A Career in Statistics Beyond the Numbers

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-06-28
  • Publisher: Wiley

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This book serves as an excellent companion to its predecessor, The Role of Statistics in Business and Industry. In this volume, the authors help readers decide whether a career in statistics is appropriate for them and what to expect once in it. They provide insights into the work environment and how students and entry-level statisticians can best prepare themselves to succeed, offering hints for success in training, career paths, and lifelong learning. This book is a must-have for anyone considering a career in statistics, as well as for faculty who prepare students for such a career.

Author Biography

Gerald J. Hahn, PhD, worked at the GE Global Research Center for 46 years, where he managed its statistics group for 28 years and was elected a Coolidge Fellow, the organization's highest honor, in 1984. A Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and American Society for Quality (ASQ), Dr. Hahn is the author of numerous papers and the coauthor of Statistical Models in Engineering; Statistical Intervals: A Guide for Practitioners; and The Role of Statistics in Business and Industry, all published by Wiley. He has received many professional awards and served as adjunct professor at various universities. Necip Doganaksoy, PhD, is a Statistician and Principal Technologist at the GE Global Research Center, where he has worked for over 20 years; he is also an Adjunct Professor at Union Graduate College. A Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a Fellow of ASA and ASQ, Dr. Doganaksoy has written more than 60 articles on quality, reliability, and productivity improvement and coauthored The Role of Statistics in Business and Industry (Wiley). He received ASQ's William G. Hunter Award in 2009.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Prologue: A Career In Statisticsp. 1
About This Chapterp. 1
What is Statistics?p. 1
Who is a Statistician?p. 2
Who Employs Statisticians?p. 3
The Statistical Thought Process and What Makes it Specialp. 4
Many Skills Requiredp. 7
Beyond the Workplacep. 8
Some Downsides of a Career in Statisticsp. 9
The Excitement of a Career in Statisticsp. 10
Embarking on a Career in Statisticsp. 11
Accreditationp. 15
Professional Societiesp. 16
A Previewp. 16
Further Readingp. 17
Major Takeawaysp. 18
Discussion Questionsp. 19
The Work of A Statisticianp. 21
What Statisticians Do In Business And Industryp. 23
About This Chapterp. 23
Manufactured Product Applicationsp. 23
Service Business Applicationsp. 28
Process Improvementp. 30
Further Applicationsp. 31
Major Takeawaysp. 32
Discussion Questionsp. 32
What Statisticians Engaged In Official Government Statistics Dop. 35
About This Chapterp. 35
The Scope of Official Statisticsp. 36
Examples of the Workp. 39
Challenges of the Workp. 41
Research Opportunitiesp. 45
Some Major Employers in the U.S. Federal Governmentp. 46
Required Credentialsp. 47
Integration of U.S. Government Statistical Activitiesp. 49
Local Official Government Statistics Activitiesp. 50
Government Statisticians Outside The United Statesp. 51
Compensation and Other Considerationsp. 52
Sources of Further Informationp. 53
Major Takeawaysp. 53
Discussion Questionsp. 54
What Statisticians Do: Some Other Application Areasp. 57
About This Chapterp. 57
Regulatory Activitiesp. 57
Healthp. 59
National Defensep. 61
Other Scientific Researchp. 62
Social and Behavioral Sciencesp. 65
Teaching (in Nonacademic Settings)p. 71
Some Further Institutes for Research in the United Statesp. 71
Major Takeawaysp. 73
Discussion Questionsp. 73
The Work Environment And On-The-Job Challengesp. 75
About This Chapterp. 75
Receptiveness to Statistics and Statisticiansp. 75
Where do Statisticians Fit into the Organization?p. 79
Two Modes of Operationp. 80
Grading Systemsp. 82
Globalizationp. 83
Hail to Our Managers!p. 84
Some Challengesp. 86
Women in Statisticsp. 90
Major Takeawaysp. 93
Discussion Questionsp. 94
