Career Opportunities

Successful college graduates are those who have strong mathematical, statistical, and computer skills and are able to effectively communicate statistical results to nonstatistical audiences. Employers are eagerly seeking men and women who have these types of skills. Grand Valley's statistics major will equip you with the skills needed to meet the increasing demands of business and industry for people who can provide leadership in making management decisions based on disciplined data collection and statistical analysis.

Graduates will learn the theoretical foundations of the field and how to apply statistical methods to a variety of subject areas such as business administration, computer science, economics, engineering, psychology, and the biological, physical, and social sciences. They may use this knowledge to predict population growth, to forecast economic and business trends, or to analyze market research data on the viability of a new product. Statistical techniques are increasingly used to evaluate new teaching methods in education and cause and effect in the behavioral sciences. Medical and pharmaceutical research depends heavily on statistical methodology. It is necessary to use statistics to evaluate sample surveys that determine public opinions or the extent of social problems in our society.

Another exciting area that requires the use of statistics is that of actuarial science. Actuaries are statisticians who use their quantitative skills to analyze and plan for future financial situations. For example, they estimate the impact of seatbelt laws in automobile losses and determine appropriate rate discounts, calculate the price to charge for insuring a satellite launch, and project what the AIDS epidemic will cost life and health insurance companies in 5, 10, and 20 years. The demand for college graduates with these specialized skills is ever increasing. The major in statistics prepares students for such a career.

Many other applications exist, such as monitoring and controlling quality in manufacturing, determining the effects of environmental pollution, and aiding business managers and government officials in their decision-making process. In fact, any area that uses the scientific method in the decision-making process is a candidate for the application of statistics.

Not only will students receive a thorough understanding of the theory and application of statistical methods, but they will receive hands-on experience in the analysis of real-life data. Our program also gives training in oral and written communication skills, which are essential in today's society. Finally, students majoring in statistics will be highly skilled in the operation of statistical computer packages such as SAS, SPSS, and Statgraphics.

Page last modified August 4, 2010