Everything you need to know about a career in Statistics

Interested in Statistics jobs? A career option that opens up various career opportunities in a variety of industries – from government jobs at institutions like Statistics South Africa, to jobs within market research and medical research – you are sure to find an option and career specialisation that tickles your interests and provides a fulfilling, fun and interesting career in data.


What do Statistics Jobs entail?

A statistician is responsible for planning, collecting, processes and analysing information and data in order to make an informed decision. The work of professionals in this field of study can fall into two main categories – Research and Applied Statistics.

Statisticians are involved in producing reliable data, the analyses of data in order to form a clear meaning, and drawing practical conclusions from the data and information at hand.

The data collected by professionals in these careers are more than just numbers on a page. These numbers have meaning in a specific context. Statisticians are able to interpret these meanings – a valuable skill in industries ranging from finance to marketing.

Statistics jobs are present in a number of industries and, depending on your field of specialisation, your work environment will vary.

Professionals within the medical industry for example will work with medical teams in order to both design experiments as well as interpret the data gathered from these experiments.

Within market research, professionals within this field of study will be responsible for designing surveys and making sure that the data gathered from these surveys are valuable to the sectors they serve.

When it comes to employment within the government, Statistics jobs in South Africa includes the gathering of valuable data on issues (such as crime and employment) which, in turn, can be used as guides for setting up new policies for example. A great example of these kind of opportunities in South Africa are the different kinds of Stats SA vacancies listed on Statistics South Africa’s website.

Typically, a statistician’s day will involve problem solving (using data), the application of both statistical and mathematical knowledge and skills to problems (depending on your field of specialisation, this can involve everything from economics to medical research) and consulting (with a medical team for example).

Professionals found within this career are, in general, very analytical. With a good computer knowledge and skills, statisticians will usually also have exceptional mathematical skills and have the ability to think logically and critically about the subject and data at hand.

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Career paths within Statistics jobs

With certain specialisations, Statisticians can find employment in a wide variety of industries and fields of scientific studies. Some of these industries range to include Health and Medicine, Government jobs and careers within the Business and Finance sectors.

Health and Medicine

Within this sector, Statisticians can find employment in various fields including Animal Health as well as Public Health.

Interesting statistics jobs to pursue within this industry include Biostatistics (involving the development and application of statistics within research in medical and health fields), Genetics, Pharmacology and Epidemiology (which involves the study and the determinants of health and diseases in humans).

Government Jobs

Statisticians also find employment within government institutions. In South Africa for example, one such institution includes Statistics South Africa. Stats SA jobs includes everything from Chief Survey Statisticians and Monitoring and Control Mangers, to Asset Managers and Principle Methodologists and Economists.


Statistics South Africa is responsible for a number of things including Census, statistic on the Labour Force and even statistics on causes of death.


Other jobs for statisticians within the government range to include positions within Ecology, the Environment, risk assessments, National Defence and within Law.

Business, Industry and Finance Sectors

Qualified professionals can also find employment in Engineering, the Insurance Industry, Marketing, Manufacturing and Chemistry.

Statistical jobs are also available within the Agricultural industry (involving the analyses and data and the development of research plans, experiment design and the interpretation of results), Computer Sciences and Economics.

A statistician in South Africa earns an average yearly salary of R 274 643, while a Statistical Analysts earns an average yearly salary of R 250, 309.

Training required for Statistics Jobs in South Africa

If you would like to pursue Statistics jobs, you will need a qualification from an accredited tertiary institution. Whether you choose to apply for government jobs or if you are more interested in employment within the medical industry, you will need to complete a degree. Some of the universities where you can complete your studies include:

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU)

Offering a BCom (Economics and Statistics), this undergraduate programme from NMMU offers four majors in a number of subjects including Mathematics, Economic Statistics, Business Management and Accounting, to name but a few examples.

A three year degree programme, the minimum admission requirements include an APS (Admission Point Score) of 38 and a minimum NSC achievement rating of 4 in Mathematics (between 50% and 59%). Other majors offered within this undergraduate programme includes Economics, Computer Science and Information Systems.


University of Cape Town (UCT)

With a dedicated department for Statistical Sciences, the University of Cape Town offers two majors – Mathematical Statistics and Applied Statistics.

If you have a love and passion for mathematical thinking, taking Mathematical Statistics as a major might be the right choice for you. Choosing this major, your three year degree programme will include a number of courses and subjects including Mathematical Statistics, Statistical Theory and Interference, and Advanced Stochastic Processes (which is an optional subject choice). It is recommended that you choose a co-major in computer sciences.

Applied Statistics involve the quantitative methods used in the collection, analysis and the presentation of information and data. Used to solve problems and in decision making processes, this field of study is perfect for those of you interested in analysing patterns found in data and information. During your studies you will have subjects that range to include Mathematics, Applied Statistical Modelling and Inferential Statistics. You can combine your Applied Statistics major with a number of suggested co-majors including Microbiology, Marine Biology, Computer Sciences, Genetics and Economics.

University of Pretoria (TUKS)

The University of Pretoria offers a BCom (Statistics) in its Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. A three year degree programme, this BCom includes both theory and practice. You will need an APS score of 32 in order to gain admission to this study programme.

Your compulsory subjects will include either Statistics or Mathematical Statistics, with other subjects ranging to include Economics, Financial Accounting, Communication Management and Business Management.

If you opt for Mathematical Statistics and want to find statistics jobs within the insurance industry, your subjects will range to include Computer Science, Financial Management and Actuarial Mathematics.

If you would like to go into the field of econometrics, your subjects will range to include Economics, Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics.

Other tertiary institutions where you can complete your studies include the North-West University, UNISA, Tshwane University of Technology and the University of the Witwatersrand.

Statistics Jobs listed on Job Mail

Looking for Statistics jobs in South Africa? Job Mail hosts a number of vacancies for professionals that have a sound knowledge and understanding of statistics:

Senior Statistical Analyst

A full time vacancy for a senior statistical analyst is advertised in Pretoria. Requiring at least three years’ experience in a senior statistical environment and at least a BCom in Statistics or BSc in Mathematics or Statistics. With a yearly remuneration of between R 400 000 and R 450 000, this position is within the IT and Computer industry.


Supply and Demand Coordinator

A full time position is available for a Supply and Demand coordinator in Johannesburg. Requirements for this position includes a degree in Industrial Engineering or a relevant qualification. Your responsibilities will include the analyses of statistical data as well as the capturing and consolidation of demand plans at product, channel and location levels.


Audit Manager

A vacancy in Nelspruit, this position requires applicants to have a BCom degree as well as SAICA Articles. Some of your responsibilities will range to include preparing statistical reports in order to ensure compliance as well as to detect potential issues that will require attention. This full time position is within the Finance and Accounting industry.


Remember to check out the Stats SA vacancies listed on the Statistics South Africa Website if you are looking for permanent employment opportunities within the government or if you are interested in this institution’s internship programmes.

Ready to start applying for Statistics jobs in your area? Register your CV on Job Mail today and start applying for all types of Statistics jobs in South Africa – from government jobs to employment within the private sector.

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3 Responses

  1. Nozipho Mamba says:

    I have a BA degree in Social Science majoring in Statistics and Economics looking for a job or internship. Im based in Johannesburg.

  2. Kaleka says:

    I have acquired a Bcom Degree in Statistics majoring in Statistics and Economics and I am currently doing my honours in Econometrics. I have been working for a government parastatal as a data capturer for the past year and I am looking for something more analytical.

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