A statistician is a person who studies statistics. In other words, a statistician is a person who designs methods of data collection and interprets datasets by statistical computations, or who studies the theory thereof. The work of a statistician is based on the theory of probability. When working with large datasets, and/or when using advanced techniques such as neural networks, such statisticians are also known as data scientists.


Many statisticians work in medical research and the pharmaceutical industry. They are responsible for designing efficient experiments and surveys, developing statistical methods, and interpreting study results. Most important studies published in medical journals have been designed, analyzed and editorially reviewed by statisticians. These statisticians and others working with biological applications are often referred to as biostatisticians. Most are highly satisfied with their career choice.

Applied statisticians work in most fields that use empirical methods to validate or test theories. Some work in government organizations such as the U.S. Census Bureau or the Government Statistical Service in the United Kingdom. Industrial statisticians may establish expertise in market research, finance, quality assurance, and many other fields.

Academic statisticians often work with mathematics groups, but tend to have a more applied focus. Some mathematical statisticians are concerned solely with developing new statistical theories, but others in the academy collaborate with scientists and engineers in much the same way as those in industry, medicine, or government.

Statistical Organizations

The American Statistical Association (ASA) website and the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) website are leading statistical societies in the U.S. and the U.K. that provide information on careers in statistics. They also publish academic, educational and practitioner journals and sponsor many conferences and meetings for academics and practitioners. The ASA is also a sponsor of special events for USAMO winners.

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