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Statistician

Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

Statisticians design and apply statistical techniques for creating, collecting and analysing data to draw conclusions, inform decision- making and direct policy within areas such as science, technology, medicine, education, business, finance and government.

Statisticians may work by themselves, but they usually work in a team. The team may include specialists from various fields, as well as clerical and computing staff involved in data collection and analysis.

TASKS

    Statisticians may perform the following tasks:

  • define precisely what is to be measured and decide which information to collect and from where
  • determine the size of the sample to be tested and how the sample will be selected
  • decide on the best method of collecting the information, whether by mail-out of questionnaires, experiments or survey interviews (telephone or face-to-face), and create associated measurement tools
  • ensure measurement resources are used efficiently
  • interpret data and produce relevant statistics to describe or infer particular trends and patterns
  • model and predict trends for phenomena such as accidents, pollution, disease outbreaks and economic trends
  • check the validity and reliability of statistical models used in applications
  • fit models using statistical computing environments and packages and develop, code and run statistical computer programmes
  • design experiments and trials to test new methods and products
  • evaluate the accuracy of the obtained information, represent data graphically and report findings

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • aptitude for analysis and research
  • good at mathematics
  • good reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • good communication skills
  • able to work independently or as part of a team

Interest Area

Figures/Computational Scientific Technical/Engineering

SPECIALISATIONS

Biostatistician - studies links between biological problems and their causes in humans, animals, agriculture and botany. They usually work in medical research facilities, universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies or government health departments, and use statistical models to investigate risk factors for health problems.

Epidemiologist - identifies and studies factors which influence the frequency and distribution of diseases and other health-related events within a population.

Mathematical Statistician - develops new statistical theories, modelling approaches and statistical methodologies in a broad variety of contexts.

Applied Statistician - analyses data from a variety of sources, including designed experiments and observational studies, and writes statistical programmes. Applications include health, medicine, education, industry, government, finance and business.

EDUCATION & TRAINING


Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

To become a statistician you usually have to study mathematics, econometrics or statistics at university. These areas of study may be undertaken within a mathematics, actuarial studies, arts, business, commerce, computer science, economics or science degree, depending on the mathematical and statistical emphasis of subjects taken.

To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry, biology and physics are normally required. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact Open Universities Australia or the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.


Additional Information

    Membership of the Statistical Society of Australia is available. Visit their website for more details.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Statisticians are employed in a wide variety of fields, including financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, technology companies, large industries and major corporations. They also work in federal government departments, such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Depending on individual interests, statisticians work within both private and public sectors. Some work as statistical consultants to medical facilities (both research and clinical) and financial services organisations, such as superannuation funds, managed funds or major industries. It is also possible to find work with non-government organisations and research institutes. Most statisticians work in major cities.

Advancement to supervisory and higher management positions is possible for experienced and well-qualified statisticians.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Statistician Australian Bureau of Statistics CSIRO Digital Productivity and Services Flagship Statistical Society of Australia


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