Careers in Biostatistics

Experts in biostatistics are in high demand in the full spectrum of the health sciences: data management and analysis; pharmaceutical and clinical trials; academic and industrial positions; and government at the federal, state, and local levels. For example, biostatisticians are needed to show whether the seemingly good results of a drug were likely because of the drug rather than just the effect of random variation in patient outcomes.

Representative positions held by our graduates:

  • Statistical analyst in the health insurance industry
  • Senior consulting research statistician in a university
  • Biostatistician, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Vice president for information systems for a peer review organization
  • Surveillance program administrator in a state health department

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 30 percent of statisticians work for federal, state, and local governments, including research universities. Other employers include scientific research and development services and finance and insurance firms. The field of biostatistics should experience employment growth, primarily because of the booming pharmaceuticals business. As pharmaceutical companies develop new treatments and medical technologies, biostatisticians will be needed to do research and clinical trials.

A master's degree is the minimum educational requirement for most jobs as a biostatistician. However, research and academic jobs generally require a PhD.

Continuing education is important for biostatisticians because they need to stay abreast emerging technologies to perform well. For information about our Summer Program in Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiological Methods, click here.

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