Last updated December 31, 2014

Whether we know it or not, we rely on statisticians every day. A corporation that processes food, for example, might pay for a survey of families with two working parents to find out what new products they’d like to see in the frozen-food aisle. A drug company, on the other hand, must collect and study data when they test experimental drugs to make sure that they work and that they’re safe. And at a TV network, statisticians can use a technique called sampling to discover what the whole country is watching just by surveying a small group of viewers.

And that’s just in the business world. These masters of data can use their skills in fields as varied as medical research, public health, and economics.

Statisticians use math and computers to collect, study, and report on data.

Did You Know?

An internship during college can really pay off. You'll get real-world experience, build skills, and make contacts.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Use computers to collect and analyze data
  • Work as part of a team with engineers, economists, psychologists, and other professionals
  • Work in an office
  • Travel occasionally to consult on research projects, gather data, or set up surveys
  • Balance teaching and research if you work at a university

It Helps To Be...

A curious problem solver who likes to conduct research and work with numbers.

Make High School Count

  • Build strong communication skills in English and speech classes. Part of being a statistician is interpreting data and explaining the results to others.
  • Consider signing up for a class in psychology, a discipline in which statistics play a key role.
  • Learn all you can about computers. As a statistician, you’ll use them constantly.
  • Pay attention to the news and you’ll soon find examples of how statistics are used in a number of disciplines.
  • Take advanced math classes, like AP® Calculus and AP Statistics.

Did You Know?

Statisticians need strong speaking and writing skills so that they can communicate technical issues to people outside their field.