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A statistician will always have a job?

  1. May 20, 2012 #1
    "A statistician will always have a job?"

    I attended a college fair, where one would meet the department chair of each program, and inquire about one's interests.

    I, obviously, was talking to the mathematics department chair, about job prospects, opportunities, and potentiality with the different concentrations offered, for the mathematics major. I asked about job safety for statisticians, or something along that idea, and I remember his verbatim being, "As a statistician, you'll always have a job."

    Is that true? Was he generalizing?

    I find the profession really appealing, too, because I would be able to learn about so many different subjects, while I do the job, and I'm one of the vary largely minded people, of whom is interested in a multiple of different subjects. I also enjoy abstract mathematics and some philosophies behind the mathematics of probabilities; great mind-masturbation.

    I'm still a high school senior, so I have loads of time to make my mind up, by the way.

    What do you all think?
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2012 #2
    Re: "A statistician will always have a job?"

    Insurance companies and the government employ a lot of statisticians. Whereas if you specialize in, say, abstract algebra, your job prospects are limited to being a professor. I think that's what he meant.
  4. May 20, 2012 #3
    Re: "A statistician will always have a job?"

    Someone who specializes in abstract algebra would likely want to be a professor, but there a few more options. Microsoft employs a great number of pure mathematicians who's job it is to research anything even remotely related to computability theory, complexity theory, algorithms, etc. The CIA, of course, would be more than happy to pay you to research algebraic number theory.
  5. May 20, 2012 #4
    Re: "A statistician will always have a job?"

    True. According to the U.S. Department of Labour, 1/3 of statisticians are employed by the government.

    I'd agree with you, on the marketableness of taking on abstract algebra. You'll gain plenty of applicable universal skills, but not attain instant applicableness to direct empirical topics; as to a course of partial differential equations, for engineering, so to say.
  6. May 20, 2012 #5
    Re: "A statistician will always have a job?"

    [Lulz] Which reminds me that I'm also interested in cryptography, but it's not for sure. I haven't even taken calculus three, yet. So, I feel like I can't really speak for how great the upper-division mathematics classes are, or mathematical probability.

    Lot's of "ifs" ar'implied there.
  7. May 21, 2012 #6


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    Gold Member

    Re: "A statistician will always have a job?"

    As a statistician, you'll be able to calculate how accurate the math chair's statement was.

    I worked for a large paper company that employed many statisticians. The only problem I see about the field is the jobs are not evenly distributed geographically - you may have to move.
  8. May 30, 2012 #7


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    Education Advisor

    Re: "A statistician will always have a job?"

    From what I understand, statisticians are in considerable demand, in both the US and Canada. The caveat here is that the availability of jobs will depend on the specific specialization or application of statistics.

    For example, if you are a biostatistician, the jobs will tend to be clustered in areas where there are a large number of pharmaceutical/biotechnology firms or clinical research organizations (CROs for short -- essentially contract companies). In the US that would be the West Coast, the Northeast (in particular New Jersey, the Greater Philadelphia area in Pennsylvania, and the Boston corridor in Massachussetts), the Greater DC area (this would include parts of Maryland and northern Virginia) and the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina (where GSK is based). If you choose to work for a large teaching hospital, then the job availability will expand to college towns or larger cities as well.

    Another example will be if you are a statistician speciailizing in finance. Then most jobs in the US will tend to be clustered around NYC. I'm not sure if analytics/data mining firms are clustered in specific locations in the US, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are.
  9. May 31, 2012 #8
    Re: "A statistician will always have a job?"

    So, the type of profession which I choose to apply my expertise in also has a lot do with whole thing, eh?

    Would any of you know about job opportunities across the Americas? I'd actually be quite fine with moving across the Americas, for a job in statistics. I'm fluent in all of the elite languages, of the Americas; which is why I ask...

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