A Career As a Biostatistician

Biostatistics is a job field in which college students are instructed in the proper ways of applying statistical research and techniques to solve problems. They are shown how to analyze experimental results and surveys to obtain necessary information. Biostatisticians will use various statistical techniques to help discover inferences about a number of life science issues.

Students are also trained in both the design and development of the methodologies needed to properly conduct surveys and experiments. Once they understand how to extract the necessary results and data they must then learn how to apply the information to help resolve many types of problems related to biological sciences or other public health concerns. This job is one that brings an enormous amount of self-satisfaction and pride, and it is a career with an exceptionally bright future.

Biostatisticians are highly recruited by many different institutions including hospitals, government agencies, research firms, large drug manufacturers and by the military. As a specialist in the field of biostatistics, there are many opportunities to work in a medical research job or to be part of a team that is conducting epidemiological disease studies. These jobs will generally offer excellent benefits and there are very good career advancement opportunities available. The pay scale for this type of job can range from $55,000-to more than $100k per year for these talented, technically trained individuals.

Although an individual can earn a BS in Biostatistics at a number of well respected college campuses, this is just the beginning. Northeastern University, Duke, Cornell, Emory University and Harvard all have excellent programs that will lead students to a good career.

Most of the job opportunities are so highly specialized that the employers prefer to hire people who have additional education beyond the basic undergraduate courses. The opportunities and job market widens considerably for those with advance degrees in this field. Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Smith Glaxo Kline are only three of the companies vying for employees with expertise in biostatistics.

There are Master’s and Doctorate programs available that give students a chance to earn their advanced degrees and pursue the job of their choice. In order to be admitted into a graduate school a student generally must show that they have the appropriate educational background that will give them a good chance of successfully completing the program requirements and moving into a rewarding and high paying career.

It is preferred that the applicant has an undergraduate degree in either biostatistics, mathematics, health science, or one of the other pure science disciplines. This is not to say that students with degrees in other disciplines will not be considered. However, it is more difficult for them to gain admission to these programs.

Some individuals will return to college and take some additional math and science courses, and then reapply to the graduate school of their choice. With a stronger educational background in science and math, their chances for admission will be greatly improved.

A GRE combined score of 1000 is another requirement that must be met. A GPR of at least 3.0 is the minimum GPA that most schools will accept from a student who wishes to have a real chance of being accepted for a graduate level opening.

Even though most of the graduate schools across the country list 1050 as the minimum combined score for the quantitative and verbal sections of the GRE scores in the 1200-1350 range are the ones that they are really searching for. If an international student is applying for admittance to a biostatistician graduate program, they must show either their IELTS or TOEFL score. TOEFL scores must be at least 600 and the minimum score on an IELTS is a seven.

People who are aspiring to work in a job as a biostatistician, or are applying to a graduate program in biostatistics, will have to show that they are fluent in at least one major computer language. Calculus and other advanced mathematic courses are additional requirements that must be met at the undergraduate level. In some instances, the schools may accept a limited number of very promising students who do not meet all of the educational course pre-requisites. They will be given the opportunity to complete these courses during their first year of graduate study.

The job of a biostatistician is extremely detailed and complex. There is work that must be done which will involve basic experimental research and logging of data, but there is a lot more involved. These people have a career in which they are responsible for producing tables, graphs, charts and other clinical documents related to their particular sphere of research. Documentation, analyses and proper statistical methods are going to be used at all times in this job field, and attention to detail is crucial. Individuals who choose this type of career must be meticulous, thorough and patient so that no important fact is inadvertently overlooked.

It is very common for the job requirements to include specific statistical expertise and highly technical skills. For instance, a biostatics assignment might need someone who is very familiar with clinical study analyses. The job may require an individual who understands the meaning of interim analyses, multiplicity, cross-over, non inferiority, covariate and subpopulations.

In addition, biostatisticians frequently are asked to perform analysis of multivariate or mixed linear models. They may also be asked to conduct categorical data analysis, robust estimation or survival analysis. This type of job consists of many extremely complex tasks and only people with intensive training in the biostatistics field are going to be able to handle them successfully.

Source by Marcus Lim

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