G.I. Joe’s slogan was “Knowledge is power.” Well, Statistics majors would probably say something like, “Knowledge is useless without proper interpretation and analysis.” Statistics is more than just a math major. It involves gathering data and figuring out what it means. That can range from predicting election results to determining the results of pharmaceutical testing.
This is the perfect major for someone with two loves. Remember Florence Nightingale? She loved math and nursing. Love horses? Great – you can collect and analyze data for equine studies. Love scuba diving? There are underwater statistics to be gathered and figured out.
While math is an important element of statistics, computer skills actually trump in statistics. A Statistics major is a pro at making sure accurate results come out, and are just as slick at putting together charts, graphs or whatever is necessary to share the information.
This is a major for methodical people. If you often find you lack method to your personal madness, you may want to shy away.
In addition to the math and computer skills to come up with your results, you’ll learn how to collect data that is accurate and representative. In other words, you’ll learn what data counts and what doesn’t because (a) it’s not a good representation, or (b) it was biased or flawed in collection. Your results will mean nothing if the information gathered isn’t correct.
This all depends on you. You can do private consulting. You can work for a pharmaceutical company, the government, media outlets. Have you ever watched a baseball game where statistics weren’t spewed out every 10 seconds? You can get a job with Major League Baseball collecting all those statistics. And you might be surprised how many jobs are available in computer software, biology and other science fields.
If your high school offers Advanced Placement Statistics, take it. Extra math classes wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. And definitely get comfortable with a computer … and not just for music downloads.
Take all the calculus classes you can, even the ones that aren’t required. The better your understanding of the math behind statistics, the better. Also, take any additional communications classes to help you give a polished presentation of your results. It will help you as you earn your degree and be vital in your career.