Statistician Career Information
What a Statistician does
Statistics is all about data analysis. Its objective is to draw a meaning and interpretation out of stacks of numerical data on facts and events. A statistician's job is also to make these conclusions simple enough for the layman to understand.
A statistician's task involves the following process:
Designing research or study methodologies
You might be required to forecast Indian population in the next 15 years. For this you will first need to decide which among the numerous statistical models is best suited for this job. You may also need to modify and customize it for the work at hand.
Determining the sample size
If as a Statistician, you are required to find out the average height of Indians, obviously you cannot measure the height of each and every Indian! You will have to determine the size and structure of a small group called the sample, which is a true representative of the entire population.
Surveying or data collection
This is the actual legwork that you will have to do to collect data.
Categorisation and processing
You will now have to sit down and categorise the data on various factors like sex, age, etc.
Analysis and interpretation
Now that the data has been properly categorised you will use various mathematical and statistical formulas to compute and obtain results.
Presentation of data
Once the data is analysed and interpreted; as a Statistician you should be able to present it in a manner such that it is easy to understand. As a Statistician you can use a variety of tools such as bar graphs, pie charts, etc. to display your conclusions.
Statisticians specialise in various areas according to the work they get involved in. These include:
Biostatistics & Health Statistics
Here you will use your skills in health science research, finding out efficacy of a drug, cost-benefit analysis of a method of treatment, analysis of rate of death for a particular disease, etc.
In this you will be involved in mathematical research involving computations and derivation.
Operations Research is used to find out the optimum usage of resources to gain maximum output. Areas such as process engineering and management, industrial operation design, etc. use operations research.
Statistical Quality Control
This is the application of statistical methods in maintaining quality of products, processes, and services. You will statistically find out for instance whether a batch of television sets is free of manufacturing defects.
Quantitative Economics is the specialised application of theories of statistics in the analysis of economic trends, economic planning, financial analysis and related fields.
Applied Statistics is the use of statistical analysis in various areas like engineering, agriculture, meteorology, social science research, marketing research, etc.
As a statistician you will be working in close coordination with researchers in different fields, business managers and even government officials during projects. Most of your work will be desk bound except if you are actively involved in data collection.
Most often than not you will be using computers and advanced statistical and mathematical software for data processing, analysis, and interpretation.
As a statistician, you can work with:
Market Research organizations like ORG-MARG, MODE, AC Nielson
Economic and social Research organization like the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy, National Council of Applied Economic Research, etc.
Indian Statistical Service - a service of the Government of India and other Government Departments like Ministry of Commerce, Directorate of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics, etc.
Corporate organisations where you will be involved in quality control, market research, business forecasting, operations research and other related operations.
As faculty in University Departments
In research organisations in various fields like those under ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) or ICAR (Indian Council for Agricultural Research).
Statistics has a wide range of applications. In fact, it is difficult to say which fields do not have applications of Statistics. Agriculture, Business Management, Biotechnology, Economics, Education, Sociology, Medical Science, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Market research, Meteorology, Public services, Government policy making, are a few examples of fields that require statisticians.
Among graduates with a bachelor's degree in statistics, those with a background in fields, such as finance, engineering, or computer science, should have the best job prospects.
Manufacturing firms like those in the pharmaceutical industry will require statisticians at the master's and doctoral degree levels for quality control.
Abilities & Traits Required
As a Statistician you need to:
• Love and enjoy Mathematics
• Love to work with numbers and mathematical theories
• Strong ability to solve complex problems
• Strong analytical skill
• Comfortable with the same routine work day-in-and-day out
As far as academics are concerned, you would do well to begin with a Bachelor's degree in Statistics. You can do a BSc with a major in Statistics or even better than that would be a BStat (Bachelor of Statistics) from ISI (Indian Statistical Institute).
You can then better your prospects by pursuing an MStat/ MSc in Statistics.
If you have completed your BSc in Mathematics, you can do MSc in Mathematical Statistics, Operations Research or an MS in Quantitative Economics or even your MStat
If you have a Bachelor degree in Economics or Physics then you can do a MS in Quantitative Economics. After a Bachelor degree in Engineering or Technology, you have the option of pursuing an MTech in Quality, Reliability and Operations Research or a postgraduate diploma in Statistical Quality Control.
Market Research organizations: Starting salaries are in the range of Rs 18000 - 25000 a month and can go up to Rs 45000-65000 a month.
Economic and social research organization: Beginning from Rs 18000 - 25000 a month can go up to Rs 30000 - 40000 a month.
Indian Statistical Service: Starting salaries are better here, in the range of Rs 25000 a month.
However at the maximum you can earn Rs 55000 a month. In other government departments it's in the range of Rs 25000 - 35000 a month in the beginning and can go up to Rs 25000 a month.
Corporate organisations: In the beginning it will be Rs. 25000 - 36000 a month. Senior statisticians could earn upto Rs. 40000 - 60000 a month.
University Departments: You will earn Rs. 35000-45000 in the beginning, which can go up to Rs. 45000-55000 a month at the senior most scale.
In research organisations your pay varies a lot. Starting pay will be between Rs. 18000 - 35000 a month in the beginning depending on the type of organization.