In the 2016 edition (available to buy here) Old Moore made this prediction: “Data science is ‘hot’ and degrees in Data Science become in demand.”

Well, a report has just surfaced today from the American Statistical Association that the job of statistician is now projected as a top 10 fastest-growing job. In fact, colleges and universities plan to expand statistics and data analytics programs to meet the growing demand.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics in the U.S. projects that employment of statisticians will grow 34% up until 2024, compared to 28% for mathematical science occupations, and 7% for all occupations. The field ranks 9th on the Department of Labour’s list of 20 fastest-growing occupations. The job of statistician is one of only four non-healthcare STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs to appear on the list.

Total employment for statisticians grew 54% since 2000, from 17,520 to 26,970. The American Statistical Association, the largest professional association of statisticians, attributes this growth to a greater appreciation for the role of statistics–the science of learning from data, and of measuring, controlling, and communicating uncertainty–by business, government and nonprofit organisations.

Jobs such as data scientist, actuary and market research analyst require some level of proficiency in statistical science. Together, these careers account for hundreds of thousands of high-skilled jobs.

The strong demand for people who can work with and analyse data has led to increased wages for statisticians. Mean annual wages for statisticians grew 12% between 2000 and 2014 in inflation-adjusted dollars. For a majority of other workers during this period, which includes the recession, wages remained flat or dropped.

“We often hear that wages are declining or remaining flat for many workers, but that’s not the case for statisticians. People with degrees in statistics are highly sought after for their ability to analyse and interpret data and to understand risk and uncertainty,” says Statistical Association President Jessica Utts.

In response to the demand for statisticians, colleges and universities across the nation are expanding their statistics programs. Statistics has become one of the fastest-growing degrees. The demand for statistics courses among non-statistics majors also is increasing.

So if you know someone who is deciding what degree to pursue, send them the link to this story.



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