1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Careers with a degree in Statistics

  1. Dec 2, 2013 #1

    I have a Bachelor of Science in Statistics from a Canadian University (York University). I've been trying to figure out what to do with my degree, but having problems figure it out. I was wondering if someone knows of some possible careers or jobs that require a degree a degree in statistics, or could point me in the right direction.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2013 #2
    One of my acquaintances has gotten a great job with a starting salary in 70k range and a lot of potential for growth straight after a BS in statistics with only a couple of internships. The position is called an analyst, but I am not sure what exactly does she do there.
  4. Dec 3, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    Hi eugenegl. I have a MS in statistics and I work as a biostatistician for a contract company that provides clinical services to the pharmaceutical and biotech sector (a biostatistician is a statistician whose primary responsibility is in the design and analysis of clinical trials or otherwise analyzes data in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, or other related fields).

    As of this moment, there is a great deal of demand for people with an ability to analyze large quantities of data in a variety of different areas -- for example, analysis of market data, analysis of credit risk scores in banks, health care analytics, etc. A degree in statistics can certainly prepare you for careers in these types of jobs. Many of these jobs require at least a Masters degree, but there are entry level positions with a Bachelors as well. I would recommend developing a comfortable understanding of statistical software packages such as SAS or R; I would also recommend getting at least a comfortable knowledge of a programming language.

    Another possibility that you may want to consider is the actuarial field, which many people with an undergraduate degree in statistics pursue.
  5. Dec 3, 2013 #4
    Thanks for the advice StatGuy2000! I've been trying to find entry level positions that require statistics, but haven't been having much luck.

    Would you happen to know what additional courses I would need to take in order to get into actuarial field?

    I do have some experience with SAS and R. I also have a Diploma in Operational Research if that makes a difference.
  6. Dec 3, 2013 #5
    In the US and Canada you become an actuary by taking actuarial exams and getting work experience in the field.

    In Canada the general consensus is that you need several preliminary exams (4 or more) to have a shot at entry level positions. There are a couple of Canadian universities that produce large numbers of actuarial science graduates and the market is pretty saturated. There is also an emphasis on the actuarial science degree in Canada.

    In the US actuaries are less likely to have an actuarial science degree and the entry level market is somewhat less competitive.
  7. Dec 3, 2013 #6
    Would anyone happen to know any statistics related certificates or courses I can take? It's just that another 4 year program isn't possible for me right now.
  8. Dec 4, 2013 #7


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    As for what additional courses you would need to break into the actuarial field, as Locrian stated you would need to pass several actuarial exams. As stated in his post, entry-level positions are fairly saturated right now, but there could be an opening if you passed several exams.

    If you have programming experience, then my suggestion would be to apply to those that involve some form of data analysis. Don't strictly apply for positions labelled "statistics" but just apply to anything that involves data analysis. Banks, insurance companies, hospitals, and health-cared related firms will be the places I would look.

    I would personally suggest that you pursue a MS in statistics, simply because there are more opportunities out there if you do so. Furthermore, most Masters programs in statistics offer a course called Statistical Consulting, in which students are given the opportunity to work clients who approach the Statistics departments' consulting services (most Statistics departments have such services). The experience you gain there counts as work experience and can give you a big leg up when seeking employment opportunities.

    I would also suggest you apply for a NSERC position (equivalent to a REU in the US) to pursue internship opportunities with faculty members. I did this when I was in undergrad and employers really took notice of my internship experience.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook