Statistics vs Epidemology: Which One is Better?

Having access to data is just one aspect, what decisions, recommendations, or judgments we make based on available data is what makes the difference in the world we live in today.

There are many instances where the presence of accurate data has contributed significantly to the growth or effectiveness of a company while misrepresented data might make one record a loss in the long run. This is why we need people who are more experienced in handling different types of data across different fields.


What is Epidemiology?

Epidemiologists are usually individuals who carry out investigations on the patterns and possible causative agents of diseases and injuries which occur in humans. Through their research, they hope to mitigate the occurrence of these infections which may be a potential risk to individuals living in a community.

Becoming an epidemiologist typically requires that you have a master’s degree in any of the areas of specialization within epidemiology. People who seek to become principal investigators and academics also proceed to obtain doctorates from recognized institutions.

Your work depends largely on your research ethics, data collection, and analysis skills which are required in any organization you desire to work in. This is because you would be found working either in universities, research organizations, centres for disease control and prevention, the national institute of health e.t.c to monitor the rate of infections and recovery within a population.

All data which you have gotten either from the past or present with respect to outbreaks and infectious diseases both in the country and all over the world are works of past and present epidemiologists who contributed to such data.

What Is Statistics?

Statistics employs the knowledge of maths and principles of statistics in the calculation of specific details, data, and trends within an organization.

Their work is beyond the medical field as they offer services to multinationals, small-scale businesses, banks, and even government organizations that need the service of a statistician.

Working as a statistician means you would be involved in the data collection process, analysis, and presentation using charts and diagrams that make the target audience understand your findings.

A degree in mathematics or statistics either at the bachelor’s or postgraduate level is a requirement for most entry-level jobs, while years of experience play an important role in getting into management positions.

Career Opportunities for Epidemiology Graduates

As an epidemiologist, your area of expertise is required in the following areas:

  • Survey Researcher: Survey researchers always help to design and analyze surveys that are directed at a specific target audience either in the community or within the medical field.
  • Biostatistician: they help in the collection, analysis, and presentation of data gotten from experiments related to medicine.
  • Community Health Worker: this involves working with a community or large populations to teach healthy behaviours and various strategies towards the prevention against certain diseases.
  • Pharmaceutical Epidemiologist: are involved in medical research especially those within pharmaceutical industries
  • Veterinary Epidemiologist: Study the causative agents and reasons for disease spread in other animals
  • Molecular Epidemiologist: applies their skills in epidemiology in the study of diseases at the molecular level.

Career Opportunities for Statistics Graduates

As a statistician, your area of expertise is required in the following areas:

  • Market Research Analyst: they carry out research to identifying current trends from data obtained from consumers. their results can be used in determining the next step a company takes in brand promotion for their different products
  • Business Analyst: business analysts help with identifying patterns within data, they make use of their analytical skills to identify the companies strengths and weaknesses and offer possible solutions.
  • Stock Trader: good knowledge of how to manipulate figures alongside probability is an important tool in identifying future market trends in the stock market. They also make recommendations on the best stocks to buy or the best time to sell stocks.
  • Actuary: due to the uncertainty that surrounds certain decisions made by individuals, insurance companies rely on actuaries in calculating insurance premiums and risks for their clients.
  • Financial Quantitative Analyst: financial analysts enjoy careers either in banks, investment banks, or insurance companies. their knowledge of mathematics, finance, computer science, and statistics has been used in the building and application of mathematical models which are used in solving client’s financial related issues
  • Accountant: accountants use their mathematics and logic skills to help financial institutions, multinationals, entrepreneurs, and individuals to manage their finances more accurately and efficiently. Although as a statistics major, you can consider taking certifications in accounting to further improve your qualifications after graduation.

Statistics Vs. Epidemiology Which is Better?

When we look at both occupations, we can see that they both deal with data collection, analysis, and presentation. However, the difference lies in how the type of data that is used.

Epidemiologists are more focused on making the world a better place by gathering data from surveys or research on pandemics and outbreaks in a community while statisticians are more involved in the use of data to make recommendations for companies and individuals.

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