Students are catching on to its appeal – more are graduating with degrees in statistics, and taking AP statistics in high school.

Mean Annual SalariesBut what exactly is statistics and what do statisticians do? Statistics is the science of learning from data, and of measuring, controlling and communicating uncertainty. That translates into a lot of interesting jobs, from finding better medical treatments and understanding the impact of climate change on ecosystems to selling and delivering goods to consumers more efficiently and improving the performance of professional sports teams. Statisticians work in numerous fields —that’s part of what makes the profession so desirable.

What Education Do Statisticians Need?

The degree and level of education a statistician needs varies widely depending on the individual, the sector and the job. A statistics degree is the most obvious path, but there are other paths, such as pursuing a degree in a different discipline and complementing it with many statistics courses.

For example, Shannon Cebron, a data scientist at a software company, has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in applied math and statistics. But Cassie DeWitt, an urban data scientist at the Detroit Fire Department, has an urban planning master’s degree with advanced coursework in statistics. Olivia Angiuli, a data scientist at the popular website Quora, has a bachelor’s degree in statistics.

Statistics jobs in research or academic institutions typically require a PhD. Professors Genevera Allen of Rice University and Roger Peng of Johns Hopkins University both earned PhDs in statistics.

More and more jobs today also require or benefit from knowledge of statistics, leading data-savvy graduates like Jeremy Singer-Vine to newly created positions such as data editor of Buzzfeed. Increasingly, professionals in marketing, finance and other parts of business also need to be statistically literate.

High school students interested in becoming a statistician should take courses in statistics, computer science, mathematics and science. English is also important, as statisticians often are required to communicate their results to decision makers without a math or science background, such as policymakers and business executives.

What does all this tell us? Students have a lot of choices in carving out an educational path for a career in statistics or a Big Data job. What’s most important now is taking that first step to enroll in a course.

Interested in seeing what other statisticians and data scientists are doing? Read more profiles of statisticians and data scientists, and some of the cool jobs they do.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Related Posts

Couple_240x180

Mathematics & Statistics Awareness Month: Careers in Statistics

One of the coolest thing about statistics is the breadth and diversity of the career opportunities available to a professional with this skill set. From politics to animal care to clinical trials for pharmaceuticals, statistics has a place in essentially every career sector. As we celebrate Mathematics & Statistics Awareness Month, we’re sharing insights from…

0 comments
Environment_240x180

Going Greener with Statistics: National Environmental Education Week

From April 23 to 29, it’s National Environmental Education Week (NEEW)! The National Environmental Education Foundation, the organization behind NEEW, as well as other environmental organizations, are harnessing the power of big data analysis to measure climate change and other weather related events. Even better, the insights they glean are helping to find ways to…

0 comments

Comments are closed.