Purdue student video featured in national news about demand for statisticians

October 5, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Statistics is one of the fastest-growing degrees in the U.S., but the growth may not be enough to satisfy the high demand for statisticians in technology, consumer products, health care, government, manufacturing and other areas of the economy, according to the American Statistical Association.

Included in the association's release announcing the findings is a video made by Purdue University statistics students who are members of Purdue's student chapter of the ASA. Graduate students Will Eagan, Kelly-Ann Dixon Hamil and Kevin Amstutz, and junior Patrick Gallagher created the video, which won first place in a video contest held by the association.

In the video the students share why they chose to major in statistics and what career opportunities await statistics students upon graduation. The video also is featured in the "This is Statistics" section of the association's website. The video is available at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISvV1avy1pM

"These Purdue students did a fantastic job of capturing the multidisciplinary nature of the field of statistics," said David Morganstein, president of ASA. "You can feel the appeal that it holds for them and so many students of statistical science. Jobs in statistics are growing dramatically, and more graduates are needed to fill these jobs. We hope stories like these will encourage more students to obtain the skills needed to enter our field."

Data released by the National Center for Education Statistics shows bachelor's degrees in statistics grew 17 percent from 2013 to 2014. The number of undergraduates in statistics has risen for 15 consecutive years and increased by more than 300 percent since the 1990s.

Purdue has the second highest growth rate in the nation for students enrolling in a statistics bachelor's degree program, according to the ASA.

"The graduate program in Purdue's Department of Statistics has about 115 students and is one of the largest in the country," said Hao Zhang, head of the department. "Our students actively engage in research projects, many of which are interdisciplinary and deal with visualizing, analyzing and modeling data from many areas such as biology, health care engineering, climate science and social networks."

Finding solutions and harnessing the power and potential of big data is a key part of the Purdue Moves initiative designed to broaden the university's global impact and enhance student educational opportunities. Purdue Moves priorities fit into four broad categories: science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) leadership; world-changing research; transformative education; and affordability and accessibility.

The full news release is available at: http://thisisstatistics.org/more-students-earning-statistics-degrees-but-not-enough-to-meet-surging-demand-for-statisticians

Writer: Elizabeth K. Gardner, 765-494-2081, ekgardner@purdue.edu 

Sources: Hao Zhang, 765-494-3141, zhanghao@purdue.edu

Will Eagan, weagan@purdue.edu

Kelly-Ann Dixon Hamil, dixon13@purdue.edu 

ASA media contacts:

Jeffrey A. Myers, 703-684-1221, Ext. 1865, Jeffrey@amstat.org

Sarah Litton, 202-223-4933, slitton@stantoncomm.com 

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