Understanding the High Demand for Statisticians Across Industries

By SMU Graduate Studies on July 19, 2018


Developing new drugs in the pharmaceutical industry, analyzing data in court cases, contributing to federal policy making, consulting on complex engineering projects — did you know that each of these careers is a possibility for a talented statistician?

Read on to learn more about this field, the issue of data-driven businesses, and how obtaining a graduate degree in statistics can equip you for a job in nearly any industry.

Why is now a great time to pursue a career in statistics?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of statisticians and mathematicians is projected to grow 33% from 2016 to 2026: much higher than the projected growth rate for all occupations. Furthermore, the median annual pay for statisticians in some industries is close to six figures.

At the same time, there is a general lack of qualified candidates to fill these positions. Many of the most in-demand jobs require an advanced degree, meaning that those who possess a Ph.D. in statistical science are extremely valuable to employers.

What does the increasingly prevalent trend of data-driven businesses mean for statisticians?

You may have heard that many businesses and organizations are aiming to become more data-driven. In recent years, the amount of data available has been increasing exponentially, due to factors such as massive technological advances and increased internet usage.

Knowledge of statistics — the science of collecting, analyzing and interpreting data — is more valuable than ever in today’s data-driven age. If a business has the ability to collect and analyze these huge amounts of data, it can better make informed decisions to achieve its goals. For those considering a career in statistics, it’s clear that this influx of data is an amazing opportunity. Statisticians are becoming increasingly valuable because they are the ones who are able to interpret this available data.

In which industries are statisticians most often employed?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers of statisticians range from the federal government, the insurance and healthcare industries, and colleges and universities. Statisticians are also likely to find employment in research and development. The need for statisticians in such a wide variety of industries means that you will be able to combine your other talents with your statistical skills to achieve a rewarding and interesting career!

A day in the life: What does a career as a statistician entail?

Your daily tasks in the office may vary substantially depending on the field that you decide to work in. In the manufacturing industry, for example, statisticians are instrumental in creating statistical models for quality control. Additionally, they assist in building products that will satisfy customers while increasing company profit. If you choose to pursue a career in the field of education, however, you may help evaluate the effectiveness of teachers and curricula, as well as developing statistical models that can ultimately help improve the quality of the education system. If you’re passionate about politics, you can easily find employment as a government researcher, where you could have the opportunity to use statistical methods with the aim of policy-making, decision-making, and assisting in government regulation.

Across industries, however, statisticians with strong analytical and communications skills are in high demand: Employers want you to have the ability to explain complex statistical concepts clearly to those who may have less experience in your field.

In sum, studying statistical science can help you achieve a rewarding and dynamic career! If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating field, check out the graduate programs available at SMU.

Learn how to pursue your future career as a statistician by exploring SMU's Ph.D. in Statistical Science.

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