Want Today’s Hottest Career? Start with a Statistics Course
July 8, 2016
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.
But 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.
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.
This is Statistics’ fifth annual Fall Data Challenge, Get Out the Vote, is right around the corner! You and your classmates will have the opportunity to work in teams to apply your statistical skills to real voter-turnout data and provide insights to inspire more people to vote in the upcoming election. The submission window opens on October 19. With contest submissions opening soon, we want to introduce the real-life statisticians, with experience in election…
The 2020 Fall Data Challenge: Get Out the Vote submission window is almost here! In preparation, you can begin reviewing the dataset with your team now. For this year’s challenge, all submissions must utilize the IPUMS-ASA U.S. Voting Behaviors dataset. This rich dataset includes information about voting behaviors in the U.S. over the past 14 years, including 28 variables…