Career as a Biostatistician


Summary

Biostatisticians analyze data and statistics on living things collected during medical research studies to draw conclusions or make predications. They may also contribute to the design and execution of research studies in collaboration with other statisticians and scientists. During the execution of the clinical trial, some may monitor how the study is conducted to ensure that the integrity of the results won't be compromised. Writing research proposals and conveying their findings to the scientific community is another important part of their job. Some Biostatisticians may also teach at universities while conducting their research. Performing fieldwork and collecting data is also an important aspect of the job. With the need for data intensive research in so many disciplines, biostatistics is one way statistics has been adapted for a specific purpose. Biostatistics involves the development and application of statistical techniques to scientific research in health-related fields, such as genetics, genomics, and neuroscience.

Daily duties for research or pharmaceutical biostatisticians may include analyzing genetic data and disease occurrence. This information may be used in developing clinical trials to assess drug treatments. Academic and government biostatisticians may review data of populations exposed to environmental chemicals and conditions to understand the risks and effects.

Work Environment

Biostatisticians spend the greater part of their workdays in an office setting, typically working on a computer. Becoming familiar with specialized programs used to analyze statistics and lab results will be extremely useful for this field. They will often be required to collaborate with a team of scientists and researchers, meaning that they spend a great deal of their day interacting both in person and through phone and email. Some Biostatisticians that are employed by universities will spend a good portion of their time in a lab, as well as the classroom. They may need to travel to confer with other scientists. Most of these professionals work full-time on a normal daytime schedule. If a particular project is nearing its deadline or is overdue, then overtime may be required.

Entry Level Education

  • Bachelor's Degree in Biostatistics, Statistics, or Math.
  • Though there are some entry-level positions open for those holding Bachelor's Degrees, most Biostatisticians go on to achieve their Master's or Doctorates.

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