BCom (Statistics) is a three-year full-time programme and provides graduates with a sound academic and practical foundation in the field of economic and management sciences with a strong focus on statistics. This enables graduates to embark on an exciting and rewarding career in the field of statistics, which offers a variety of job opportunities and career paths. A unique feature of the full-time BCom (Statistics) programme is that it consistently balances theory and practice. Statistics is the art and science of collecting, organising, analysing, interpreting and presenting quantitative and qualitative data for the purpose of drawing scientifically founded conclusions. Briefly, statistics can be regarded, among other things, as the science of gaining information from data. With the interactive use of the computer, the statistician can apply statistical models and methods in all types of scientific research, including marketing management, communication management, tourism management, financial management, business management, investment management, human resource management, economics and agricultural economics. Statisticians are expected to be proficient in a multitude of skills. A strong numerical background and interest, the desire to master computer programming and the use of various software packages, the ability to interact with professionals from various disciplines, as well as communication skills, both verbal and written, are of importance. Learning from data is one of the most relevant and vital challenges of the information age, and it presents exciting opportunities for those who work as professional statisticians.
For the knowledgeable and motivated graduate, there are career opportunities in many diverse, as well as complementary sectors, which include the following:
- Financial institutions: Statisticians specialising in the economic applications of statistics deal with aspects such as national production and expenditure, international economic relations, employment, public finance and related issues. In the insurance industry, statisticians are employed in areas such as actuarial work, marketing, share investments and property investments. Market research organisations play an indispensable role in gathering information that is used to improve the quality of decision-making in various industries.
Industry: Statisticians are increasingly employed in industries such as mining, production and government corporations, for example, Eskom, Sasol and AECI, and the pharmaceutical industry in general. Organised agriculture is another vitally important industry where sophisticated statistical techniques are used to meet the growing demand for food and services.
Research councils and educational institutions: The research councils are well-known employers of scientists of diverse disciplines and employ statisticians to ensure scientifically founded research outputs. These include the Medical Research Council, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Agricultural Research Council and the Human Sciences Research Council. Statisticians are also involved in the training of students at universities and universities of technology. The challenges of modern education and good research are of great relevance, especially in South Africa.
The public sector: The government employs statistically proficient people in many of its departments, the most prominent being Statistics South Africa and the South African Reserve Bank. Statistics South Africa is responsible for the five-yearly population censuses and the calculation of well-known economic indicators, such as the inflation rate.
For more information, please consult the Faculty webpage.
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