How to Become a Biostatistician

Biostatisticians use statistical methods when performing research studies and collecting and analyzing data. Mathematical techniques are used to analyze issues and trends within health care, pharmaceutical and biomedical fields. Additional job tasks include developing clinical trials toward the goal of creating effective methods of treatment. Biostatisticians design surveys, determine the sampling groups from which to gather the data, format the collection methods and interpret the results. Results of research studies are used to analyze risk factors, origins and possible intervention and treatment for diseases. An entry level position within the field requires extensive training and a college degree. Here are some helpful tips on how to become a biostatistician.


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    Ascertain your aptitudes in mathematics and statistics before considering a career as a biostatistician. This type of work requires skills in advanced levels of mathematics including linear algebra, differential and integral calculus, mathematical modeling, applied multivariate analysis and statistical methods.
    • Additional required skills include biostatistics, vector analysis and research abilities in computer sampling and population models. Your foundation coursework should include studies in public health and science.
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    Recognize that the minimum requirement for becoming a biostatistician is to have a Bachelor's Degree. Many government positions in this field are open to applicants with a 4 year degree in biostatistics. Some companies and organizations prefer applicants with a Master's Degree or Ph.D. in biostatistics.
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    Consider applying for a research fellowship or grant while in college. This type of program provides the opportunity to work with social scientists and statisticians while completing your academic studies.
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    Explore the possibility of an internship to acquire knowledge and gain valuable experience. An internship can be arranged while you are still in college prior to graduation.
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    Become a member of a professional association. An example is the American Statistical Association (ASA). This organization provides members with information on fellowships, grants and internships in addition to access to industry resources and tools such as publications, events and meetings.
    • Use the free job services offered to members by the American Statistical Association (ASA). The website offers a tool with tips to help you design your resume, or curriculum vitae (CV) and cover letter when applying for a position as a biostatistician.
    • The American Statistical Association (ASA) website also provide jobs placement services to members. The association offers members full recruiting services for both applicants seeking jobs and companies that are looking to fill open positions.
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    Attend meetings, workshops and conferences for biostatisticians. Network and socialize with other professionals already working in the field. Many events are sponsored by professional associations that provide focused services and resources.
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    Go to job fairs and meet with company representatives. You will have the opportunity to review job openings and directly apply for positions as a biostatistician.
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    Browse the web for online job boards. Some sites specialize in technical positions. Register and upload your resume to make yourself more visible to companies that are actively recruiting applicants for positions as a biostatistician.
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    Apply directly to research firms, pharmaceutical companies, or government agencies for a position as a biostatistician. Visit their websites, explore jobs openings and submit your resume and cover letter.

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