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Education Plus

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Q & A : REPLIES TO READERS' COURSE AND CAREER RELATED QUERIES

Statistics

Queries on courses and careers: e-mail to ep@thehindu.co.in or mail to Education Plus, The Hindu, Vytilla, Kochi 682019.



Numbers tell the story: We rely a lot on figures and statistics in our day to day lives.

I am a second year B.Sc. statistics student. I would like to know about the higher education facilities and career prospects related to statistics.

SANGEETHA SUREN

DRAN

E-MAIL

Higher studies in statistics, especially in leading universities or institutes, is possible if you do well in the subject at the degree level. Meritorious graduates in statistics or mathematics can go for M.Sc. in statistics. They should have a good grasp of the subject and computer skills to process and interpret data in various ways.

Command of written and spoken English will help to effectively communicate the results of such analyses.

M.Sc.

Almost all universities and a few affiliated colleges offer the course.

In Kerala, the Department of Statistics of the University of Kerala offers M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes. Statistics and mathematics graduates are eligible for admission to the M.Sc. course. Selection is based equally on the marks obtained in an entrance test and the qualifying examination.

There are 15 seats. The department is located on the Karyavattom campus, Thiruvananthapuram – 695 581 (ph: 0471 2418905).

The following colleges and universities offer the M.Sc. course.

University of Kerala

•University College, Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram – 695 034 (0471 2475830)

Mahatma Gandhi University

•St. Thomas College, Pala, Kottayam – 686 574 (0482 221 2317)

•Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam – 682 011 (0484 235 2838)

•Nirmala College, Muvattupuzha – 686 661 (0485 2832361)

•Kuriakose Elias College, Mannanam, Kottayam – 686561 (0481 259 7374)

University of Calicut

•Department of Statistics (0494 240 3403 extn. 341): M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D.

•Farook College, Farook College P.O., Kozhikode – 673 632 (0495- 2440660)

•St. Joseph’s College, Devagiri, Kozhikode – 673 008 (0495 2355901: self-financing course)

•Govt. Victoria College, Palakkad – 678 001 (0491 2576773)

•St. Thomas College, Thrissur – 680 001 (0487 2444486)

Kannur University

•Nehru Arts and Science College, Kanhangad

Cusat

•The Department of Statistics of the Cochin University of Science and Technology conducts the M.Sc. course. Those with B.Sc. degrees in statistics or mathematics, with at least 55 per cent marks in the optional subjects taken together, are eligible for admission. Selection is based on Cusat’s CAT.

There are 15 seats. Details may be had from www.cusat.ac.in

Biostatistics

St. Thomas College, Pala, offers an M.Sc. biostatistics course, sponsored by the University Grants Commission. Those who have at least 55 per cent marks in B.Sc. statistics, mathematics, computer science, computer applications, botany, zoology, bioinformatics, biotechnology and so on are eligible for admission. Those who pass this course can become biostatisticians, epidemiologists, data analysts and so on.

Prominent institutes

The Indian Statistical Institute offers courses such as the two-year M.Stat. and MS in quantitative economics. Meritorious graduates in mathematics or statistics are eligible for admission. M.Stat. programmes are conducted on the Kolkata campus and the Delhi and Bangalore centres. Those who do well in M.Sc. statistics are eligible for admission to the two-year M.Tech. computer science or the quantity, reliability and operations research courses. Those who obtain 55 per cent marks in M.Sc. statistics are eligible for junior research fellowships at the institute. For details, visit www.isical.ac.in

IITs

The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur ( www.iitk.ac.in), conducts a two-year, four-semester M.Sc. statistics programme. The IIT, Bombay ( www.iitb.ac.in) offers the M.Sc. applied statistics and informatics course. The IIT, Kharagpur conducts the M.Sc. statistics and informatics programmes.

These programmes have a broad-based curriculum and follow the course-credit system. Selection is through the Joint Admission Test (IIT-JAM). Those who have Bachelor’s degrees either in mathematics or statistics with good marks (50-60 per cent) are eligible to apply.

The M.Sc. programme in applied statistics and informatics is designed for students who aspire to take up professions that demand skills in statistics and computer science. The course structure offers a unique blend of topics in computer science, statistics and mathematics.

The following universities and institutes offer M.Sc. statistics and allied programmes.

•University of Madras, Chepauk, Chennai – 5

•University of Hyderabad, P.O. Central University, Hyderabad – 500 046: M.Sc. and Ph.D. in statistics and operations research

•Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi – 221 005.

•University of Pune, Pune.

•Bangalore University, Bangalore – 560 056

•Bharathiar University, Coimbatore – 641 046: M.Sc. statistics with computer applications

Integrated Ph.D.

The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, offers an opportunity for first class B.Sc. degree holders in subjects such as statistics to go for integrated Ph.D. programmes in mathematical sciences. Selection is based on a national-level entrance test. Details can be had from www.iisc.ernet.in.

The National Institute of Technology, Calicut ( www.nitc.ac.in), conducts an integrated M.Sc. Tech course in mathematics and scientific computing.

JRF, GATE

A Master’s degree or a Ph.D. will improve the career prospects. Those who have M.Sc. degrees with a minimum 55 per cent marks in statistics or mathematics can appear for the Junior Research Fellowship and lectureship examinations (National Eligibility Test - NET) of the UGC and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research or the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). Those who qualify in these tests can do research leading to a Ph.D. with fellowships or scholarships or become lecturers in universities or colleges. Final-year M.Sc. students are eligible to appear for these tests.

Job prospects

Since the world is becoming more and more data-focussed, highly qualified statisticians have much scope. Besides, those with Master’s degrees or Ph.D.s in statistics can become business analysts, software engineers, research officers, data analysts, investigators, lecturers and so on.

The Union Public Service Commission conducts an examination almost every year for recruitment of Indian Statistical Services officers. Postgraduates in statistics, mathematical statistics or applied statistics are eligible to appear for this examination. The Staff Selection Commission occasionally recruits statistical investigators under the subordinate statistical services across the country. Those who have Bachelor’s degrees with statistics, mathematics, economics and commerce (with statistics as a paper) as one of the subjects are eligible to appear for the examination. Age should not exceed 26.

The private sector needs statistical manpower in marketing, insurance, information technology and software. Government departments employ statisticians to design, collect, analyse and interpret data.

GOPAKUMAR KARAKONAM

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