Ev­ery­thing you need to know about a ca­reer in sta­tis­tics

Sunday Express - - CAREERS -

IN­TER­ESTED in Sta­tis­tics jobs? A ca­reer op­tion that opens up var­i­ous ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties in a va­ri­ety of in­dus­tries — from govern­ment jobs at in­sti­tu­tions like Sta­tis­tics South Africa, to jobs within mar­ket re­search and med­i­cal re­search — you are sure to find an op­tion and ca­reer spe­cial­i­sa­tion that tick­les your in­ter­ests and pro­vides a ful­fill­ing, fun and in­ter­est­ing ca­reer in data. What do sta­tis­tics jobs en­tail? A statis­ti­cian is re­spon­si­ble for plan­ning, col­lect­ing, pro­cesses and analysing in­for­ma­tion and data in or­der to make an in­formed de­ci­sion. The work of pro­fes­sion­als in this field of study can fall into two main cat­e­gories — Re­search and Ap­plied Sta­tis­tics.

Statis­ti­cians are in­volved in pro­duc­ing re­li­able data, the analy­ses of data in or­der to form a clear mean­ing, and draw­ing prac­ti­cal con­clu­sions from the data and in­for­ma­tion at hand.

The data col­lected by pro­fes­sion­als in th­ese ca­reers are more than just num­bers on a page. Th­ese num­bers have mean­ing in a spe­cific con­text. Statis­ti­cians are able to in­ter­pret th­ese mean­ings — a valu­able skill in in­dus­tries rang­ing from fi­nance to mar­ket­ing.

Sta­tis­tics jobs are present in a num­ber of in­dus­tries and, de­pend­ing on your field of spe­cial­i­sa­tion, your work en­vi­ron­ment will vary.

Pro­fes­sion­als within the med­i­cal in­dus­try for ex­am­ple will work with med­i­cal teams in or­der to both de­sign ex­per­i­ments as well as in­ter­pret the data gath­ered from th­ese ex­per­i­ments.

Within mar­ket re­search, pro­fes­sion­als within this field of study will be re­spon­si­ble for de­sign­ing sur­veys and mak­ing sure that the data gath­ered from th­ese sur­veys are valu­able to the sec­tors they serve.

When it comes to em­ploy­ment within the gov- ern­ment, Sta­tis­tics jobs in South Africa in­cludes the gath­er­ing of valu­able data on is­sues (such as crime and em­ploy­ment) which, in turn, can be used as guides for set­ting up new poli­cies for ex­am­ple. A great ex­am­ple of th­ese kind of op­por­tu­ni­ties in South Africa are the dif­fer­ent kinds of Stats SA va­can­cies listed on Sta­tis­tics South Africa’s web­site.

Typ­i­cally, a statis­ti­cian’s day will in­volve prob­lem solv­ing (us­ing data), the ap­pli­ca­tion of both sta­tis­ti­cal and math­e­mat­i­cal knowl­edge and skills to prob­lems (de­pend­ing on your field of spe­cial­i­sa­tion, this can in­volve ev­ery­thing from eco­nom­ics to med­i­cal re­search) and con­sult­ing (with a med­i­cal team for ex­am­ple).

Pro­fes­sion­als found within this ca­reer are, in gen­eral, very an­a­lyt­i­cal. With a good com­puter knowl­edge and skills, statis­ti­cians will usu­ally also have ex­cep­tional math­e­mat­i­cal skills and have the abil­ity to think log­i­cally and crit­i­cally about the sub­ject and data at hand. Ca­reer paths within Sta­tis­tics jobs With cer­tain spe­cial­i­sa­tions, Statis­ti­cians can find em­ploy­ment in a wide va­ri­ety of in­dus­tries and fields of sci­en­tific stud­ies. Some of th­ese in­dus­tries range to in­clude Health and Medicine, Govern­ment jobs and ca­reers within the Busi­ness and Fi­nance sec­tors. Health and medicine Within this sec­tor, statis­ti­cians can find em­ploy­ment in var­i­ous fields in­clud­ing an­i­mal health as well as pub­lic health.

In­ter­est­ing sta­tis­tics jobs to pur­sue within this in­dus­try in­clude bio­statis­tics (in­volv­ing the de­vel­op­ment and ap­pli­ca­tion of sta­tis­tics within re­search in med­i­cal and health fields), ge­net­ics, phar­ma­col­ogy and epi­demi­ol­ogy (which in­volves the study and the de­ter­mi­nants of health and dis­eases in hu­mans). Govern­ment jobs Statis­ti­cians also find em­ploy­ment within govern­ment in­sti­tu­tions. In South Africa for ex­am­ple, one such in­sti­tu­tion in­cludes Sta­tis­tics South Africa.

Stats SA jobs in­cludes ev­ery­thing from chief sur­vey statis­ti­cians and mon­i­tor­ing and con­trol mangers, to as­set man­agers and prin­ci­ple method­ol­o­gists and econ­o­mists.

Sta­tis­tics South Africa is re­spon­si­ble for a num­ber of things in­clud­ing cen­sus, statis­tic on the labour force and even sta­tis­tics on causes of death. Other jobs for statis­ti­cians within the govern­ment range to in­clude po­si­tions within ecol­ogy, the en­vi­ron­ment, risk as­sess­ments, na­tional de­fence and within law. Busi­ness, in­dus­try and fi­nance sec­tors Qual­i­fied pro­fes­sion­als can also find em­ploy­ment in engi­neer­ing, the in­surance in­dus­try, mar­ket­ing, man­u­fac­tur­ing and chem­istry.

Sta­tis­ti­cal jobs are also avail­able within the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try (in­volv­ing the analy­ses and data and the de­vel­op­ment of re­search plans, ex­per­i­ment de­sign and the in­ter­pre­ta­tion of re­sults), com­puter sci­ences and eco­nom­ics.

— job­mail.co.za

THE data col­lected help com­pa­nies to make an in­formed de­ci­sion.

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