How To Become A Statistician

statisticians apply various mathematical techniques in order to interpret and analyze data. they then draw conclusions based on their findings. their work is valuable for making many economic, social, political, and military decisions.  their duties usually include the following:

  • designing surveys or experiments to collect data and determining questions to be addressed
  • deciding what data is required to find out the solutions
  • determining data collection methods
  • using specialized statistical software to analyze and interpret data
  • explaining limitations of data to prevent wrong conclusions from being drawn
  • reporting conclusions from analysis to explain findings and the data's limitations
  • creating new statistical software to increase accuracy of statistical analysis

how to become a statistician
in order to pursue an entry level job as a statistician, a bachelor's degree may be required. however, to have better career prospects, candidates usually enter the profession after acquiring a master's degree.  candidates may pursue a master's degree in applied statistics, mathematics, or survey methodology.

master's degree in statistics program
a typical master's degree program in applied statistics provides broad knowledge in statistical application areas and employable statistical skills. it enables candidates to use industry-standard data analysis software which develops proficiency in data analysis. the degree may be completed in two to five years, but the range may vary depending on the student and program. the program usually covers the following statistical areas:

  • statistical consulting
  • data mining
  • predictive analytics
  • bio statistical techniques

the prerequisites for the program usually require the student to have a bachelor's degree; however, a bachelor's degree in statistics may not be required, but sufficient math training may be needed. the math prerequisite may include a three-course calculus sequence, and knowledge of matrix and linear algebra.  

the curriculum usually constitutes of about 30 credit hours of coursework, with 15 credit hours in required courses and 15 credit hours in electives. the required courses may include courses similar to the following:

  • introduction to probability theory
  • introduction to mathematical statistics
  • analysis of variance
  • design of experiments
  • regression methods
  • statistical consulting practicum

please note that the above mentioned curriculum is typical for many programs, but may vary depending on the institute and program. after completing educational requirements, graduates may apply for specific jobs as statisticians. they may be tested on statistics knowledge in their job interviews, or may also be required to take an exam as part of the recruitment process.  

in order to help become a successful statistician, individuals may also need some important qualities in addition to technical statistical knowledge. they may need critical thinking and problem solving skills in order to approach problems and resolve them effectively. in addition to that, statisticians may also need writing and speaking skills to communicate technical matters effectively.

career outlook
statisticians may choose to work in a variety of fields, such as education, health, government, manufacturing, and psychology. the median annual wage of statisticians was $72,830 in may 2010, according to the u.s. bureau of labor statistics (bls). also, according to bls, the employment of statisticians is expected to rise by 14% from 2010 to 2020.


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