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Biostatistics – Why Choose This Career?

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U.S. News and World Report said the Best Job in 2016 was statistician. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says jobs in statistics are expected to grow 34% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the 7% average for all occupations. Add an interest in working in public health and a chance to positively impact society to your love of statistics and your PhD, and a career in biostatistics might be for you.

The Department of Biostatistics at UCLA offers the following “fine qualities” for a biostatistics position:

  • The heavy lifting is intellectual, not physical.
  • It pays well. Starting salaries for a PhD in biostatistics often exceed $100,000 per year.
  • The skills are transferable and attractive to employers.
  • The work is collaborative. To be a successful biostatistician, you must effectively communicate with your collaborators. As a result, biostatistics is unlikely to be outsourced the way expertise in other fields has in recent years.
  • It is rewarding to solve real life problems, using skills that few people have. Statistical models can help cure diseases and improve quality of life.
  • It is intellectually stimulating. You are constantly developing creative ways to solve problems. Your job is changing and evolving with cutting edge science.

Where do you find a job in biostatistics?

Pharmaceutical Companies

These firms vary from small to very large national and international companies. Some have both marketing and manufacturing facilities while others concentrate solely on research and development. Many of the larger companies have statistical groups of 20-30 associates.

Contract Research Organizations (CROs)

These companies provide research and development services to pharmaceutical companies. They work in tandem to obtain product approval from regulatory authorities world-wide. Statisticians working in CROs tend to have exposure to more therapeutic areas and styles of summarizing data.

Regulatory Authorities

Responsible for scrutiny of the statistical content of submissions for regulatory approval of a drug after its development through all stages of clinical trials.

Interested? Contact Nihar Parikh, Biostatistics Executive Recruiter at Smith Hanley Associates at nparikh@smithhanley.com.

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