Statistics is a Diverse Field With Different Paths of Study

Posted to Statistics  |  Nathan Yau

Rows in a Field
Photo by Duncan H

One of the huge factors that drew me in to statistics is that you can apply it to so many different areas of study. When someone asks me what the job market is like for someone in statistics, I always tell them, “Wherever there’s data, there’s a job to fill by a statistician. Marketing, biology, traffic, finance, crime…”

It’s also my way of answering, “What are you going to do when you graduate?” In other words, I’m not sure yet. I keep running into more and more fun stuff I can do with my degree so it’s hard to decide right now. But hey, it’s better to have too many paths to choose from that not enough, right?

Interdisciplinary Statistics

In the most recent Amstat News is a short article – Statistics as an Interdisciplinary Science:

An issue touched on briefly is statistics as an interdisciplinary science. I think there is a general agreement that (almost) all other scientific disciplines need statistics (and statisticians).

Speaking to people outside of the field, there’s this idea that statistics is very focused (which it is in some ways, I guess) and very narrow, but it’s pretty much whatever you want it to be. You can focus completely on say, crime, or you can be more broad and examine issues in social science, for example.

It’s like design or computer science. You might use your skills for very specific areas like page layout or web programming, but just as easily, you could use that know how on a broad range of projects.

In summary, statistics is awesome. What have you used statistics for lately?


Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.