Statistics is all about planning and collection of data and its processing and analysis.It entails drawing conclusions and finally making reasonable decisions based on the results of the analysis.Most statisticians apply their knowledge to practical problems.Statistical methods are useful in planning experiments in physical and social sciences and in medicine,engineering,industry and agriculture.
Statisticians aid in determining methods for sampling and data collection,monitor the execution of studies and the processing of data,and serve as a resource.They can be classified into academic and research statisticians and applied statisticians.Academic and research statisticians train students doing research in a specialisation of their choice.They develop new theories and revise existing ones thereby providing a theoretical foundation upon which the applied statistician depends.Basic research in statistical theory is mainly conducted at universities.
Applied statisticians are concerned with problems of data interpretation in the commercial,industrial and scientific sectors.They assist in planning procedures to collect and analyse information and work in such diverse fields as finance,economics,engineering,medicine,psychology,astronomy,chemistry,life insurance and agriculture.They are responsible for the design of the sampling procedures and experiments and are able to calculate the reliability and validity of the conclusions.
Statisticians usually will be required to deal with large data sets processing of which requires the help of a computer.Statisticians must have orderly and logical minds and a high level of reasoning and problem solving skills.The ability to communicate and to explain results to non-statisticians is very important.
Statisticians are mainly concentrated in the central and state government departments (Commerce;Bureau of the Census;Agriculture;Health;and HR) and academia (colleges and universities).Then there are jobs in research councils like the Agricultural Research Council,Medical Research Councils,Human Science Research Council,market research firms,international organisations like the World Bank,financial institutions and Insurance and Investment Companies.There are plenty of jobs in private industry,especially in the transportation sector,research and testing services,management and public relations,and computer and data processing services industries.Many statisticians act as consultants to the private and public sector.
Agriculture is a major economic activity in our country,which requires statisticians.They undertake basic,applied and adaptive research leading to new developments in agricultural statistics and related fields.They provide advisory or consultancy services to agricultural scientists,planners,policy makers and others on their statistical and computer requirements.
Another major field of operation for statisticians is forensic science.Forensic statistics is the application of statistics to forensic science and the law.The primary task is to evaluate any evidence found at a crime scene,so that this evidence can be appropriately presented to a jury in court.This task obviously carries great responsibility.One typical example is that of a forensic statistician involved with DNA profiling,which is a powerful method of identification using genetics.Medical statistics is very important in modern medicine.A medical statistician may be involved in designing and analysing trials of new products for a big pharmaceutical company or analysing a clinical trial report.A clinical trial report runs into several pages containing information about drug trials.Working on these statistics can be quite a job.Cricket is another field where statisticians are in great demand.Enjoy the test or one-day match and work on the statistics too!
Most universities offer graduate or postgraduate courses in mathematics and statistics.There are over 150 colleges or institutes in India offering graduate or postgraduate courses in Mathematics with specialisation in statistics.Prospective statisticians can follow a BSc degree in Statistics or Mathematical Statistics.Another option for aspiring statisticians is a degree course leading to BCom and then pursuing specialisation.In India one of the best options would be the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI),an institution devoted to the research,teaching and application of statistics,natural sciences and social sciences.
INSTITUTIONS IN INDIA
- Indian Statistical Institute,Bangalore
- Indian Statistical Institute,New Delhi
- Indian Statistical Institute,Kolkata
- Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI),New Delhi