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Do statisticians actually have a decent job prospects?

  1. Nov 8, 2012 #1


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    Despite I have been told that there are plenty of jobs for statisticians, it seems like there aren't that many jobs on indeed or other websties as I thought, or at least that of software-related jobs. It also seems like there are way more quantitative analyst jobs than statistics jobs. Although statisticians are set to get those quant jobs, if the job market for quantitative analyst is large, I would rather study pure mathematics or theoretical physics, which I enjoy more. I would love to work in finance.

    So my question is, do statisticians have about as the same job prospects as that of pure mathematicians or theoretical physicists? (or at least in terms of finace of which the industry is large)
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2012 #2
    In my opinion, one advantage of a degree in statistics is its flexibility. You can work in a lot of jobs that don’t have the word “statistician”. However, I’ve come to that conclusion second hand – my degree is in physics. Hopefully Statguy2000 or others who work in the field will also answer.

    I can tell you that actuaries in the US tend to have either a math or stats degree.
  4. Nov 9, 2012 #3


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    To the OP:

    I'm not sure which websites you have been looking into, but from glancing through several job boards, there are many jobs involving statistics in one way or another. The thing that you need to keep in mind is many of these jobs have a job title other than "statistician". These may include job titles such as "quantitative analyst", "data analyst", "data mining analyst", "biostatistician", "biometrician", "statistical analyst", "analytics consultant", etc., depending on the specific field you are focusing.

    If your interest is in finance, then having a graduate background in statistics should open doors for you, so long as you have a solid programming experience in SAS or R, and possibly SQL or MATLAB.

    My suggestion for searching for these jobs would be to join LinkedIn and in their job search function, just type "statistics" as a keyword and check out all jobs that pop up, or do a similar search on other job websites such as Monster or the ASA website (http://www.amstat.org) and check out their career links.
  5. Nov 9, 2012 #4


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    Hey set.

    Another thing is that when you deal with really small industries then getting jobs through existing networks rather than through application processes becomes the norm rather than the exception.

    So in terms of statistical work, you may want to consider sourcing those networks especially for some statistical jobs since if the field is small enough, then chances are that lots of people will know everybody else and this affects the dynamics of the relationships between the people and eventually, how people get jobs in that field.
  6. Jan 2, 2013 #5
    In case it helps anyone coming across this thread, let me add my experience.

    I recently looked for work having a MS in Statistics and a MS in Financial Mathematics (both near completion but not completed at the time). I got several interviews and some offers, one of which I took. Most employers and recruiters, including those in the financial sector, were more interested in my Stats degree.

    I did well with employers in Finance in general, though I didn't interview with any derivatives type positions (often what is mean by 'quant analyst') and I believe those positions have be shrinking rapidly in the last three or four years.

    Just from what I saw, a Stat degree seemed a lot more useful in finding work than a Math degree although that was my experience and I have no idea if it was representative (and also I enjoy Math a great deal; this isn't a value statement).

    From searching I came across a lot of resources for looking for jobs in Stats, including recruitment agencies dedicated to look for statisticians and statistical analysts (i.e. a junior statistician). One place to start is this website, which is good for stats people who program and CS people, especially machine learning types:

  7. Jan 2, 2013 #6
    What if you have a Masters in math with a concentration in statistics. That's what my degree will be.. i will have ~8 or 9 statistics courses and 4-5 math classes. Would i say on my resume that i have the equivalent of a statistics degree?
  8. Jan 2, 2013 #7
    Math or physics people work as statisticians. I don't know how hard it is to break in without a statistics degree, but it's not uncommon for me to find out that one of my colleagues works as a statistician but does not actually have a degree in statistics.

    For your case specifically, I don't really know if a concentration in Statistics on a Math degree would be viewed differently than a Stats degree. Sorry.
  9. Jan 2, 2013 #8
    If you want a job call yourself a data scientist.


    The advantage of doing this is you really need a science degree to call yourself a data scientist - that leaves out many with IT degrees.
  10. Jan 4, 2013 #9


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    In your resume you should state that you have a Masters in math with a concentration in statistics. This will likely be viewed as an equivalent to a statistics Masters degree.

    If you are at all concerned, I would also emphasize what experience (if any) you have working in statistics or data analysis, or lacking that, indicate what statistics course work you may have completed that may be relevant to your work.
  11. Jan 4, 2013 #10
    Are you sure?
  12. Jan 5, 2013 #11
    "Do statisticians actually have a decent job prospects?"
    Possibly or possibly not, in inverse ratio to each other. Sorry
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