Does 2010 scare you, future job-seeker?

Companies are looking to tap into people that can manipulate and understand numbers. --- Phillip Gardner, Director, MSU College Employment Research Institute

Look ahead, look far ahead to starting your career. Then look around at where we are now.

Yes, times are tough. You know you want to have work that is in demand.

There is one job segment where new grad hiring is up a whopping 11%!

This kind of grad is in great demand because companies increasingly search for grads who are quantitatively literate.

What could it be? Read on.

In the USA, there were 40% less jobs offered for new college grads, according to Michigan State University’s new survey (on recruiting trends). MSU’s statisticians conduct an annual survey on employment trends for grads.

Now, here we are in 2010. Worldwide, the job picture is brightening slightly, but still rough. The trends for 2010, the stats, tell us that jobs requiring bachelor’s degrees are still falling, but less precipitously.

Your future job security really depends upon your qualifications. There are jobs in demand. But can you compete for them?

“Things fell apart really fast last year, but it looks like the job market for graduates has hit a bottom,” said Phil Gardner, director of MSU’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute.

In the USA now, the national unemployment rate is around 10.2%, way up from 6.8% a year ago.

Okay, we all know it’s bad. Big companies with thousands of employees are still cutting back.

But is anybody hiring? Definitely!

It’s the smaller companies (with 500 or less staff ), whose hiring is rising.

Stats predict a 15% rise in hiring in these smaller companies, many at the graduate level, will hire 11 new graduates on average in 2010, and 8 of them will be at the bachelor’s level.

The highest demand is for grads in Statistics.

Statisticians. That’s right— the number-crunchers— their demand is up 11%!

Crunching numbers

Okay, stats are all about numbers. But what do statisticians really DO?

Statisticians use computers extensively. Good speaking and writing skills are important (Statisticians often must explain their data to stats-impaired employers).

Statisticians compute. They compute many things for many purposes, wherever number dictate planning and forecasting and projections of any kind.

Statisticians help to design surveys and experiments. They also collect, analyze, and interpret numerical data. Some work for businesses and some work in government.

One group of statisticians may collect data to learn how safe new products are.

Another group may analyze marketing prospects.

Another group may project an analysis of environmental hazards.

Statisticians often use samples to collect information. A sample provides information about a small group within a much larger group. Statisticians can then take what they learned about the small group and apply it to the larger group.

Statisticians decide where and how to gather the data. They choose the sample size. They decide on the type of survey. They tell workers who gather the data how to do their job. They process the collected data and reach conclusions about the data. They do this with the help of computer software.

With the rising worldwide demand of 2010, some stats grads with only a bachelor’s in statistics can find entry-level jobs as statisticians.

However, a master’s degree is needed for the best jobs in this field.

Research and teaching jobs usually require at least a master’s degree in statistics, and generally a Ph.D. is needed (a master’s degree, plus experience, are usually needed to get a job in industrial research.)

In the US, the middle half of all statisticians earned between $48,480 and $87,850 in 2006. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned less than $37,010. The highest-paid 10 percent earned more than $108,630.

The average US starting salary offer for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in statistics was $46,547 (in 2007).

Outsourcing in the global economy will provide many job opportunities for grads everywhere— especially with the growing demand for stats grads.

Another huge plus-factor— grads in statistics will be hired in many other fields— analyzing data in so many wildly varied areas of business and life.

Just look at this list of high-paid professions involving grads in statistics—

  • Actuaries
  • Civil engineers
  • Computer programmers
  • Computer scientists
  • Computer software engineers
  • Database administrators
  • Economists
  • Financial analysts
  • Market and survey researchers
  • Mathematicians
  • Operations research analysts
  • Personal financial advisors
  • Systems analysts

In changing times, what work can you depend on?

Sustainable earnings, and dependable employment— these are what you need, to build the life you dream of having.

Over 200 universities in the US, and many more globally, offer fine degree programs in statistics.

A number of the better online institutions have excellent statistics programs as well.

2010? Fear not, future job seeker!

Empower yourself— educate, educate, educate!

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