9 Best Careers for Statistics Majors
Rational, methodical, and precise—these are just some of the valuable qualities that characterize statistics majors. Students in this challenging degree learn a wide range of skills during their studies, including how to conduct research, analyze data, and present their findings in clear, compelling ways. They tend to have a high level of numeracy and a knack for logical thinking and problem solving. Where others see nothing but strings of numbers, statistics majors see the complex pattern behind them; when others might simply take a best guess, they use their reasoning skills to choose the best possible option.
Together, all of these qualities make statistics majors desirable candidates for a wide range of careers—both within the field of statistics and beyond. Here, we’ll review a few of the most common ones and whether they might be a fit for you.
This article will be covering the following careers:
|Financial Quantitative Analyst
|Operations Research Analyst
|Market Research Analyst
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Risk and uncertainty are the bread and butter of any actuary. These clever professionals rely on statistical research and analysis to calculate insurance premiums and risks for their clients. Most actuaries work for insurance companies, where they help determine everything from health insurance policies to pension and retirement benefits. Thriving in this career requires a thorough understanding of calculus, probability, and statistics, as well as strong communication and computer skills; statistics majors possess all of these qualities and more.
An actuary specializes in assessing and managing financial risks in various industries, with a primary focus on insurance and pension plans.
2. Data Scientist
The daily life of a data scientist can look very different depending on where, and for whom they work. Many are employed in research labs, where they use their coding skills to process and explore trends in experimental data. Others work for tech startups, using their skills to process, analyze, and manage large amounts of healthcare or user behavior data. Still others find work in pharmaceutical companies, designing and analyzing clinical trials on new drugs. Rigorous and creative work, this career is an ideal match for curious statistics students.
Data scientists use their expertise in statistics, mathematics, and computer science to extract meaningful insights and knowledge from large and complex datasets.
3. Financial Quantitative Analyst
As the financial assets trade becomes increasingly complex, the demand for skilled quantitative analysts— or "quants"—continues to grow. This challenging profession brings together methods and theoretical knowledge from mathematics, finance, computer science, and statistics. By building and applying mathematical models and rules, quants help their clients resolve risk-management and financial problems and plan for the future. Intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding, this career is a natural fit for an ambitious statistics graduate.
Financial Quantitative Analyst
A financial quantitative analyst, also known as a "quant," uses mathematical and statistical methods to analyze financial data and solve complex financial problems.
Accountants use their math and logic skills to help companies, individuals, and not-for-profit organizations of all kinds manage their finances more accurately and efficiently. To do so, they review and reconcile financial statements, organize complex monetary data, and provide their clients with advice for how to reduce costs, increase revenues, and become more profitable. Requiring a knack for numbers, a systematic mind, and a detail-oriented approach, this is a stable career ideally suited to a statistics major.
An accountant is a professional who is responsible for managing financial records and ensuring compliance with tax laws and regulations.
5. Operations Research Analyst
Big data mining, statistical analysis, optimization, and mathematical modeling come together in this important, mentally engaging career. Operations research analysts serve businesses and organizations of all kinds, applying advanced techniques to solve high-level problems. By assessing how to best allocate scarce resources or how to introduce more effective systems, they help their clients function more smoothly, profitably, and efficiently.
Operations Research Analyst
An operations research analyst applies advanced analytical and mathematical techniques to solve complex problems and optimize decision-making in various industries.
6. Stock Trader
The life of a stock trader is fast-paced and dynamic. These skilled professionals spend their days playing with numbers, figures, and probabilities—relying on detailed technical analyses to identify and capitalize on future market trends. Through research and calculation, they aspire to predict the best time and price at which to buy, sell, and trade stocks, bonds, and other financial assets. Statistics majors, with their math abilities and knowledge of probability, will thrive in this role.
A stock trader is a professional who buys and sells shares of publicly traded companies in order to make a profit.
7. Business Analyst
Like statistics majors, business analysts have a natural talent for identifying the patterns within data. They use their rational thinking and data analysis abilities to assess companies’ financial and technological systems, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for improvement. In doing so, they help their clients function more efficiently and profitably—a rewarding task for any business-minded statistics major.
A business analyst helps to bridge the gap between business needs and technological solutions within an organization.
8. Market Research Analyst
Who buys more microwave dinners: college students or working parents? Are rural or urban customers more price sensitive when it comes to groceries? These are just a couple of examples of the kinds of questions a market research analyst might be asked to answer. By conducting market research and analyzing consumer data, these talented professionals help companies understand essential information about their customers, seize new opportunities for profit, and promote their products and services as effectively as possible.
Market Research Analyst
A market research analyst specializes in studying market conditions to identify potential sales opportunities for a product or service.
Statisticians rely on mathematical techniques to analyze data of all kinds, calculating information such as reliability, trends, and averages. For example, a statistician might be employed by the federal government to explore census data, or by an automotive company to assess how various car engines perform under extreme heat or cold. But statisticians are more than just experts in numbers; they’re also great communicators. After their analysis, they use written, oral, or visual reporting tactics to package their findings in a format that is easy to understand and use.