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New course will help meet shortage of statisticians

Thu, 24 Feb 2011

Graduates of a new University of East Anglia masters degree will help organisations make sense of the tidal wave of digital information confronting them.

Launched this September, the MSc in Statistics is open to applications now.

Once seen as the preserve of number-crunching geeks, a career in statistics was recently described by Google chief economist Hal Varian as "the sexy job in the next 10 years".

Statisticians collect and analyse information - looking for patterns in data to help organisations make decisions where there is uncertainty. From analysing the results of a clinical trial into a new drug, to mining insurance data to find patterns of client behaviour or detect fraud, statisticians are employed in a vast range of sectors. These include insurance, banking, government, business, market research, retail analysis, sport, health and medicine, and the pharmaceutical industry.

With an explosion in the amount of digital data being used in virtually every field, demand for statisticians has soared. There is currently a shortage of statisticians in the UK and internationally- particularly in finance, insurance and pharmaceuticals - and salaries are competitive as a result.

The new UEA course will be run jointly by the schools of Computing Sciences, Medicine, and Economics and can be studied full-time over one year or part-time over two years. After learning advanced statistical methods, including the latest statistical software used in industry, students will specialise in medical statistics, financial statistics or knowledge discovery.

"Graduates of this new MSc will be highly employable professionals with exciting careers ahead of them," said course leader Elena Kulinskaya, Aviva Professor of Statistics in UEA's School of Computing Sciences.

"We are living in an increasingly data-dependent society in which it is impossible not to engage with data. More and more professions, from the everyday to the exotic, depend on data and numerical reasoning."

For more information about the MSc in Statistics at the University of East Anglia, please contact 593503 or visit