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How to Become a Statistician

Statistics play a vital role in research and academics. Data has become essential to many industries in decision-making. Here is where statisticians are important as they are involved in collecting, interpreting, and analyzing data. This has pushed up the demand for them, making it a career consideration for many.

If you like math as well as analyzing numbers and their significance, this could be the job for you. This article will guide you on how to become a statistician, including academic requirements and skills, and also provide information on salary and job prospects. Keep reading to find out more about this career.

What Is a Statistician?

A statistician is a professional who uses statistical methods and models to solve real-world problems. They use mathematical techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data to make decisions that help businesses grow. 

Statisticians work in a variety of industries. Due to the importance of data-driven decisions essential, you can find these professionals anywhere, from private businesses to government agencies and non-profit organizations. They report on the data collected and provide advice on best strategies based on their findings.

Statistician Job Description

A statistician’s job involves data gathering via surveys, opinion polls, and questionnaires. The information collected is then analyzed using mathematical and statistical methods to come up with their findings. The results are reported to their superiors who make decisions for the benefit of the business. 

Statisticians also study patterns and trends and meet with the management of the company to determine the best way to gather and use the information. Statisticians need to pay attention to details, have analytical skills, and understand abstract concepts. This job requires little to no client interaction, which is why we consider it one of the best non-customer-facing jobs.

Statistician Salary and Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for statisticians is $92,270. The career has a positive job outlook, given that the overall employment for statisticians is expected to grow by 33 percent from 2020 to 2030. This is higher than the average for many occupations because of the continuing increase in the use of digital and electronic data, which raises the demand for statisticians.

Top Reasons to Become a Statistician in 2021

There are many reasons why you should consider a career in statistics, from the wide range of professional development opportunities these professionals enjoy to the ability to work in a variety of fields. Here we take a closer look at the main perks of this occupation. 

  • High demand. There is a high demand for statisticians as they are vital to the growth of businesses. These professionals play a key role in helping businesses improve their operations.
  • Good compensation. With a median salary of $92,270, statisticians earn significantly more than most other occupations.
  • Access to many career options. These professionals have very valuable skills that can be transferred to a slew of other professions. We consider some of these alternative career tracks below.
  • Opportunities across many industries. Statisticians are highly valued and can work in many sectors, from the federal government to private businesses and nonprofits.

Statistician Job Requirements

Most statistician positions require a master’s degree. However, for entry-level jobs, a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, Economics, Computer Science, Actuarial Science, or any related field may suffice. Statisticians also need to have analytical and problem-solving abilities as well as strong communication skills. 

  • College degree. An entry-level position as a statistician normally requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. For other jobs in the field, you would need a master’s degree.
  • Mathematics skills. A good statistician must have a strong background in mathematics. You will need a good understanding of calculus, mathematical theories, probability, linear algebra, and statistical theory.
  • Analytical abilities. Statisticians need to be able to gather, analyze, and interpret data accurately.
  • Work experience. Many companies look for candidates with at least one year of experience on the job. If you are a recent graduate, you can gain experience through internships or apprenticeships.

Types of Statistician Careers

Statisticians can work in various fields and access different career opportunities. They can be business analysts, risk analysts, quality analysts, software engineers, or researchers. These jobs could be in a plethora of sectors, including business, finance, healthcare, development, market research, and government.

Business Analyst

Business analysts are in charge of conducting market analyses, analyzing product lines, and determining the overall profitability of the company. They are responsible for developing and monitoring data quality metrics, as well as ensuring that business data and reporting requirements are met. 

Software Engineer

Software engineers design, develop, and test software applications for computers. Software engineers normally specialize and focus on areas like web applications, databases, and operating systems. To become a software engineer, you need a firm grasp of engineering, mathematics, and computer science principles.

Quality Assurance Analyst

A quality assurance analyst generates a strategic plan to improve the business processes and increase production output. They create documentation that reports issues and errors relating to the production process. To become a quality assurance analyst, you’ll need experience creating automated tests and discovering bugs.

Statistician Meaning: What Does a Statistician Do?

The tasks that statisticians are expected to do vary depending on the industry they work in. Some of the most common responsibilities associated with these professionals include interpreting data to inform business strategies, identifying trends in that data, and advising management based on their findings.

