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How Seemingly Boring Statistics Can Help You Launch an Exciting Career

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“Statistics” should not be a frightening word. Even if you’re not a numbers person, statistics don’t have to be scary or boring. Deciding on a career can be so much easier with the right supporting data. No one wants to graduate only to realize no one is hiring in their field.

Analyzing career data can provide indispensable insight into your field. Information is power in the career game, so a smart careerist should always be informed.

These little numbers are more valuable than you think! Below are a few ways you can use statistics to use to ensure your career success.

Choose your college major

Choosing a major should be a balance between wants (a fulfilling career you love) and needs (a field that is hiring and a salary that can pay the bills). Statistics can help you find a career path with a strong return on investment or a really high job placement rate after graduation.

Use statistical data in addition to your gut instincts to pick the college major that’s a good fit for you personally and professionally. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is a great resource for education-related statistics.

Improve your skill set

Taking a statistics class in college is a good career move, even if your ultimate career goals have nothing to do with math. Before you roll your eyes, consider all the non-mathematical careers that use statistics. Executives, politicians, supply chain managers, entrepreneurs and marketers are among the many professionals who analyze data and statistics regularly.

Still worried about taking such a numbers-driven class? I get it. As a writer, words are my weapon of choice. Numbers often send me running in the other direction. But I still use statistics all of the time in my work.

Researching articles and coming up with topic ideas requires relevant data. I even use analytics to monitor trending topics and see which of my articles receive the most hits. Understanding what the audience does and doesn’t respond to improves my relevancy and makes me a better writer.

Make wise decisions when changing careers

Even if you graduated years ago, learning to use analytics can be helpful if you’re ready to make the leap and switch careers. Leaving a familiar job for the unknown can be terrifying. Statistics can help take away some of that fear and replace it with actionable knowledge.  

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has an Occupational Outlook Handbook that’s beneficial for anyone considering a career change. Use the handbook to learn about median pay, required education and job outlook for different fields. You can search for the fastest-growing occupations or the industries with the most new jobs.

You can use these stats to know what types of positions you’re qualified for, what fields are hiring and what jobs meet your desired salary range. Simply knowing this information can make it easier to step away from your job with less stress and anxiety.

Put statistics to work as a career

Believe it or not, statistics is a cool career field. Big Data continues to grow as an industry, and pop culture is starting to take notice. The film Moneyball starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill was all about using analytics to turn the Oakland As into a winning baseball team. The statistics-based blog FiveThirtyEight became a regular feature for The New York Times. More than 1,950 organizations have joined together to declare 2013 as the International Year of Statistics.

Statistics has become an increasingly in-demand career. UC Berkeley reports that statistics is their fastest-growing major, with a 289 percent increase in students in the last four years. According to the BLS, statisticians are projected to have a 14 percent employment increase from 2010 to 2020.

One hundred percent of writers writing this article agree: using statistics can help your career…even if you hate math!

Erin Palmer is a digital content specialist for University Alliance. She writes about education in areas like supply chain management. Erin can be reached on Twitter @Erin_E_Palmer.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.