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We live in a world where data and numerical reasoning is relied upon for describing and explaining various aspects of our world and for planning and making decisions. Statistics is the application of mathematical principles to the collection, analysis and presentation of numerical data. Statistical analysis is used in a wide range of fields including biology, economics, education, engineering, medicine, marketing, psychology and sports.
Statisticians apply their mathematical and statistical knowledge to the design of surveys and experiments; the collection and analysis of data; and the interpretation of the results. Statisticians provide important guidance in determining what information is reliable and which predictions can be trusted.
Statistics graduates may find employment in a diverse range of government and private industry sectors where the analysis of data is important.
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.
Academic advice: view Study Pathways for this major »
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).
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:
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 at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/program/postgraduate/
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.
- Business Process Analyst/Operations Research Analyst
- Data Analyst
- Data Mining Analyst
- Economic Analyst
- Economic/Social Statistician
- Financial Analyst
- Graduate Programs - Public and Private Sectors
- Intelligence Officer
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.
- 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.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- 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.
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.
- AAMI (Australia)
- AC Neilsen (Australia)
- ACA Research (Australia)
- Accenture Australia Ltd (International)
- Access Testing (Australia)
- Air Services Australia (Australia)
- Anglo-Australian Observatory (International)
- Aristocrat (Australia)
- AusBioTech (Australia)
- Australian and International Statistical Agencies Listing (International)
- Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economists (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Meteorology (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australia)
- Australian Genome Research Facility (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Family Studies (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Sport (International)
- Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Australia)
- Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Australia)
- Australian Secret Intelligence Service (Australia)
- Australian Stem Cell Centre (Australia)
- Bain & Company (International)
- Barclays Capital (International)
- Boeing Australia (Australia)
- Boston Consulting Group (International)
- Canon Information Systems Research Australia (Australia)
- Carlson Marketing Group (Australia)
- Centre for Bioinformatics, Biomarker Discovery & Information-Based Medicine (Australia)
- The Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research (Australia)
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia)
- CSIRO (Australia)
- Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO) (Australia)
- Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) (Australia)
- Deloitte (Australia)
- Department of Defence - Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) (Australia)
- Department of Defence (Australia)
- Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia)
- Deutsche Bank (International)
- Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Sydney) (Australia)
- Google (International)
- Hunter Medical Research Institute (Australia)
- Hunter New England Health (Australia)
- KPMG (International)
- Lilly (Australia)
- Macquarie Bank (Australia)
- NAB (Australia)
- National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd (Australia)
- NSW Department of Health (Australia)
- NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet (Australia)
- NSW Roads & Traffic Authority (Australia)
- NSW Treasury (Australia)
- Office of Economic and Statistical Research (QLD) (Australia)
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (Australia)
- Prince Henry's Medical Research Institute (Australia)
- Questacon (Australia)
- Reserve Bank of Australia (Australia)
- Sports Marketing Surveys (Australia)
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 .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
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.
- American Statistical Association (International)
- Asia Pacific Professional Services Marketing Association (Australia)
- Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (International)
- Australian Market and Social Research Society (Australia)
- Australian Marketing Institute (Australia)
- Australian Mathematical Society (Australia)
- Institute of Actuaries of Australia (Australia)
- Institute of Mathematical Statistics (International)
- International Association for Mathematical Geology (International)
- International Centre of Excellence for Education in Mathematics (Australia)
- International Statistical Institute (International)
- The Market Research Society of Australia (Australia)
- The Marketing Association of Australia and New Zealand (Australia)
- National Insurance Brokers Association of Australia (Australia)
- Royal Statistical Society (International)
- Statistical Society of Australia Inc (Australia)
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.
- 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
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.
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
You will recognise these attributes in the selection criteria listed in the following job ads.
Sample Job Ads & Tips
Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.
Please note, the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.