Looking for an entry level job or internship in math? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.
The jackpot for last Friday’s Mega Millions drawing exceeded half a billion dollars, making it the largest lottery jackpot in world history. As people poured out to purchase tickets, one statistician explained the odds of winning in easily understandable terms. Apparently people are 19 times as likely to be struck by lightning twice, 33 times as likely to be killed in the next year by bees, and 40 times as likely to be dealt five blackjacks in a row as they are to win Mega Millions. Those don’t seem like good odds, do they? Maybe that’s why I sadly wasn’t one of the three people with the winning numbers. While the job of a Statistician doesn’t always involving informing the public of their terrible purchasing decisions, it does revolve around collecting and interpreting numerical data to help inform decisions.
A Statistician applies mathematical theories to collect, organize, interpret, and summarize numerical data to provide usable information. They not only picture the data, but they have to explain and apply it. Statisticians are needed in both the private and public sectors, so there are many fields to specialize in like biostatistics, agricultural statistics, business statistics, or economic statistics. For example, survey statisticians collect information from a carefully specified sample and extend the results to an entire population, government statisticians conduct experiments to aid in the development of public policy and social programs, and statistical scientists analyze and validate the results of clinical trials, and business statisticians predict the need for goods and services in the future.
While a typical day for a Statistician will vary, it generally includes spending over half the day in front of a computer and might include some of these tasks:
While entry-level Statisticians can expect to earn around $30,000 per year, the average salary for a Statistician is between $41,601 and $124,561 per year. From there you can go on to become a Biostatistician ($47,414-$130,705 on average per year), or SAS Programmer ($44,921-$110,118 on average per year).
Here are some hot spots for Statisticians:
To be a Statistician you must have a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics or Statistics. A master’s degree or Ph.D. is very helpful and often recommended for higher-level positions. Furthermore you should consider another major (or a minor) that reflects your potential professional direction, such as economics, computer and material science, or biology, which will give you an advantage when seeking employment. You’ll also need to have strong analytical skills and interpersonal skills, as part of the job is communicating your findings to others.
If math still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.
Check out the latest job and internship postings in math.