If you’re a sports buff, you’re probably very familiar with the concept of statistics. You know how well a particular player performs because of their stats. In the same way, you know how well a sports team is currently doing during the playing season. And you may even look at some statistics from the previous years, to get some historical perspective.
Technically, the science of statistics is defined as the study of how data is collected, analyzed, organized, and presented. It is very much part of our lives, because we often cite statistics as a way to justify certain beliefs or actions.
For example, if the statistics show that more than two-thirds of the US adult population are overweight, then we know how important proper diet and exercise are for us. And if the statistics show that a certain disease may only affect 0.0001% of the population, we probably won’t care. In business, statistics are concrete measurements of how well a company’s products and services are doing. In school, our grade point average is a statistic that describes how well we are doing in class.
A Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics
In college you’ll be mostly concerned about the collection, interpretation, and analysis of statistical data. While many schools will also include some liberal arts subjects in your education, for the most part you’ll be inundated in mathematical courses. These will include statistics (including analysis and theory), calculus, and linear algebra.
You can apply to just about every type of institution or company out there, and chances are they’ll need a statistician. For example, every large company has a department concerned with market research, and you can help collect and analyze data for your company.
You can find out which jacket styles, clothing colors, food flavors, and other relevant factors are popular in a specific area such as Los Angeles or the East Coast. The company can then focus their attention on what’s likely to be popular according to your statistical research. You can even narrow your focus on what’s popular among certain age groups (such as teens), cultural identities (such as Asian-Americans), and sociological groups (such as country music fans).
You may be part of the design team, as the planning stage when you create products usually involves a lot of mathematical analysis. Or you can be part of the advertising branch, planning advertising campaigns geared towards select portions of the consumer public.
It’s not just in private enterprise where you can put your degree to good use. You can help out in the public health sector, and try to find out or predict how many people will get a certain medical condition this year, or which area of the country a certain disease may hit the hardest. You can also work in the field of education, collecting and analyzing data about the students to help schools in their efforts.
If you want to have a very successful career as a statistics guru, it helps when your degree is obtained from a renowned school which offers the best training. That means you ought to try to enter the Department of Statistics in Stanford University, University of California Berkley, and University of Washington. These are the best according to the experts in the industry.