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.

Where are our graduates working?

  • Faculty member at a large university
  • Senior consulting research statistician at a university
  • Biostatistian at a leading biotechnology company
  • Statistical analyst in the health insurance industry
  • 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 contract research organizations, scientific research and development services as well as financial and insurance firms. The field of biostatistics should continue to experience employment growth, primarily because of the booming pharmaceutical industry. As pharmaceutical companies develop new treatments and medical technologies, biostatisticians will continue to be needed to conduct research and analyze clinical trial data.

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