As the world becomes increasingly quantitative, more and more professions depend on data and numerical reasoning to provide information which will guide them in decision-making when faced with uncertainty. As quantitative data becomes more readily available, so to does the demand for the services of Statisticians. A statistician is a professional who oversees trustworthy data collection, undertakes a careful analysis of the data and interpretation of such, and drawing practical conclusions from results.
Statistics uses mathematics, but it is not abstract or isolated. Statisticians work with people from other professional backgrounds to solve practical problems. Statistics uses modern computing to organize and analyze data; statisticians command specialized tools, but the emphasis is on understanding the data and the problem to be solved.
Statisticians must know more than Statistics. A Statistician who works in medicine or in a manufacturing plant or in market research must learn enough about these fields to understand the data in their setting. Statisticians need the ability to work with other people, to listen, and to communicate effectively in both the oral and written form.
The Statistics program covers topics related to the mathematical foundations of statistics, probability, applied statistics, actuarial statistics, computer science, and advanced topics such as time-series analysis, Bayesian statistics, the Design of Experiments, Regression analysis, and more. Statistics students will develop a craft that involves skills in gathering and organizing information and making logical conclusions based on scientific reasoning. The program focuses upon understanding statistical reasoning and the application of statistics to real-world situations.
Why Study Statistics?
Improving your quality of life
Statisticians contribute to numerous areas of daily life and their work can help improve our wellbeing in a variety of ways. For instance, some statisticians work with medical teams to design experiments and analyze complex data that could lead to improved medical treatments, while others collect data about the effects of pollution and human activity on ecosystems and our planet. Others could be responsible for producing data that could impact government programs, inform public policy, or influence any number of important decisions.
After completing the program, graduates in Statistics are able to pose critical questions and solve academic, professional and ethical problems in the workplace. Graduates can also relate theory to practice, communicate competently and effectively and set and attain goals. These attributes are valuable in a wide variety of work environments and can help Statistics students build successful careers.
In a world increasingly focused on quantitative descriptors, where industries demand reliability informed by solid statistics, statisticians are enjoying a growing demand for their services. The Statistics degree has become more valuable as employment prospects continue to rise due to the need for experts who can produce trustworthy data and analyze complex information. Statistics graduates are well equipped to contribute significantly in many business and scientific settings and have a background that is useful for both number crunching and building a logical description of fundamental processes important to employers.
What will I study in my first year?
In your first year you’ll obtain the basic mathematical skills required in all science and engineering disciplines by taking courses such as:
- calculus: calculating with continuous quantities
- linear methods: solving systems of equations via systematic techniques
- computer science: basic knowledge of computers and programming
Courses in first year may also include a number of options from all Faculties, which all students are encouraged to take for the sake of interdisciplinary content.
What will I study in later years?
Second year builds on the basic skills learned in first year, and introduces you to foundational topics in probability theory and statistics; you are also exposed to various statistical software packages during your second year. Second year courses in calculus, specifically Calculus III and Calculus IV are also requirements in a statistic major’s second year of study.
In your third and fourth years you will pursue a variety of courses to introduce the you to both applied and theoretical branches of statistics. Courses taken in the last two years of the degree will focus on: applied probability, time-series analysis, regression analysis, the design and analysis of experiments, survey methodology, and multivariate analysis.
You are also expected to take a number of courses from outside your major field and are encouraged to take courses that will provide breadth and contribute to the interdisciplinary nature of your degree.
What can I do with my degree?
Statistics graduates possess specialized mathematical knowledge relating to calculus, probability and statistics and understand fundamental statistical methods for quantitatively assessing risk. They are strong critical thinkers able to analyze problems, perform logical calculations and engage in abstract reasoning. They have also developed oral and written, interpretative and assessment skills, as well as strengths in gathering and organizing information.
The skill sets gained by a Statistics student are applicable in many business and scientific settings, providing Statistics graduates with numerous career opportunities. Statistics graduates may find employment in a variety of fields, including product testing, sample surveys, clinical trials in medicine, nursing, biostatistics, environmental studies, finance, econometrics, information technologies, engineering, kinesiology and education.
Areas of possible employment:
Statistics Canada, Department of Economics
Public health liaison, secondary education
Market research, risk management