Update December 2015: I’ve made a new page dedicated to the various kinds of jobs people with statistical training can apply for (including job descriptions). Check it out here: garthtarr.com/jobs-for-statisticians
I regularly get asked for advice about what undergraduate stats majors can do after their degree (particularly if they don’t want to end up in a bank or consulting company). The standard response is that statisticians can do anything, but if you want to use your stats skills specifically, here are some resources:
Lots of government departments take undergraduate and honours level statisticians, not just the ABS but also ATO, DEEWR, Defence (and specifically DSTO), ABARES, RBA, Treasury, Bureau of Crime Statistics & Research, Statistics NZ … keep an eye out early in the year for grad programs. Also look into summer internships (e.g. ABS cadetships; RBA cadetships and the ABARES Summer Vacation program).
You could always become a teacher – not enough maths teachers at the high school level (or at the primary school level). See, for example, the Teach for Australia program.
Most (if not all) companies will appreciate a person with solid quantitative skills. You could consider (to name just a few):
- Operations management type jobs in places like Qantas;
- “Strategic Data Mining Analyst” positions at Pacific Brands;
- Statistics consulting companies such as Data Analysis Australia;
- Insight Solutions, part of Deloitte Analytics;
- Business intelligence with Quantium;
- Analytics with Facebook.
Within banks there are ways to use your statistics without doing financial work or trading. For example the ANZ Bank has the Central Customer Analytics department and NAB has its Analytics and Research Operations department.
If you want to specialise further in statistics (without doing a PhD) you might consider a Masters in Statistics or Biostatistics. For example, UNSW has a decent Master of Statistics and the School of Public Health here at the University of Sydney has a Master of Biostatistics. There’s a program with NSW Health called NSW Biostatistical Officer Training Program which recruitments trainee biostatisticians every year (applications are usually due in November). While in the program, trainees work full-time in a variety of placements and undertake a Masters of Biostatistics part-time. NSW Health pays university and associated fees and study leave is given. See also this blog post by Jerzy Wieczorek, mathematical statistician at the U.S. Census Bureau for some thoughts on Masters.
You might want to subscribe to the ANZstat mailing list (make sure you set up a filter in your email program of choice so your inbox doesn’t get innundated with messages). The jobs on this mailing list are often for people with a PhD but not always (for example, those NSW Health trainee biostats jobs get advertised on this mailing list).
The Australian Mathematical Society (Aust MS) has a page on jobs for people with quantitative skills.
Sport statistics jobs
- Keep an eye on StatsJobs for potential openings. These are likely to be mostly higher level stats jobs (e.g. requiring a masters or higher) but there may be grad level positions. You could also keep an eye on the Sports Management Australia and New Zealand site.
- Go for positions in sports companies/relevant government agencies without a focus on stats, then (after a period of time) transfer into a more stats based job (if you go for a government job, they’re often really good about supporting further study, e.g. masters in stats). E.g. Department of Sports and Recreation
- If you’re planning on heading overseas, the Royal Statistics Society (UK based organisation) has a Statistics in Sport section or the American Statistical Association have this advice. Unfortunately, there’s no equivalent in the Statistical Society of Australia Inc (SSAI).
- You could also look at companies like atass sports (UK based) or Statistical Sports Consulting (USA based). A dedicated stats company like this would give you the extra training in the appropriate areas that you’d need. But there doesn’t seem to be anything comparable in Australia (that I’ve been able to find). The next best would be to look for jobs with the Australian Institute of Sport, AFL, NRL, etc. directly.
Most people know about the standard jobs in the city: investment banking, derivatives trading, management consulting, human resource consulting, other forms of consulting, … Those companies do a good job of getting the word out on campus about internships and grad positions.