Collect, Analyze, and Interpret Data

Statisticians use a wide variety of collection tools and techniques to gather pertinent data. They then proceed to examine and interpret that information to find valuable insights. Based on the findings of these professionals, companies are able to make decisions that improve their operations.

Identify Trends and Relationships in Data

Analyzing and interpreting data is not enough. Another key aspect of the job is delving deeper into the data to find trends and relationships that can be of use to management and executives. The trends and relationships unveiled by these professionals can give the company an edge over the competition.

Assist in Decision Making

After collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data and identifying trends and relationships, statisticians help in making decisions. They report to the management of the company and assist its decision-making based on the information gathered.

Essential Statistician Skills

Statisticians are tasked with complex responsibilities that require a good mix of hard and soft skills, including analytical, problem-solving, and leadership abilities. We take a closer look at the main competencies for these professionals below.

Analytical Skills

Statisticians must have an analytical mindset that allows them to detect patterns and anomalies in data and draw conclusions. They also employ these analytical skills to find the best software and tools for their purposes.

Communication Skills

The job of a statistician is not limited to numbers and charts. An equally important part of the job is being able to communicate their findings, verbally or via the written word, to the decision-makers. This means they need to be able to write good reports and deliver effective presentations.

Problem Solving Skills

The primary responsibilities of these professionals is to collect, analyze, and interpret data. They must identify problems, examine and describe them, and look for their root causes. The goal is to develop and implement solutions to those problems.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Statistician?

The most common path to becoming a professional statistician, securing a bachelor’s degree, takes four years. However, many statistician roles in the job market also require an advanced degree. There are other, shorter avenues for acquiring statistician skills, such as taking online courses or attending a coding bootcamp, but many employers will not accept candidates with this type of background. 

In addition, most statistician positions require a minimum of one year of job experience. This means if you are a recent graduate you may have to apply for internships after your degree or bootcamp to gain the experience necessary to land good jobs.

Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Become a Statistician?

A coding bootcamp can help you become a statistician if you enroll in the right program. Coding bootcamps offer short programs to prepare you for a career in tech. It takes about three months to nine months to complete a coding bootcamp. The best coding bootcamps pride themselves on offering strong career services to thoroughly prepare students for a successful professional life. 

Coding bootcamps like CareerFoundry, Lambda School, and BrainStation offer programs that can train you for a career in statistics or enhance your skills if you are already working in the industry. These bootcamps have courses on algorithms, artificial intelligence, and computer science fundamentals that are ideal to learn what you need for an entry-level role or supplement the knowledge acquired as part of a college degree.

Can I Become a Statistician from Home?

It is possible to become a statistician from home by enrolling in an online bootcamp or online classes. If you choose this route, however, we advise you to pursue certification as a way to strengthen your candidacy for a statistician role. Also, many universities nowadays offer online degrees in mathematics, economics, computer science, and related fields.

How to Become a Statistician: A Step-by-Step Guide

The role of a statistician is a complex one that requires in-depth knowledge in an array of highly technical subjects. Aside from a technical background, you need strong interpersonal and technical skills. Acquiring this expertise and abilities is not easy. To help you out, below we go over one of the most common paths to becoming a statistician.

Step 1: Get an Education

The best way to start a career as a statistician is to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, or other physical sciences. This means you’ll have to take AP or other advanced math classes in high school to have a solid grasp of important mathematical concepts. 

Step 2: Apply for an Internship 

Most employers prefer to hire people with job experience as statisticians. As such, after your degree we recommend that you apply to companies to become an intern. An internship will help you learn on the job, earning you some much-needed real-life job experience.

Step 3: Earn a Master’s Degree

While a bachelor’s degree is good for entry-level positions, you will need more than that for job growth as time goes by. Earning a master’s degree improves your chances in the job market and makes you more hireable by potential employers. Some students even go on to pursuing a doctoral degree.

Step 4: Earn Professional Certification

Professional certification shows the employer that you have attained a very high level of expertise in certain skills, techniques, or tools. While certification is not generally necessary for most roles, it does boost your employability and give you a competitive edge in the job market.

