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Biostatisticians may work on healthcare-related topics in the public or private sector. This may include performing research for a government agency or setting the statistical parameters for a new study by a pharmaceutical company. Work generally takes place in an office setting, but may extend into the field.

Daily duties for research or pharmaceutical biostatisticians may include analyzing genetic data and disease occurrence. This information may be used in developing clinical trials to assess drug treatments. Academic and government biostatisticians may review data of populations exposed to environmental chemicals and conditions to understand the risks and effects. For example, they may be required to analyze the impact of oil spills on the environment.

A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for entering the field of biostatistics; however, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that advanced work typically requires a Master of Science (M.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biostatistics, Mathematics or Statistics ( Aspiring biostatisticians attending a school that doesn’t offer a biostatistics undergraduate degree, may consider completing a bachelor’s degree program in statistics or applied mathematics. Programs may include coursework in developing population samples, computer modeling and data analysis.

M.S. and Ph.D. curriculum generally offer more specific and advanced courses including the design and completion of a biomedical study. Students may be required to outline their methods and present their study findings.

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There are several educational paths to obtaining this job. Please consult your Case Manager for specific details about these opportunities.
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