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Finding research experiences/jobs after graduating from undergrad


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I'm an Environmental Science major/Statistics minor graduating soon. I plan to apply for Statistics graduate programs in the Fall and was wondering if anyone had any advice for finding Statistics related jobs/research experiences for someone fresh out of undergrad-- without a Math, Stats, or Computer Science BS. 

My institution is small and almost entirely undergrad focused(no math/stats graduate program), so no chance to research there. However, one of my mentors has been helping me get in contact with employers in the area. 

My hometown (which is where I'll likely be if I don't get a job in the area of my undergrad institution) is in a large city and home to a handful of universities. I noticed that many universities with a Statistics department have a statistical consulting lab on campus-- would it be worth emailing them to see if they have opportunities? I'm a little unsure on what these labs are. 

I go through LinkedIn regularly searching for terms like "Statistics", "R", "Machine Learning", and "Data science" but feel like my current résumé isn't strong enough to get anything. Any tips for searching for opportunities?

Thank you.

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4 hours ago, runmore05 said:

I'm an Environmental Science major/Statistics minor graduating soon. I plan to apply for Statistics graduate programs in the Fall and was wondering if anyone had any advice for finding Statistics related jobs/research experiences for someone fresh out of undergrad-- without a Math, Stats, or Computer Science BS. 

My institution is small and almost entirely undergrad focused(no math/stats graduate program), so no chance to research there. However, one of my mentors has been helping me get in contact with employers in the area. 

My hometown (which is where I'll likely be if I don't get a job in the area of my undergrad institution) is in a large city and home to a handful of universities. I noticed that many universities with a Statistics department have a statistical consulting lab on campus-- would it be worth emailing them to see if they have opportunities? I'm a little unsure on what these labs are. 

I go through LinkedIn regularly searching for terms like "Statistics", "R", "Machine Learning", and "Data science" but feel like my current résumé isn't strong enough to get anything. Any tips for searching for opportunities?

Thank you.

It wouldn't hurt to reach out to the universities in your hometown and ask about opportunities. You could also apply to work as a data analyst or research assistant in one of the departments (a lot of biostatistics departments and medical schools in particular have full-time data analysts whose job is to help clean data, offer consulting services, and support professors in their research, and these analysts are added as third authors on publications). Biostat departments and departments in medical schools may be the best ones to apply to with your background. 

Another thing to consider doing is taking online coding boot camps (such as Hear Me Code classes) or online data science academies to get up to speed on the machine learning/programming stuff. I know people personally who have Bachelor's degrees in history and biochemistry who are completely self-taught and now working as programmers or data scientists. It doesn't really matter what your degree is in for industry -- what really matters that you can pass the technical interviews and that you demonstrate clear proficiencies (which can be done by showcasing programming/ML projects that you did independently). Those are the best ways to convince an employer to take a chance on you if your degree was not in CS/math/stat.

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Agreed, if you reach out to local universities, the worst that will happen is they say no/don't respond. You should also check the jobs section of the school websites. If they are hiring, the positions should be listed online. In my experience, full time data analyst roles in stat/biostat departments often require a Master's degree, so those might be tough for you to get even if the jobs exist.

However, general 'research assistant' type positions usually don't require anything beyond a bachelors. Those usually require a fair bit of non-statistical work (bench science, field work, etc.) but they sometimes allow you to work on the statistical analysis portion of the projects in some capacity (especially if you express interest).  You probably won't be the main analyst, but it's better than nothing. So I wouldn't restrict your search to just stat/biostat jobs, I would  cast a wider net and apply to research assistant positions in anything related to your major or minor. 

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