By Nisim Mery, alum of MA program in Statistics
Being a statistician at the Israel Center of Disease Control, I’ve learned that you need to be sort of a wizard. One aspect of your work is “proper” statistics: managing of databases – whether it means organizing and transforming them as needed – checking for trends or even calculating averages and performing the ubiquitous T-test on occasion. On the other hand, you also partake in conferences with researchers and doctors and help them examine their hypotheses, most of which cannot be tested using any other tool.
In a way, you’re acting as a liaison between the researchers and the data.
Personally, the Department of Statistics has given me excellent preparation for my line of work. I’ve received both the theoretical knowledge base to understand which statistical tool is appropriate for each task, provided me with working experience as well as a viable portfolio during the practical courses of my Master’s degree. I was fortunate/picked to work in the department’s statistical consulting unit for two years, earning the much needed hands-on experience. I’ve also learned three different programming languages which I constantly use at the ICDC.
In recent years, the importance of statistics is on an ever-rising trend within the corporate world as well as in the public domain. Many companies have understood that adding statisticians to their corporate “toolbox” is paramount, especially now, that the field of Data Science (or statistical learning) is in demand and on the rise. The statistics department at the University of Haifa, has taken upon itself to emphasize the Data Science studies in its graduate program and allows us to be at the forefront of a new age of statistics.
The theoretical knowledge, experience, and practical skills I acquired during my Master’s degree provided me with a multitude of employment opportunities. Both in the Ministry of Health and the Israel Center of Disease Control as well as in the private sector as a Data Scientist.