Best Schools and Education for a Statistician Career

There are different educational paths to becoming a statistician but hiring managers prefer to go with individuals with a relevant degree. A college degree is the best way to show you have the level of education required for the job. However, a degree is not the only option available. Below we take a close look at some other education alternatives.

Statistician Bootcamps

There are no bootcamps that focus solely on statistics. However, many bootcamp providers offer courses that tackle important statistics concepts and that train you for a career in the field. Coding bootcamps like CareerFoundry, BrainStation, Lambda School, and CodingNomads offer programs that focus on statistical models and that cover subjects like algebra, artificial intelligence, and computer science.

Vocational School

Vocational schools, also called technical schools, are institutions that provide hands-on training for trade occupations. As such, finding a program that provides statistical training might be difficult. You are better off looking for programs at coding bootcamps, community colleges, or universities.

Community College

Community colleges are post-secondary education institutions that offer two-year degrees, known as associate degrees, as well as certificate programs. You can find a suitable math or statistics program at a community college to get you started in the statistics field. This would be a much cheaper alternative than a university degree. In addition, if you want to continue your education, the credits you earn would count toward a bachelor’s degree.

Statistician Degrees

Most statistician roles advertised call for candidates with at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics, Mathematics, Engineering, Economics, or Computer Science. To ensure you have access to well-paid roles with a good employer, you should also look into attaining an advanced degree.

The Most Important Statistician Certifications

Earning a certificate from a reputable institution is an excellent way of proving you have in-depth knowledge and skills in specifics areas of your work. Next, we examine three certificates that are highly valued by employers and that will give you a competitive advantage in the job market.

Basic Statistics by the University of Amsterdam

You can find this introductory course on Coursera. This is a good credential for beginners and can be a stepping stone to a career in the industry. You will learn basic concepts in statistics via video lectures, hands-on exercises, and graded assignments. Students will get a certificate of completion.

Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics by Michigan Tech

This certificate offered by Michigan Technological University is for professionals who want to enhance their skills. It can also be a great way to prepare for a graduate degree. You’ll learn to apply your statistical abilities to other industries, including forestry, psychology, and social sciences.

Graduate Certificate Program in Statistical Methods by Oakland University

This certificate awarded by Oakland University is for students who already have an undergraduate degree or foundation in statistics. Securing this degree will prove your knowledge of modern statistical methods as well as your skill in handling data analysis in various fields.

How to Prepare for Your Statistician Job Interview

To ace your interview as a statistician, you should do some preparation. It is important to research the employer and find out about its history, company culture, and what it is looking for in an experienced statistician. You should also practice common questions for this type of interview. These are some questions you might encounter during a statistician job interview.

  • Why did you apply for this role?
  • What do you want to achieve in this role in our company?
  • Have you made a wrong analysis before? Why did it happen? How did you resolve it?
  • What would you say are your weakness as a statistician?
  • Have you ever conducted an analysis and completed a project using unconventional methods? What was the outcome?

Should I Become a Statistician in 2021?   

Yes, you should. If your interest is in mathematics, abstract algebra, and other statistical methods, you’ll find this job a good fit for you. A career as a statistician is a wise choice because the demand for these professionals is growing. Not only that, but this job comes with high compensation and plenty of alternative career tracks to explore.


Can You Become a Statistician Without a Degree?
You’ll find it hard to become a statistician without a degree. Although you can learn the basics of this discipline by attending a coding bootcamp, most employers prefer candidates that have attended degree programs.
Is It Hard to Become a Statistician?
It is not hard to become a statistician if you plan well. It is a career that is best suited for those with a background in statistics or mathematics. As long as you obtain the right education and build up your skills, you should not have much of a problem finding employment as a statistician.
What Do Statisticians Do?
Statisticians gather, analyze and interpret data to come up with solutions that improve business performance. These experts can work in various sectors, including technology, healthcare, finance, and pharmaceutical companies or they may be employed by the federal government.
Is Statistics a Good Career?
Yes, it is. Data analysis is a very valuable skill. In fact, the job outlook for this profession is projected to grow by 33 percent in the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not only that, but these professionals enjoy salaries well above the national average.
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