Career Center > Careers in Statistics

What Is Statistics?

Statistics is the science of learning from data, and of measuring, controlling, and communicating uncertainty; and it thereby provides the navigation essential for controlling the course of scientific and societal advances (Davidian, M. and Louis, T. A., 10.1126/science.1218685).

Statisticians apply statistical thinking and methods to a wide variety of scientific, social, and business endeavors in such areas as astronomy, biology, education, economics, engineering, genetics, marketing, medicine, psychology, public health, sports, among many. "The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone else's backyard." (John Tukey, Bell Labs, Princeton University)

Many economic, social, political, and military decisions cannot be made without statistical techniques, such as the design of experiments to gain federal approval of a newly manufactured drug.

Job Characteristics

  • Use data to solve problems in a wide variety of fields
  • Apply mathematical and statistical knowledge to social, economic, medical, political, and ecological problems
  • Work individually and/or as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Travel to consult with other professionals or attend conferences, seminars, and continuing education activities
  • Advance the frontiers of statistics, mathematics, and probability through education and research

If you enjoy any of these, a career in statistics may be right for you!

Statisticians provide crucial guidance in determining what information is reliable and which predictions can be trusted. They often help search for clues to the solution of a scientific mystery and sometimes keep investigators from being misled by false impressions.

Multimedia

Careers in Statistics: Possibilities and Opportunities - PowerPoint presentation provides an overview of the field of statistics and the opportunities available to statisticians.

More Information

Bureau of Labor Statistics Sloan Career Cornerstone Center