Sunday, March 03, 2013

Stats on the Rise

Not one but two articles in the Wall Street Journal discuss the field of statistics:
More students are studying the field in high school, receiving degrees from universities and finding employers interested in their skills...

“Every place where statistics has touched, it’s basically revolutionized the profession,” said William Kahn, New York-based head of science in commercial insurance for Chartis Insurance. “Almost anywhere you go as statistician, it’s revolutionary. It’s very sexy.”

The shift is apparent at universities, which have seen a big increase in students receiving statistics degrees.
The second:
The explosive growth in data available to businesses and researchers has brought a surge in demand for people able to interpret and apply the vast new swaths of information, from the analysis of high-resolution medical images to improving the results of Internet search engines.

Schools have rushed to keep pace, offering college-level courses to high-school students, while colleges are teaching intro stats in packed lecture halls and expanding statistics departments when the budget allows...

Despite statisticians' newfound sexiness, not everyone wants to be one. Ms. Vohlers, at North Carolina State, said she still occasionally gets negative reactions when she tells classmates her major. "They look at me funny and say, 'Stats? I hate it,' " she said. "It's a little bit reassuring. It means I'll have a little less competition in the job market."
I really enjoy statistics.  That statistical analysis course I'm taking for my master's degree, though--it's conceivable I bombed the test last week. Sometimes I feel like I'm in so over my head in that class, and other times I catch the slightest glimpse of the potential, or the big picture, of some topic, and I'm right back in the thick of it because that merest glimpse was so tantalizing.

Hat tip to reader mmazenko for the links.


maxutils said...

I'm sure you're Loni-ing your test scores . . . but, as a second point, making stats fun? Try to get class sets of "How To Lie With Statistics" . . . an amusing read, and a way of renforcing good technique, while exemplifying the bad . . .

Darren said...

I don't even know what "loni-ing" test scores means.

maxutils said...

Our mutual friend Loni? Always predicts doom before acing the test.

David Foster said...

"Every place where statistics has touched, it’s basically revolutionized the profession"

Mortgage-loan securitization?