About Statistics and Actuarial Science
Statistics was spawned by the information age, and has been defined as the science of extracting inforrnation from data. Technological developments have demanded methodology for the efficient extraction of reliable statistics from complex databases. As a result, Statistics has become one of the most pervasive of all disciplines and demand is high. Many people think of Statistics as unexciting and dealing with mundane sports scores or census data. But our profession is much more interesting than that! See, for example:
- A careers web page prepared by the American Statistical Association, including a powerpoint presentation of career possibilities.
- A news release from the Statistical Society of Australia titled Figures Fool When Fools Figure
- A booklet prepared by the Statistical Society of Australia titled Statistics: A Job for Professionals
- A one page summary about Statistics and Actuarial Science (pdf) prepared by our department.
Actuarial Science is a sister discipline of Statistics. Actuaries play an important role in many of the financial plans that involve people - e.g. life insurance, pension plans, retirement benefits, car insurance, unemployment insurance etc. A primer about Actuarial Science has been prepared by the American Society of Actuaries
Statisticians and Actuaries are consistently rated among the top jobs when factors such as salary, working conditions, and interest are combined. The public and private sector rely on statistical information for such purposes as decision making, regulation, control and planning. For example, statistical methods underlie the management of the fisheries. Success in increasing the world's supply of food has relied on the discovery of new and improved grains through the use of randomized statistical field trials. All new drugs must undergo rigorous clinical testing on human patients in clinical trials using statistical designs and analysis before they can be approved for public use. Some major application areas for statistics today are the production of government statistics, pharmaceutical research, industrial quality management, risk assessment in insurance (actuarial statistics), environmental monitoring and assessment, and medical research.