We live in the information age, where much of the information is determined mathematically with the help of statistics. Statisticians are professionals who use statistical methods to gather, interpret and analyze data to solve real-world problems. They have always played an important role in research and scientific studies. Recently, however, there has been a huge demand for statisticians in businesses worldwide because as data availability increases, there is a greater need for experts to make data-driven decision-making.
If you’re looking for a career path with great potential for growth, decent salary, low stress at work, and a healthy work-life balance – a statistician job is your best fit. To get into this career, it is important to know how to become a statistician, the responsibilities of a statistician, statistician skills, as well as alternate career paths for professionals looking to work with data. Check out our guide to find out what it takes.
Who Is a Statistician?
A statistician is a professional who works in the field of applied statistics to solve real-world business problems. They collect accurate data, process the raw data, and then analyze data sets with specialized software to help in critical business decision-making. Statisticians are much sought after as employees across various industries, including business, health and medicine, government, physical sciences, and environmental sciences.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the overall employment growth rate for statisticians and mathematicians to increase by 30% from 2018 to 2028 – a growth-rate jump nearly 5 times that of other professions. This projected growth rate is largely due to the proliferation of data generation and collection from an increasing number of sources in all industries. As data availability increases, organizations are looking to hire more statisticians to interpret what the data means.
How to Become a Statistician?
To become a statistician, candidates must have:
- A bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in an applicable subject like statistics, mathematics, computer science, economics
- Relevant experience. Many hiring organizations prefer a candidate with some hands-on experience.
- Professional certifications to prove your skills
The Required Skills for a Statistician
Statisticians need to possess a unique combination of technical, analytical, and leadership skills. Major statistician skills to develop are predictive modeling, data mining, probability factors to predict outcomes, and parametric estimation. To be successful in the field, you need to develop a sound understanding of various other estimation methods and learn how to apply your statistical knowledge to a wide range of applications.
Key Technical skills that statisticians should possess are:
- Strong mathematical abilities, including linear algebra, calculus, probability
- Expertise in applied and theoretical statistics
- Excellent computer skills
- Machine Learning skills
- Proficiency in computer languages like R, SAS, C, C++, Python, Java, etc.
- Knowledge of cloud computing, data mining, visualization, and cleaning
Soft statistician skills include:
- Ability to communicate findings to others with non-statistical background
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
- Industry knowledge
- Ability to work in a team
- Collaborative skills
- Leadership skills
- Decent speaking and writing skills
- Critical thinking skills
Education for Statisticians: What You Need to Study?
Educational qualifications for aspiring statisticians include a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a recognized university with a good foundation in either mathematics, statistics, computer science, economics, econometrics, or material sciences.
However, candidates must exhibit proficiency in both statistical analysis and other subject domains like economics, econometrics, computer, material science, or biology to enjoy a distinct competitive advantage while seeking top statistician jobs.
Top Roles and Responsibilities of a Statistician
The specific roles and responsibilities of a statistician depend on and vary according to the industry and organization they work in. Statistician roles in the private sector involve interpreting data in ways that can impact organizational and business strategies. For example, by understanding changes in consumer behavior and market trends. In the public sector, on the other hand, statisticians often collect and analyze environmental, demographic, and health data focusing on furthering benefits to the public.
Irrespective of the sector they are working in, statisticians are required to perform some common tasks regularly, including:
- Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data
- Identifying trends and inter-relations in data
- Designing data collection tools
- Communicating findings to stakeholders
- Shaping Organizational and Business Strategy
- Helping in Decision Making
Career Path: Professions Similar to Statisticians
Are you someone who enjoys working with data and possess most statistician skills but doesn’t really want to become a statistician? Well, there are alternative career paths that you can choose, which will still allow you to utilize your skills and passions. Two most popular career paths that are similar to statisticians include becoming a Data Analyst or becoming a Data Scientist. The earning potential for all these roles is promising.
Let us delve deep into a comparison between the different career roles:
Statistics vs. Data Analytics
Like statisticians, Data Analysts extract data to summarize and communicate data-driven insights that help to make better-informed business decisions. Nearly all industries need skilled data analysts, but the ones with the highest demand for this job role tend to be sales, marketing, healthcare, and the various sciences.
Major differences between the Data Analyst and Statistician jobs are:
- Statisticians focus on the mathematical and computational aspects of data, while data analysts focus on cleaning, formatting, and integrating data to extract information from it.
- Statisticians must have the ability to solve complex mathematical equations, while analysts need to be proficient in using complex software to extract meaningful insights from data.
- While statistics lets your test data to infer what is beyond it, analytics help form hypotheses by quickly exploring the messy datasets.
Statistics vs. Data Science
The fields of Data Science and statistics are quite similar; hence a role in Data Science can be a possible alternative to a career in Statistics. Both focus on data extraction to analyze and solve real-world problems, but while statisticians use mathematical analysis to do that, data scientists take a multi-disciplinary approach, focusing more on computational techniques to make decisions. Since data scientists use statistical analysis, professionals with having a background in statistics can pursue a career in data science.
Difference between Data Science and Statistics
- Data Scientists design processes for data modeling; so, they are more focused on machine learning and computer science than statisticians.
- Data scientists are involved in designing data systems, while statisticians focus on mathematical equations and models that they need for analysis.
- Advanced coding skills are essential for a data scientist job.
Industry for Statistician
Statisticians are in high demand in today’s global job market as organizations have realized the value of data-driven decision-making. Statisticians are required to help design and manufacture products, deliver services for customer satisfaction, product quality control and quality assurance, sales data analyzing, software design and development, drug development, disease prevention, develop statistical models for education, government regulations, survey methods, etc.
Statistics professionals can find employment in sectors like:
- Business and Industry – Manufacturing, Marketing, Engineering, Statistical Computing
- Health and Medicine - Public Health, Pharmacology, Genetics, Epidemiology
- Learning – Education, Science Writing and Journalism
- Research – Government and Survey Methods
- Social Sciences – Consulting and Law
- Natural Resources – Agriculture, Ecology
Pay Scale for Statistician (US, India, and UK)
What Are the Pros of Becoming a Statistician?
Some of the best things about being a statistician are:
- High salary
- Can work indoors, with almost no fieldwork
- Can develop great analytical skills
- Great job security
- Technical advancement can result in increased efficiency
- Can translate boring numbers into interesting stories
- Decent future job prospects
- Low-stress job
- Varied areas of focus, hence more scope
- Can afford paid holidays, health insurance, and retirement contributions
- Can work for multiple organizations
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If you’re considering how to become a statistician, it’s important that you choose the certification that will best prepare you with top statistician skills. Consider Simplilearn’s Data Analytics for Beginners’ Course for a successful career in statistics or data analytics. On the other hand, if you want to pursue a data science career, consider getting hands-on learning and skills with Data Mining and Statistics program or our top machine learning tutorial.