Data analyst-statisticians identify trends, create models, collect numerical information and present results.
1. Entry requirements
You’ll need a degree in statistics, mathematics or a related subject involving maths, like:
- operational research
Other degrees, like social science or informatics, are also acceptable if they include formal training in statistics as part of the course.
Some employers may prefer you to have a postgraduate qualification and a working knowledge of statistical software packages, like Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).
The Government Statistical Service (GSS) takes on trainee statistics graduates through the Civil Service fast stream programme. You’ll need a good pass at degree level to apply.The Royal Statistical Society runs a volunteering scheme, which gives you the chance to gain experience by using your skills to help organisations in the community and charity sectors.
2. Skills required
- the ability to analyse, model and interpret data
- strong problem-solving skills
- a methodical and logical approach
- a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
- excellent written and spoken communication skills, including report writing
3. What you'll do
Your work as a statistician could be used in a number of areas, like:
- local and national government
- market research (public sector or government)
- business, finance and insurance
- NHS management
- crime analysis and forensics
In the public sector, you’ll work for government agencies, research councils and universities.
Working for the government could involve collecting, analysing and publishing information on population trends, the economy, the labour market, transport or crime. The information you produce would then be used to advise ministers, and inform the press and the wider population.
In other industries or sectors, you might be involved in:
- looking for trends and patterns to help companies make business decisions
- analysing market research and trends in consumer feedback
- opinion poll analysis
- predicting demand for services or goods
- checking quality control standards in areas like drug and food testing
Starter: £23,000 to £27,000
Experienced: £40,000 to £53,000
Highly Experienced: up to £70,000 (chief statistician)
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You’ll usually be office-based, but might travel to other locations to collect data.You’ll usually work around 37 to 40 hours a week, and occasionally longer to meet project deadlines.
6. Career path and progressionWith experience, you could progress into management, move into academic research or work as a freelance consultant.
Last updated: 14 December 2016