Many years ago, we decided on a career in statistics. It turned out to be one of the two best decisions we ever made (second, of course, only to our choices of spouses). In this book, we try to impart our enthusiasm for statistics1 and help readers determine whether a career in statistics is for them, tell them what to expect, and provide hints for their success. We call upon our (and others') extensive practical experience to give important career guidance that goes beyond the technical tools discussed in most courses and texts on statistics.

This book complements The Role of Statistics in Business and Industry (Wiley, 2008). Our earlier book described how statistical concepts and methods help companies to improve performance and to address problems in a wide range of operations involving products and services. In this volume, we broaden our horizon to include all application areas of statistics and focus on helping readers build successful careers.


We begin with a prologue chapter that lays the foundation for a career in statistics and provides an overview of the field. The bulk of the book is organized into four parts:

  • Part I: The Work of a Statistician.
  • Part II: Preparing for a Successful Career in Statistics.
  • Part III: Building a Successful Career as a Statistician.
  • Part IV: Further Perspectives: Careers in Academia and Professional Development.

We conclude with two more chapters (Part IV). The first of these provides an in-depth examination of ...

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