Statistical analysis can contribute to political and military decisions, the sciences of engineering, astronomy, biology, genetics and other fields, such as medicine and marketing. However, statistics is an integral component of some jobs. Actuaries, mathematicians, research analysts and statisticians use statistics on a regular basis.
Actuaries try to predict the potential risk of an untoward event, such as death from an automobile accident or heart attack, a fire in a business or damage from a natural disaster. Insurance companies base their policies on actuaries’ calculations. Actuaries typically specialize in a field such as health care, pensions, life or property insurance. An actuary needs a bachelor’s degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and must be certified in her specialty to work in the field. The BLS projects faster-than-average growth, at 26 percent from 2012 to 2022. The median annual salary in 2012 was $93,680.
To Arithmetic and Beyond
A mathematician’s skills go far beyond the basics of arithmetic, into the realm of mathematical modeling, theory, and new rules or concepts. He uses statistical models to analyze data and prove or disprove theories. A mathematician might work in applied or theoretical fields -- using mathematics to solve practical problems or simply exploring the theory of mathematics. A master’s degree is the minimum educational preparation, according to the BLS, and the median annual salary in 2012 was $101,360. This profession is also projected to have faster-than-average job growth from 2012 to 2022, according to the BLS, with a growth rate of 23 percent.
Dealing with Difficult Problems
When a business has a complex issue or needs a solution to a difficult problem, it often relies on the services of an operations research analyst. The analyst begins by collecting data, which is then entered into one or more computer databases. Statistics is used to analyze the resulting data, which can also be used to create simulations or models to solve the problem. A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for an entry-level job, but most operations research analysts need a master’s degree, according to the BLS. The BLS projects a growth rate of 27 percent from 2012 through 2022 -- faster than the 11 percent estimated growth rate for all jobs. The median salary was $72,100 in 2012.
Everything Is About Statistics
Last but not least, the statistician, who might work in fields from business to sciences to education. Almost everything statisticians do is related to the use of statistics, from designing a survey, experiment or opinion poll to analyzing the results. They must have strong computer skills, as they use computers heavily to store, manipulate and report on the data they gather. This is another field in which a bachelor’s degree might do for an entry-level job, but a master’s is typically required and a doctorate might be necessary, especially for independent research. Like the other jobs in this group, the BLS expects a strong growth rate of 27 for this field from 2012 to 2022 and reports the median salary for statisticians in 2012 was $75,560.
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