Are we there yet?
—Sally Morton (2009b)
In this chapter, we elaborate on career paths for applied statisticians. These paths are generally less formally defined than those for statisticians in academia that, in many cases, are heavily dependent upon the tenure system (see Chapter 13).
In the first two sections, we describe roles for those who choose to remain applied statisticians (outside of academia) and for those who decide to move into academia, an application area, or management. We then describe typical career paths for applied statisticians and comment further on statistical leadership and statisticians' contributions beyond the workplace. We illustrate with the career paths of three statisticians.
We differentiate among the following roles or steps in the career ladder that statisticians may take during the course of their careers within the field: statistical analyst, applied statistician, senior statistician, statistical manager, and private statistical consultant. This breakdown, however, is somewhat arbitrary, and there is often no clear delineation as individuals move from one role to the other.
Many trained in statistics, and especially those with a bachelor's, or possibly master's, degree, begin their careers as statistical analysts. This principally entry-level (or foot-in-the-door) position typically involves conducting data analyses, often under ...