Biostatistician Career Plan
A career in biostatistics requires, at the minimum, a baccalaureate degree. The better positions are generally reserved for those with graduate degrees. Therefore early planning can go a long way toward increasing your options. The following was designed as a guide to get you started.
Become a Biostatistician
Plan a rigorous high school curriculum. Take lots of math and science courses. Enrolling in honors classes will also make you more competitive.
Try to get some real world health experience in high school. Look into mentorships and other career exploration activities. Options will vary by geographical region. The Mayo Clinic has a mentorship for students interested in various biomedical careers.
You might also try HOSA (the Health Occupations Student Association). You’ll get a chance to participate in debates and compete in various health competitions.
As you near the end of high school, you can begin looking for paid internships. There are biomedical internships at universities and agencies around the nation. Some are at renowned organizations like NIH (the National Institute of Health).
Research programs at the baccalaureate level. Score well on college entrance exams and begin making applications.
Continue to look for internships. As a college student, you will be competitive for a wider range of these, and some may be more closely aligned with your career goals. One possibility would be the Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics.
As your undergraduate years draw to a close, decide whether to look for an entry level position or enroll in graduate studies. (It may be an option to do both.)
Continue to make professional contacts throughout your time as a graduate student. Many biostatisticians work in public health. Your school may have an association for public health students. You should also continue to look for opportunities to assist with research or otherwise build your resume. Realize that not all positions will be advertised. You may approach a potential mentor by letter.
Clinical service organizations can be a good place to launch a career. You may look for positions at health departments and governmental agencies like NIH. International organizations like WHO also employ biostatisticians.
Personality Traits: Employers ask for analytical problem solving ability and strong presentation and written communication skills