Posts Tagged ‘statistician’

The ranking of best and worst jobs is out. This one produced by careercase.com has been reported and reblogged by many websites, including Wall Street JournalYahoo! NewsZDNet, and others. Among the listed 200 jobs, software engineer is ranked first and lumberjack is ranked last.

How about statisticians?  As a matter of fact, statistician is ranked as the 18th “best job” of 2012 in the list. Statistician’s job is described as “tabulates, analyzes, and interprets the numeric results of experiments and surveys” in the  summary table.

Source: careercast.com

Sounds encouraging? Wait a second. Before reading too much into the ranking, one would wonder how they determine which profession ranks better than others? Here is what careercase.com says:

Our team gathers mounds of data and sorts through all of the factors to break each element into five key categories: Physical Demands, Work Environment, Income, Stress and Hiring Outlook. Jobs receive a score in each individual category, and when these are added together, the career with the best overall score is ranked 1st, while the one with the worst overall score is ranked 200th. By sorting the data of the 200 jobs into one central list, our Jobs Rated report serves as a valuable resource for anyone trying to research their career options, get an understanding of what a job entails and see a clearer picture of the job market potential. (For complete details on how we score, visit the JobsRated.com Methodology Page).

After compiling a ranking of the 200 occupations in each of the five categories, an overall ranking is produced:

Overall Rankings refer to the sum of the rankings in each of the above five Core Criteria above, however, they are not equally weighted. In the Overall Ranking system, one third of the score is based on Income rank, one third on Outlook rank and one third on “Preferential Factors,” which are the rankings in Environment, Physical Demands and Stress, each one of these last three being weighted equally, though their sum is weighted as one-third of the Overall score.

Leaving along the question why this ranking procedure is good or bad to ranking experts (who, by chance, are statisticians), the FAQ page of careercase.com provides some information about its data source in its answer to the first question: “What qualifies the people behind the Jobs Rated Study to tell us what the best and worst jobs are?” Given the information, you may decide how much you buy into this ranking.

Two additional observations:

  • The visualization on the ranking page at careercase.com is horrible (like the one included above). I doubt how many people can make sense of it. Maybe that is the point.
  • The most amusing part is reading comments on carrercase.com and those on WSJ.com. Give it a try and you would not be disappointed. You will also see how different those comments are on different websites, since WSJ made no mention of any details on how the rankings are compiled. (If you can read Chinese, you may see how Chinese readers comment of the list on Sina weibo. It is totally different again 🙂 )

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Facebook acquires Instagram for $1 billion. Only late last week, Instagram closed a $50 million financing round that valued the company at $500 million, according to a source involved in the deal. What a deal for the investors who put down money last week!

  • [April 11, 2012, NPR]

Romney says 92.3 percent of the jobs lost on the president’s watch (from January of ’09 until now) were held by women. How reliable is this number and what does it mean? see an explanation from Scott Horsley.

The coast of Sumatra was shaken by an 8.6 temblor, followed by an 8.2 aftershock last night, the United States Geological Survey reports. Hours later, Mexico was hit by a 6.5 quake, followed by a 6.9. Then, there was a 5.9 off Oregon’s coast, followed by a 5.3 in California. The numbers may look scary, but analysts at the USGS say this isn’t necessarily anything to worry about – it doesn’t mean the “big one” is about to hit, and it doesn’t affect the likelihood of a massive quake hitting anywhere. There are approximately 20,000 earthquakes every year, or about 55 per day. The vast majority of these quakes are small, and we can expect about 16 major earthquakes in any given year, according to the USGS.

  • [April 13, 2012, WSJ]

CareerCast.com ranked 200 jobs from best to worst based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook. To compile its list, the firm primarily used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies. Statistician is ranked at the 18th place.

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