What skills will you need for a successful career in statistics?

Carving out a successful career is something most people try to achieve in their lifetime, and it can bring a lot of personal satisfaction into your life. Before you can do this, however, you need to choose which career path to take. Statistics is a popular choice for many and a career that is likely to grow in demand.

Our world is driven by data now, and this is especially true in business. The role of a statistician is a vital one for organizations because it takes the data companies collect and draws actionable insights from it. Statisticians also apply statistical methods to data so they can make predictions and test hypotheses. All of this can help companies plan for the future and make informed business choices.

If you wish to work in this sector, it is important to keep in mind that it requires you to possess a certain skill set. What skills might this involve, and where can you obtain them?

Where can you pick up the skills you need? 

Before we look at the skills you need to work in statistics, it is worth thinking about how you will pick them up. Although you may be born with a love for math, most of the skills required have to be studied and learned over time.

With this in mind, education becomes highly important in terms of developing the skills you need for a statistics-based career. This makes enrolling in a high-class course of academic study in this field an essential part of preparation.

The Master’s in Applied Statistics program from Michigan Technological University is a popular program of study in this area and helps students gain all the skills needed to thrive. As a 100% online course of study, it is not only convenient but comes in an accelerated format for fast results.

What are the most important skills for a statistics career that this type, of course, can give you?

High-level math skills

We have already noted that a passion for stats is something many people who move into this career are born with. It is also true that high-level math skills are something you will need because data, figures and working numbers play such a central role in this type of job.

As you would expect, the math skills needed to work in statistics (especially at more senior levels) can be advanced and a real step up from the basics you learn in high school. This can involve anything from data modeling to parametric estimation and advanced statistical techniques. It is crucial to pick up these next-level math skills so you have the knowledge needed to perform well in professional statistics roles.

Data analysis skills 

Just as students might look at ways to complete essays more effectively, anyone who is considering working in statistics should focus on developing this skill.

As the name implies, this refers to the ability to take data and draw key insights from it. While high-level math skills help here, developing skills in analyzing data and knowing what you should be looking for are also essential. Without the skills required to analyze datasets effectively and draw out the findings you need, it will be tough to forge a career in this field.

Problem-solving skills can also prove useful because they enable you to solve any problems you come across when working with data. This could pertain to analyzing data properly or fixing issues with models you have used for data prediction, for example.

Teamwork skills and the ability to collaborate 

Collaboration is a key part of the skills you will need to work in statistics. Although it might not be the first thing that springs to mind, it is very important and something employers value because working in a statistics-based job will normally involve working as part of a team. It is essential that you have the people skills to work this way effectively and function as a member of the team to help it achieve its goals.

This type of job can also involve collaborating with colleagues across a company or even stakeholders in other companies. Building up your ability to work with other people on projects and analyses is critical.

Great presentation skills 

Another key element of the skills you will need for a career in statistics is the ability to present key findings to other people effectively. This is vital for many jobs in this field because you often have to draw insights from data and explain them to colleagues, senior management, clients, and/or, stakeholders.

If you cannot do this clearly and concisely, you will struggle to succeed. It is also important to remember that you will often be presenting insights to people who are not statisticians. It is therefore also essential to develop the ability to explain your findings to non-statisticians in a way they can understand.

Wide-ranging computer skills 

Technology plays a crucial role in modern statistics careers. This career path will usually involve using the latest statistical applications and software packages to work with data. It will also involve using the latest software to construct experiments and run them on datasets.

Many statistics-based jobs will also require you to have a firm grasp of programming languages like Python to code databases or design experiments around data modeling. This means it is essential to pick up these skills and get familiar with some of the most commonly used stats packages, such as R and SPSS. It is also imperative to be IT savvy in general and competent with using computers.

Stats-based roles need a certain skill set 

As with many careers around the country, working in statistics requires a certain skill set to do well. Although having a love for math is a good starting point, it requires many more specialist, specific skills to succeed in this field.


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