Where can quantitative skills take me?
Why are quantitative skills important to employers?
Given the growing volume of data in contemporary society, the need for good data skills is increasingly recognised.
"I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. The ability to take data - to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate - that's going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades"
(Google's Chief Economist, Hal Varian)
He continues: "I think statisticians are part of it, but it's just a part. You also want to be able to visualize the data, communicate the data, and utilize it effectively. But I do think those skills - of being able to access, understand, and communicate the insights you get from data analysis - are going to be extremely important" (The McKinsey Quarterly, January 2009).
The British Academy argues that there is a lack of quantitative skills in the workplace in the UK. Students are graduating with skills inadequate to the needs of the workplace – in business, public sector, or academia. Click here to find out more the shortfall and about how Q-Step aims to address the skills deficit amongst social science undergraduates.
What types of careers require quantitative skills?
Quantitative skills are highly transferable and marketable and needed across a range of sectors – academia, government, charities and business.
The Economic and Social Research Council's useful guide "Social Science by Numbers" outlines career options for graduates with quantitative skills and includes short biographies of people working in a variety of jobs and sectors:
"You find quantitative social scientists working almost anywhere – as advisors and analysts for governmental and non-governmental organisations, in the pharmaceutical industry and health services, business, agriculture and lobby groups, and as lecturers and researchers in academia"
Opportunities for work experience during your degree
Ipsos Mori carries out research for a variety of clients and quantitative skills are essential for our business. We need graduates with a good understanding of quantitative research, from data collection to complex analysis. Being able to demonstrate these skills to an employer such as Ipsos MORI makes any graduate very attractive(Fiona Rooney, Managing Director, Ipsos Mori NI and Q-Step work placement provider)