Who needs statistics in the 21st century? Anyone who wants to be able to look critically at numerical information and not be misled. We live in an information age. Computers allow us to collect and store information in quantities that previously would not even have been dreamed of. What is this information? It might be costs, values, sales volumes, measurements, ratings, distances, prices, percentages, counts, times, or market shares. But raw, undigested data stored on computer disks is useless until we can start to make sense of it. Statistics is the human side of the computer revolution, an information science, the art and science of extracting meaning from data.

Areas of Study

There are a range of Stage I courses that cater for whatever your reason for studying statistics is - commerce, arts, business and information systems, or science. At Stage II you can study four different aspects of statistics - data analysis, statistical theory, statistical computing and operations research. Stage III courses fall under four broad headings, namely, applied courses, theory courses, statistical computing courses and operations research courses.

You can study Statistics in the following programmes:

Study outcomes

Investigation - asking questions, designing ways to collect data to answer those questions, collecting data, making sense of what that data says to produce reliable answers - this is the subject matter of statisticians and a set of general life-skills.

Career opportunities

Statisticians find work in all of the following areas: insurance companies, finance companies and banks, market research companies, manufacturing, as private consultants, in crown research institutes, crown health enterprises, government departments (Treasury, Statistics New Zealand, AgResearch, MAFTech) and local bodies, and as academics/researchers in universities and technical institutes. In all of these jobs they are designing studies, analysing data, making projections and helping to make decisions. Successful statisticians often begin in technical roles and end up in management.

More information

Find out more about studying Statistics as part of a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts.