If you love math and want to make an impact solving real-world problems, the field of biostatistics opens many paths and can set a foundation for many career paths.
Role of a Biostatistician
Biostatisticians develop and apply statistical methods to biomedical and health data.
Contribute to Scientific Understanding
A biostatistician partners with experts in medicine and public health fields to advance scientific discovery. Using and applying the tools of statistics, a biostatistician answers some of today's most pressing questions such as: what causes cancer? Is a new drug safe, or will it work? How long is a person with a certain disease likely to live? What are the risk factors for cardiovascular disease? Are those risk factors different for men and women or different ethnic groups?
Biostatisticians design studies, decide what data to collect, analyze data from medical experiments, interpret the results of the analyses, and collaborate in writing articles to disseminate research findings. They use the quantitative tools of mathematics, statistics and computing in their day-to-day work.
Jobs in the field of biostatistics are predicted to grow faster than most professions in the next 10 years. You can be highly competitive with an advanced biostatistics degree. For some careers, entry-level positions require a master's degree at minimum. If you're interested in teaching or developing new research methodologies, a doctoral degree is required. Some typical professional roles for biostatisticians include:
- Principal Investigator
- Professor or teacher
- Research Scientist
- Data Analyst
- Data Scientist
- Quantitative Scientist
- Machine Learning Scientist
An Emerging Field
Biology, medicine, and health sciences are undergoing major and rapid changes in their development as sciences. As technological advances generate huge quantities of data, biostatistical tools and concepts are increasingly relevant to and critical for the accurate analysis and appropriate interpretation of these data. Statistical rigor is increasingly now integral to all aspects of life sciences and health services. Remaining at the forefront of such complex and dynamic fields requires the development and application of rigorous and innovative statistical techniques.