What can I do with a degree in Statistics?
Through their Statistics degree, graduates develop a valuable set of skills that are transferrable to a range of careers, including:
- Logical and quantitative thinking
- Critical evaluation
- Practical application of statistics in problem solving
- Numerical confidence
- Computing skills
- Collection and analysis of data
- Interpretive and analytical thinking
- Ability to deal with abstract concepts
Data and statistics underpin every aspect of today's society. The influence of statistics is wide ranging, including salary calculations, bank interest rates, traffic density on the road, health care facilities, online search results and how organisations respond to earthquakes. Policy decisions made by agencies, such as the local or national government, are based on statistical data. This is analysed in order to make changes and improvements.
There is a strong demand for statisticians around the world, with an acknowledged shortage in many industries, brought about by the explosion of data availability and the desire to extract useful information from it.
"I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. People think I'm joking, but who would've guessed that computer engineers would've been the sexy job of the 1990s? The ability to take data - to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it - that's going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades, not only at the professional level but even at the educational level for elementary school kids, for high school kids, for college kids. Because now we really do have essentially free and ubiquitous data. So the complimentary scarce factor is the ability to understand that data and extract value from it."
Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google.
Statistics is an integral part of many scientific research programmes, particularly where large data sets are analysed in environmental, biological and social sciences. Statistics demands the ability to use analytical techniques, statistical methods and information technology for the manipulation and interpretation of information. There is a growing demand for statisticians and biometricians (people who conduct research and advise on experimental design, data collection and data analysis in biology and the expanding health sciences).
Many of our graduates are employed by Statistics New Zealand as statisticians, research officers, analysts and statistical programmers. The Crown Research Institutes also employ a large number of statisticians and, in particular, biometricians. Other employers are banks, finance houses, insurance companies, and industrial and commercial companies. Many large companies employ statisticians to deal with the increasing demand for knowledge discovery from data. Many other jobs, while not requiring people with a degree in Statistics, need employees with a working knowledge of statistics, in particular competence in using statistical software packages.
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Graduates with this degree are employed in a range of jobs including a range of analyst roles, market researcher and research scientist.
Some of the jobs listed may require further study at postgraduate level. Postgraduate study can contribute to your employability. It enables you to extend your knowledge and skills, indicates your motivation and ability to persevere at a high level academically and can make you more competitive in the job market. Postgraduate study may be a prerequisite for certain jobs.
- Designs data collection methods
- Uses statistical techniques to predict future trends and needs
- Uses computer technology to develop graphs and charts of data
- Applies statistics and science to health and public health
- Analyses data that relates to medical problems and concerns
- Assists researchers in data collection methodology
- Investment analyst
- Analyses a company's financial information
- Forecasts business and economic conditions
- Makes investment recommendations
- Secondary school teacher
- Prepares and delivers instructional activities and lessons
- Observes and evaluates performance in order to provide feedback
- Develops and marks tests and assessments
- Data analyst
- Examines data for use in problem solving and decision making
- Maintains records
- Uses computer technology to develop graphs and charts of data
- Operational researcher
- Collects and analyses data
- Uses mathematical modeling, computer software or other analytical approaches to recommend more effective ways of working
- Presents findings in reports
- Statistical analyst
- Assists in the development of surveys
- Produces statistical reports for public release
- Reviews data
- Uses probability to investigate past trends to determine future outcomes
- Presents reports and explaining the implications of findings
- Advises on investment strategies
- Financial risk analyst
- Examines proposed organisational decisions
- Researches and uses statistical analysis to identify the level of risks
- Monitors and forecasts market trends
Entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly becoming an important part of the world of work and should be considered as a career option. For more information about UC student innovation & entrepreneurship, related internships, scholarships, courses and activities go to Careers, Internships & Employment
For further information on job titles, please see the latest UC Graduate Destinations Survey
As they progress in their studies and into a career, our students and graduates often join professional bodies specific to their area of interest. These organisations offer graduates the opportunity to network and collaborate with others within the same community. Other relevant organisations are also listed.
- New Zealand Statistical Association
- New Zealand Mathematical Society
- Royal Statistical Society
- American Statistical Association
- International Statistical Institute
- International Actuarial Association
Social media networks, such as LinkedIn (including LinkedIn groups), Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues for students and graduates to keep up-to-date with current industry knowledge and 'best practice', networking opportunities, industry-related events and job vacancies.
It is possible to study at postgraduate and graduate level in subjects both directly and indirectly related to your degree. For a list of postgraduate and graduate study options, go to Courses, Subjects and Qualifications
Following completion of your first degree, you can proceed to a BSc(Hons), BA(Hons), MSc, MA, PGDipSc or PhD. Postgraduate study can lead to an academic career pathway in teaching and research.
Carefully consider your motivation for study, how it fits in with your long-term career plans and whether it is likely to enhance your employment prospects.