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  1. Knowledge Corner : Statistician

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    Analyzing, interpreting and presenting information.

    Qualification routes
    To become statistician, you will need a degree in statistics, mathematics, economics or operational research. You will probably begin your career as a statistical officer and learn on the job from more senior statisticians. You will be required to work under the supervision of experienced staff until you are ready to take your own projects with more responsibility. 

    You may also need training in areas like report writing, presentations and using specialized statistical computer software. A relevant postgraduate qualification such as Master's or PhD, and advanced knowledge of statistical software packages is helpful and often recommended for higher level positions. Research and academic positions in institutions of higher education require at least a Master's degree and usually a PhD in statistics.

    What will i do?
    As a statistician, you will apply mathematical and statistical concepts, as well as use specialized software applications, to analyse data in context. Statistician are concerned with the collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation of quantitative information using computer software. 

    You work in teams, collaborating with professionals from a wide variety of fields such as health, education, government, financial sectors, the environment, industry, market research and transportation, among others. Statisticians look for trends or patterns to help decision making and recommend strategies to policymakers on key issues. Many economic, social, political, financial and military decisions cannot be made without sound statistical advice.

    Is it for me?
    You should have a liking for numbers, which means your favorite subjects should be mathematics and statistics. A strong background in economics is an added advantage when applying for jobs in banks and financial institutions. Statisticians must be skillful in using computers for statistical analysis, wordprocessing and electronic communications. 

    They should also be able to write good and well-argued reports on their findings in a manner that can be understood by persons without extensive statistical knowledge. In addition, a statistician is also required to communicate effectively with others in a team environment and must be self-motivated. 

    How much will I earn?
    Starting salaries for graduates will vary from RM2000 to RM2500, depending on academic credentials and the nature of the industry. With experience, you should progress to senior level positions and negotiate for an attractive remuneration package.

    Who will employ me?
    Statisticians have good career prospects in the public and private sectors in the field of science, technology and business. In Malaysia, employment opportunities are mostly available in :

    • government agencies, particularly in the statistics department.
    • scientific/market research companies.
    • pharmaceutical companies.
    • universities and colleges.
    • banks.
    • insurance firms.
    • manufacturing.
    • fast-moving consumer goods.
    • hospitals.

    Statisticians who work at universities generally have a mix of teaching and research responsibilities. In the manufacturing or food industry, you are involved in quality control, product development and improvement. This can involve deciding what products to manufacture, and how to price and market products. Statisticians in financial sectors manage assets and liabilities, determining the risks and returns of certain investments. Some statisticians choose to become freelance consultants after gaining several years of work experience. 

    [Source : doctorjob's courses NOW! Business edition, issue 58, 2009]

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