How to Become a Freelance Statistician
If we talk about diversity, the freelance community is an exemplary example since it offers individuals a wide array of opportunities. These opportunities vary from the common writing jobs to air hostess jobs, with each opportunity offering self-development and a financially independent lifestyle. With flexibility and a greater balance of negotiating powers between the applicant and the client, the freelance community has become a powerful professional community. In this article, we are going to talk about a rather geeky profession—Freelance Statistician.
A statistician is a person who is engaged in applied or theoretical statistics and possesses extensive knowledge in multiple subjects. Statisticians are in high demand in the contemporary world and assume responsibilities in multiple forms such as applied mathematicians, financial analysts, sociologists, quantitative psychologists, actuaries, psychometricians, and epidemiologists. All these fields mandate great comprehending ability and an analytical brain for the purpose of interpreting numerical data and explaining the relevance of the same to the public. Some examples showing the work of statisticians is the National Crime Records Bureau’s survey reports, which take into account the collected data, evaluate them through definite scientific methods and generate conclusions.
Considering the importance of statistics in many areas, there is a surge in the demand of freelance statisticians in the world. It is this rise of which you must take advantage; however, the big question is how to do that. Well, you need not look anywhere else since this article will elaborately deal with the fundamental question how to become a freelance statistician.
1. Job Requirements
It is not easy to become a professional statistician. The freelance community looks forward to capable and highly qualified statisticians, and this contributes to the competitiveness and stringent selection regime. If you wish to establish yourself as a freelance statistician, you must read the following:
- In order to become a statistician, one must have successfully qualified the 12th Board Examinations or any equivalent from a recognized school, with Statistics as one of the subjects.
- Upon successful completion of 12th, the individual can obtain a B.Sc. in Statistics, which requires minimum 50 percent marks in the aggregate in Mathematics, Physics, and any of the following subjects: Statistics, Computer Science and Chemistry. There are a number of reputed entrance examinations, which, if qualified, can open the way to some of the premier institutions in the country.
- While a B.Sc. in Statistics is considered sufficient, an M.Sc in Statistics enjoys great recognition and respect in the professional world. You can study further and pursue a Ph.D. in Statistics—something which will make you a formidable player in the world of statistics and freelancing.
- There are a number of prestigious institutions offering courses in Statistics in India such as Banaras Hindu University, Indian Statistical Institute, and Mysore University. If you plan to pursue a course in Statistics from outside the country, then you can go for institutes or universities such as Stanford University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California, Harvard University, etc.
2. Skills requirement
A statistician has to deal with an elephantine chunk of numbers, available and workable scientific methods, determination of the applicability of an adequate evaluation method, and coherent and scientifically justifiable interpretation of the data. These activities require a rigorous engagement of mind, labor and time, and thus, making the job of a statistician among the most tedious ones in the world—after all, finding sense in numbers is not everybody’s cup of tea.
The aforementioned paragraph highlights the indisputable requirement of certain skills in order to become a successful freelance statistician, and these skills have been enumerated below:
- Communication skills: A statistician is comfortable with the complicated, but not everyone is. It is, therefore, incumbent upon a statistician to be able to communicate his results in a manner which is easily understandable by the public. This is especially important when you working under the aegis of any authority, and it becomes extremely important for you to explain to them the nitty-gritty of the study. Not everyone thinks numbers are exciting enough!
- A wide vision: This is basically the ability to size up and diagnose problems by appreciating the broader implications and context. Statisticians must be able to vivisect the data at hand, study a wider aspect of the same and reach definite conclusions regarding their relevance. This skill highly helps in cases where the data or problem at hand is not adequately articulated or defined. It is the tendency to study the obscure but important elements of the data and highlight the implications they pose which every statistician must exihibit.
- Flexibility: The world of statistics witnesses the interplay of a wide array of fields, and therefore, a statistician cannot afford to restrict himself to a statistical study in a particular field. Even when you are tasked to conduct a statistical study of a certain crime, you will have to contemporaneously conduct the study of economic and social fields. Thus, flexibility is a skill much wanted in the freelance community.
- Persistence: One can easily grasp the serious and tedious life as a statistician, and this may result in the breakdown of resolve—something which you, as a freelance statistician, must avoid. You must wholeheartedly believe in what you are doing, and that your actions are best suited for the welfare of the organization and people.
- Team skills: There is high likelihood you would be engaged with a team, and this will require from you maintenance of social and professional adhesion among team members. You should be able to distribute work and time according to the skills and position of the members of the organization. Also, the much common blame-the-other tendency must be debunked if you wish for a highly functional and productive team.
- Ability to apply knowledge properly: This goes without saying that statisticians are highly knowledgeable individuals, but the bulk of knowledge would not be of any substantial help if you are unable to practically utilise As a statistician, you must possess excellent judgment skills—something which can only happen when you put his/her knowledge to frequent use.
- Multitasking: As a statistician, you should be able to analyze data from multiple sources. This usually happens in cases where the study covers a large geographical area and a great number of people, and the study incorporates multiple determinative factors such as social, economic and political.
3. Where to work?
As mentioned earlier, statisticians are among the most wanted professionals in the world, and this facilitates great job opportunities for them. There are a plethora of career options available to statisticians, and most of them have been mentioned below:
- Statisticians are employed in government agencies such as the National Crime Records Bureau and National Human Rights Commission for the purpose of conducting and interpreting surveys green-lit by the authority or the government. Generally, statisticians are employed as mathematical statisticians in the government sector.
- Healthcare sector: Statisticians working in the healthcare sector are known as biometricians or biostatisticians. They generally work in public health agencies, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies, and engage in the statistical study of the workability of drug tests and identification of the sources of medical conditions.
- Research and Development: Many research institutions employ statisticians in different studies such as the development of marketing strategies for consumer goods.
- NGOs: NGOs often conduct surveys with the aid and assistance of statisticians.
- The Finance and Insurance sector: Presently, there is a huge demand for statisticians in the finance and insurance sector for the formulation and modification of business and consumer policies.
- There is an easy way to work as a freelance statistician: Freelance websites. As the trend of freelancing becomes more and more popular, more freelance websites have emerged providing a flexible solution to job hunting. These websites offer a common platform for clients and freelancers to work together with greater ease.
These websites include worknhire.com, linkedin.com, upwork.com, guru.com, and freelance.com. All you need to do is to create an informative account, upload a portfolio of relevant skills, apply to job openings and follow up periodically. While applying, submit a proposal indicating the reason for application and why you are fit for the job.
4. Pay rate
Pay rate for statisticians is generally good, but there are certain factors which create variation. These factors include qualifications, publications, years of experience, etc and the better you have them, the more chances you have. If you are a highly qualified statistician with considerable years of experience, you can earn as much as Rs.25k per month or more through freelancing. Those who are newbies in the field will have to start with a decent pay rate, which should be commensurate with your skills and abilities; however, if you possess qualifications from some reputed institution, let us say, Harvard University, then you may charge a higher pay rate.
In order to know better about the prevalent pay rate in the freelance community, you can join associations and online forums which serve as hotspots for statisticians from all over the world. Use these forums to fortify connections, and experience closely the world occupied by similar minds.