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Opportunities for Biostatisticians

Biostatisticians with graduate training are needed who can:

  • collaborate with scientists on conception, design, analysis, and interpretation of novel studies
  • address new challenges arising from advances in biomedical science
  • train the next generation of biostatisticians
  • Doctoral-level biostatisticians are needed in academia as faculty to teach graduate courses, direct student research, and develop new methods
  • Masters and doctoral-level biostatisticians are sought to collaborate with investigators in institutions such as cancer research centers and medical schools on the design, analysis, and interpretation of studies
  • Federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration hire biostatisticians with graduate training to carry out research and to collaborate on setting of policy and approval of drugs
  • The pharmaceutical industry is a major employer of biostatisticians, who work in every aspect of drug development

Starting salaries are competitive, and the work is very rewarding!

Training to be a Biostatistician

Graduate-level training in biostatistics is available in Departments of Statistics and Biostatistics in universities nationwide. Students come from a broad variety of undergraduate majors including statistics, mathematics, computer science, engineering, biology, physics, economics, psychology, and education. A background in calculus and linear algebra and computing experience is very helpful. An introductory statistics course covering the basics of statistical thinking is also good preparation.

Upon enrolling in a graduate program, students take courses in statistical theory and methods. Theory courses provide the mathematical foundation underlying statistical methods. Methods courses focus on the appropriate use of statistical techniques for different types of problems. Further courses build on this background, covering specialized topics such as the analysis of survival data, longitudinal data analysis, and advanced statistical modeling.

An excellent way to find out if biostatistics is the right career path for you is to enroll in the Summer Institute in Biostatistics!