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ASA at 175 - Careers in Statistics

By Ronald Wasserstein posted 03-05-2014 10:32


It is a great time to be a statistician!  Perhaps you are looking for resources about the wonderful career opportunities in statistics, either for yourself or to share with others.  There are an increasing number of places to turn to for such resources, and we’ll point you to several of them.

Motivating today’s blog is a new article (March 4, 2014) in the Careers section of Science magazine.  It highlights continued demand for jobs in traditional areas of statistics, but notes increasing demand for data scientists. The article describes data science as “a fusion of statistics, computer science, and analytics in which researchers analyze large quantities of data, identify meaningful trends, and then find a way to exploit the resulting knowledge.”  Several prominent statisticians are quoted in the article, so it is a definite read for people interested in careers in statistics.

We’ll have more to say about statistics and data science in this blog space soon.

An important resource about careers in statistics is the ASA Career Center. In the Career Center you’ll find basic information about what statistics is and what statisticians do, where they work, and what kind of training is needed to become a statistician.  Want to know what salaries statisticians earn?  The Career Center has that information.  Looking for a job in statistics? Try the ASA Job Web. Need something about careers in statistics you can print or turn into slides? The Career Kit is formatted nicely for printing, and “Careers in Statistics: Possibilities and Opportunities” provides a handy set of slides.

The World of Statistics website also has a section on careers.  For example, the site has a regular blog called “At Work with Statisticians,” in which statisticians talk about various fields of application of statistics, and how one can prepare to work in those fields. It has links to career resources in other countries, as well as links to career-related videos.

There are many other resources available.  For example, the ASA Biopharmaceutical Statistics Section has created a careers page for people interested in this area.  A variety of career fields in statistics are highlighted on the careers page of the Royal Statistical Society’s StatsLife website.  The Career Cornerstone Center, a resource for exploring career paths in science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine, has a section devoted to statistics.  Many departments of statistics have developed career information on their websites, and are just a Google search away.

The 175th anniversary year of the ASA is happening at a truly energizing time for the statistics profession.  We’ll be blogging later this year about work the ASA is undertaking to spread the word to young people about the value of statistical literacy in general and careers in statistics in particular. Meanwhile, we hope these resources will be useful as you have opportunity to tell others about statistics.

In 2014, the American Statistical Association is celebrating its 175th anniversary.  Over the course of this year, this blog will highlight aspects of that celebration, and look broadly at the ASA and its activities.  Please contact ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein ( if you would like to post an entry to this blog.