Preparing For A Successful Career In Statisticsp. 97
Characteristics Of Successful Statisticiansp. 99
About This Chapterp. 99
Analytical and Technical Skillsp. 100
Communication and Interpersonal Skillsp. 100
Ability to Size Up Problems and See the "Big Picture"p. 101
Flexibilityp. 102
A Proactive Mindsetp. 102
Persistencep. 103
A Realistic Attitudep. 104
Enthusiasm and Appropriate Self-Confidencep. 105
Ability to Prioritize, Manage Time, and Cope with Stressp. 105
Team Skillsp. 106
Leadership Skillsp. 106
Ability to Properly Apply and Adapt Knowledgep. 107
Passion for Lifelong Learningp. 108
Further Readingp. 108
As Others See Itp. 108
Major Takeawaysp. 111
Discussion Questionsp. 111
Education For Successp. 113
About This Chapterp. 113
The Statistics Advanced Placement Course and Other High School Programsp. 114
Degrees in Statistics: The Numbersp. 114
How Far To Go: Bachelor's, Master's, or Ph.D. Degree?p. 116
Selecting the Right School and Programp. 120
Statistical Education: Setting the Foundationsp. 125
Coursework in Statisticsp. 126
Statistical Computing and Softwarep. 131
Some Other Recommendationsp. 134
Internships and University Consultingp. 138
Entering Statistics from Other Fieldsp. 141
Further Resourcesp. 142
Concluding Comment: The Limits of Formal Statistical Educationp. 142
As Others See Itp. 143
Major Takeawaysp. 145
Discussion Questionsp. 146
Getting The Right Jobp. 149
About This Chapterp. 149
Defining Career Goalsp. 149
Identifying Opportunitiesp. 151
Resume Writingp. 154
The Job Interviewp. 157
Follow-Upp. 164
Providing Referencesp. 165
Some Further Hintsp. 165
Assessing Job Offersp. 166
Major Takeawaysp. 170
Discussion Questionsp. 171
Building A Successful Career As A Statisticianp. 173
On-The-Job Strategies: Project Initiation And Executionp. 175
About This Chapterp. 175
Project Initiationp. 175
Project Executionp. 184
As Others See Itp. 190
Major Takeawaysp. 194
Discussion Questionsp. 194
On-The-Job Strategies: Communication, Publicizing, And Ethicsp. 197
About This Chapterp. 197
Communication, Communication, Communicationp. 197
Publicizing Statistics (And Statisticians)p. 205
Ethical Considerationsp. 207
Major Takeawaysp. 216
Discussion Questionsp. 216
Getting Good Data: A Key Challengep. 219
About This Chapterp. 219
Designed Experimentsp. 220
Census and Random Sampling Studies of Human and Other Populationsp. 221
Systems Development Studiesp. 224
Observational Studiesp. 225
Hints for Getting the Right Datap. 233
A Process for Data Gatheringp. 240
Major Takeawaysp. 247
Discussion Questionsp. 248
Career Pathsp. 251
About This Chapterp. 251
Some Roles for Applied Statisticiansp. 251
Other Major Roles to which Applied Statisticians Might Aspirep. 253
Some Career Pathsp. 256
More on Statistical Leadershipp. 258
Contributions Beyond the Workplacep. 259
Some More Career Examplesp. 261
Putting It All Togetherp. 264
Major Takeawaysp. 265
Discussion Questionsp. 265
Further Perspectives: Careers In Academia And Professional Developmentp. 267
Careers In Academiap. 269
About This Chapterp. 269
What Statisticians in Academia do: An Overviewp. 270
Types of Positionsp. 273
Location within the Institutionp. 277
More on Tenurep. 277
Life Beyond Tenurep. 279
Teaching Challengesp. 280
Research Challengesp. 286
Consulting Challengesp. 292
Administrative Service Challengesp. 294
Professional Service Challengesp. 295
More on the Academic Environmentp. 296
Training to Become an Academic Statisticianp. 298
Career Pathsp. 300
Downsides of a Career as an Academic Statisticianp. 303
Bright Sides of a Career as an Academic Statisticianp. 304
A Career as a Statistician in Academia: A Summary Comparisonp. 305
Major Takeawaysp. 305
Discussion Questionsp. 307
Maintaining The Momentump. 309
About This Chapterp. 309
Some Internet Resourcesp. 310
Formal Educationp. 311
Technical and Professional Journalsp. 312
Technical Conferencesp. 315
Future Opportunity Areasp. 318
Major Takeawaysp. 319
Discussion Questionsp. 319
Referencesp. 321
Indexp. 331
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