Statistics

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Undergraduate Major

Description

The Statistics major within the Bachelor of Mathematics acquaints students with the application of mathematical principles to the collection, analysis, and presentation of numerical data. Imparted within this program is the ability to design surveys and experiments, collect and analyse data, and interpret results. Statistical analysis can be applied in a range of fields, including biology, economics, education, engineering, medicine, marketing, psychology, sports, and social science.

Graduates are highly valued for their data analysis and numerical reasoning, and are relied on for describing and explaining aspects of our world and for planning and making decisions. Ultimately, they provide important guidance in determining what information is reliable and which predictions can be trusted. Employment opportunities exist in varying levels and departments of government, public and private research and development facilities, the financial and business sectors, telecommunications and communication providers, and a host of multinational and nongovernmental organisations.

Please Note: it is recommended that those who are interested in complimenting their studies with a major outside the Bachelor of Mathematics program, apply for a combined degree program.

A good description of Statistics can be found on the School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences site.

View our Bachelor of Mathematics in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

View our Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) / Bachelor of Mathematics in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

Academic advice: view Study Pathways for this major »

Honours:

An Honours year is available to students as a separate program in the form of an additional year to those who meet the entry requirements. For more information about this program, see Bachelor of Mathematics (Honours).

Postgraduate Study:

Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of postgraduate study options available. Postgraduate study may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the postgraduate study options include:

Research:

Masters
PhD

Coursework:

Postgraduate coursework programs can add further specialisations in areas including business, safety, quality assurance and teaching. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.

Sample Jobs

You can select elective courses from a range of areas which may give your major in statistics a focus in areas like business, science or computing. The sample job titles listed include a range of opportunities for graduates at degree, honours, postgraduate study and experience levels.

Generalist Options

Graduates are also able to use the transferable skills gained in their studies to work outside the mathematics fields. In some instances, further study and/or work experience may be required.

As well as the jobs listed above, there are many positions outside the general field of Mathematics that graduates may pursue using the transferable skills gained in their studies. The list of job titles below shows examples of the type of jobs / careers graduates can diversify into; that might not necessarily be directly related to their degree.

Getting the Edge

Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.

  1. Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
  2. Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
  3. Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
  4. Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
  5. Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
  6. Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
  7. Consider volunteering.

Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.

 

Sample Employers

Statistics graduates are employed across a variety of industries, in large and small organisations. Below is a sample of employers who recruit graduates, including those organisations that have graduate programs. Check employers’ websites for a section called Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs or similar titles. Some of these employers may offer vacation work opportunities.

Recruitment Timing

Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.

Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .

Societies and Associations

Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.


Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.

Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.

Job Search Sites

Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:

Australian and International

  • CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.

Australian

  • CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
  • MyCareer: Australian and international listings
  • Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
  • The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs

International

Graduate Attributes and Employability

Graduate attributes for the Bachelor of Mathematics are the skills, abilities and knowledge that are highly sought after by a broader range of employers. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.

Graduate Attributes

On completion of the Bachelor of Mathematics degree, a graduate will be able to demonstrate:

1. In-depth knowledge and skills in mathematics;

a. Proficiency in the fundamentals of mathematics and statistics.
b. Knowledge and skills of at least one area of Mathematics to a depthsufficient for further study, research or employment as amathematician or statistician.
c. Overview of areas of mathematics and understanding of connectionsbetween them.

2. Experience and understanding of mathematical applications;

a. Ability to formulate mathematically problems arising outside mathematics.
b. Ability to validate mathematical models and to interpret their results.
c. Ability to apply and adapt mathematical or statistical knowledge to a wide range of situations.

3. Judgement and ability in problem solving;

a. Ability to form conjectures and test them using mathematical or statistical methods.
b. Ability to reason formally from hypotheses to conclusions.
c. Experience in the use of mathematical and statistical resources from the literature or in computational tools.
d. Ability to develop mathematical methods for the solution of problems.

4. Effective communication with the mathematical and broader community;

a. Ability to use mathematical or statistical tools to assimilate and to present information.
b. Ability to present clear and systematic reasoning in an appropriate form.
c. Ability to articulate mathematical concepts and arguments.

5. Independence and collaboration;

a. Capacity to work autonomously.
b. Capacity to work in a team.
c. Sound basis for independent learning and awareness of directions further study might take.

6. Understanding of the importance of standards of mathematical practice within the profession and broader community;

a. Awareness of importance of using appropriate mathematical and statistical models.
b. Able to validate the reliability of mathematical techniques and cognisant of their scope.
c. Prepared to keep up with developments in mathematics and statistics