Statistics is often confused with mathematics, but it is a field that has a variety of lucrative career options. The day-to-day use of statistics involves the calculation of wages, price, time series analysis, demand analysis etc.
The need for advanced statistical methods is increasing and as a consequence, the course is becoming a favourite among students. In the ongoing University of Delhi (DU) admissions, the cut-off for the BSc (H) statistics was among the highest at 97.75 per cent.
Careers in advanced statistics are in high demand in private and the public sector. From interpretation to prediction, statisticians are in high demand.
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Here is a list of top courses and career options one can pursue –
Statistician: A conventional career
The tools of statistics are used in policy making, census data, budget, economic survey and other government projects.
"Without the statistical data, a survey could not be conducted. In making a budget or in an economic survey, there are always three to four statisticians in the play. The main job of the statisticians is to make a calculative analysis of the previous year’s data, which helps policymakers to compare and better the grounds if there are any drawbacks. The statisticians also play a great role by formulating data which helps do better research," said Siddhartha Mitra, a retired policymaker who worked in the Ministry of Finance.
Another conventional option in the field of statistics is that of a professor. "A student after cracking UGC NET, state or central government recruitment examinations can easily land the job of a teacher or professor with salaries varying from Rs 50,000 to 1 lakh," said Mitra.
Alternative statistics courses
Bio and stats
One of the most lucrative career options in stats is bio-statistics – an interdisciplinary field of biology and statistics. Sumitra Purkayastha, a professor at ISI Calcutta said, "Pursuing a PhD program bio-statistics is becoming a mainstream choice. Students with adequate computing skills can also join an interdisciplinary PhD program, for instance, in computational neuroscience or more specifically in neuroimaging. These courses are under the ambit of bio-statistics."
Stats and data science
Data Science, a new career avenue, can be a good option for students after studying statistics. Most of the courses offered by universities and colleges are in the form of diplomas, and given the demand from companies, Data Science can be a good career opportunity.
"There is wide scope in Data Scientist and Data Analyst both in academics and corporate jobs. A lot of colleges are now offering courses on Data Science, so one can work in academics as a teacher or in corporate offices as a data scientist," said Angshuman Tripathi, a career counsellor.
"The salary of a fresher in this profession can be around Rs 3 to 4 lakh per annum. A professor or teacher may get a salary over Rs 6 lakh per annum," Tripathi said.
There are also good prospects for statistics graduates as financial or content analysts. Those with a degree in statistics and knowledge of commerce or marketing can consider this profession.