In an increasingly data-driven world, being able to translate information into meaningful insights that can be used by companies and organisations is a valuable skill to have
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Actuarial analyst
- Civil Service fast streamer
- Data analyst
- Data scientist
- Financial risk analyst
- Investment analyst
- Market researcher
- Operational researcher
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Business analyst
- Chartered accountant
- Financial manager
- Financial trader
- Insurance underwriter
- Machine learning engineer
- Research scientist (maths)
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Work experience gives you the opportunity to put your statistics knowledge into practice in real-life situations. Statistics-related work placements are available across a variety of government departments. For example, you could apply for a 12-month placement with the Office for National Statistics, the UK's largest independent producer of statistics.
You can also develop your skills in statistics through work placements and internships in sectors such as:
- financial services
- market research
- operational research.
It's also useful to join the Young Statisticians' section of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS). This provides useful opportunities to network and learn about a career in statistics.
Any type of work experience or voluntary work can be useful for developing your communication, problem-solving and team working skills. Many universities will have opportunities to volunteer or work with local organisations and charities.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
The main employer of statisticians is the government. Statisticians work across most UK government departments, and jobs are advertised via the Government Statistical Service (GSS). The government's Civil Service Fast Stream (statistics scheme) is a useful route into statistics for graduates.
Your knowledge and skills, however, are also applicable in many fields such as agriculture, economics, education, engineering, medicine and transport. Typical employers include:
- financial and banking companies
- insurance and accountancy firms
- IT companies
- logistics and transport companies
- the NHS and private health companies
- market research organisations
- not-for-profit organisations and think tanks
- pharmaceutical industries
- universities and other education bodies.
Skills for your CV
A degree in statistics equips you with strong data analysis and manipulation skills. You have the opportunity to complete data collection and numerical measurements, undertake project work and give presentations, which develop your subject-specific and general skills.
You develop key skills in:
- analytical research methods
- interpreting results, drawing conclusions and recommendations from data
- identifying and working with patterns in data
- problem solving and logical thinking
- applying abstract mathematical concepts to practical problems.
You also develop general skills that all employers expect, including:
- information management
- organisation and planning
- time management.
Some statistician jobs require a Masters or postgraduate degree. Options at postgraduate level include:
- applied statistics
- medical statistics
- statistics and data mining.
Masters courses in statistics accredited by the Royal Statistical Society allow you to apply for the RSS professional membership grade of Graduate Statistician (GradStat).
A PhD is essential for a career in academia. If you're considering a career as a pharmaceutical statistician, many employers will expect an MSc or PhD.
Professional short courses are also available for statistical software packages such as SAS, SPSS, Stata and Minitab.
For a career in the financial sector, you'll usually need to study for professional qualifications. These are often achieved part time as part of your employment. Chartership and/or professional accreditation are available in areas such as accountancy, banking, insurance and actuarial work, and are vital for career development.
What do statistics graduates do?
Two thirds of statistics graduates were employed in the UK six months after graduation. The top three occupations for these graduates are actuaries, finance and investment analysts and advisers, and business professionals.
|Working and studying||6.8|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Business, HR and financial||55.1|
|Retail, catering and bar work||6.3|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||5.7|
For a detailed breakdown of what statistics graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.