Department of Statistics

Statistics courses and career pathways

Start creating your dream career by choosing the right papers to study.

Statistical skills support an extraordinarily wide range of careers. To help you in your career planning, we have commissioned a report to find out whether and how employers value statistical skills:

Career Pathways for Statistics Graduates e-book

To download a pdf copy of this report:

Use the following document to help you plan your course programme and achieve your career aspirations.

We also have several different brochures that can provide more information about the use and careers in Statistics:



Philip Vlaskovsky, Biostatistician, Growing Up in New Zealand study

Bachelor of Science (Applied Mathematics and Chemistry); Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Applied Mathematics); Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Statistics, with distinction); Master of Science (Statistics, first-class honours)

Growing Up in New Zealand is a longitudinal study that tracks the development of approximately 7,000 New Zealand children from before birth until they are young adults. The study is designed to provide unique information about what shapes children’s early development and how interventions might be best targeted to give every New Zealand child the best start in life.

My role as a biostatistician entails supporting the biostatistics team and researchers with statistical analysis, data management and generally providing advice on all things data. A large part of the work I do at GUiNZ has been data anonymisation for the purpose of external release.

To do well in statistics, you need to be academically focused, with a good work ethic and numerical competence. You also need to be approachable, have an outgoing personality and be able to communicate technical ideas to a range of people, from nerds like me to your friend who dropped maths straight after fifth form. Statistics is a multi-purpose tool that will open many doors for you.

The statistics papers I took were:
STATS 208, STATS 210, STATS 721, STATS 730, STATS 731, STATS 732, STATS 740, STATS 741, STATS 747, STATS 750, STATS 762, STATS779, STATS 780, STATS 782, STATS 783, STATS 784 and STATS 785.

More information about the Growing Up in New Zealand study can be found here.


Sammie Yilin Jia, Modelling Analyst, AA Insurance

BSc (Hons) in Statistics, MSc in Statistics (both the University of Auckland)

At AA Insurance, I provide suggestions for customer pools that we should target; work on customer acquisition campaigns with business partners New Zealand Automobile Association and AA Life; and collaborate with NZAA on various analytics projects.

I have also worked for marketing agency Affinity ID as a customer insights analyst and applied statistician. Prior to that, I was a data analyst for the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research.

The top things I learned from the Department of Statistics that prepared me well for a varied career were technical skills such as R and SAS, and the applied courses that taught me how to explain statistical terms to clients with little statistical knowledge.

Some of the statistics papers I took while in the Department of Statistics were STATS201, STATS210, STATS255, STATS302, STATS310, STATS320, ENGSCI391, STATS301, STATS340, STATS730, STATS731, STATS782, STATS726, STATS747, STATS785


Marina Ivanova: Senior Actuarial Analyst at Sovereign

Bachelor of Science (Hons), Master of Science

Statistics was a natural choice for me. I’m fascinated by the magic of numbers and working with them is like a game. I enjoy using my statistical knowledge and skills to answer practical questions. It’s really satisfying to convert mathematical problems into solutions that can be used and understood by anyone.

All organisations, from private companies to government departments, use statistics in some form so there are many career opportunities for statistics graduates.

I chose The University of Auckland as it is one of the top 100 universities in the world and would recommend studying statistics at the university. The academic staff are very supportive and the teaching resources are excellent. The courses are practical and students apply all the theory they learn to real-life situations.

After graduating, I joined New Zealand’s largest life insurance company, Sovereign, as an Actuarial Analyst. Actuaries are at the heart of an insurance company and are crucial to its profitability and success. They have diverse roles, which include creating new products, setting customer premiums, tracking claims trends and evaluating performance. I work in financial reporting, examining profitability and performance to help the company make the best financial decisions. I love the variety in my job as I work on a wide range of projects and no day is the same.

Edna Lu

Edna Lu, MSc candidate in Applied Statistics at University of Oxford

Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Statistics

I love how statistics can be applied to many fields of study from finance, education to medical research. It offers me a variety of choices in terms of career path.

After finishing my Honours degree, I worked as a Statistical Analyst in the Work, Knowledge & Skills Unit at Statistics NZ. This was very interesting because the data I looked at everyday directly related to half of NZ’s population, including me. The information we produced, for instance about work conditions and work-life balance of employed people, informs the government and hopefully helps them in their policy making. It will also help researchers and the general public get a better understanding of New Zealanders in the work force.

In September 2013, I started an MSc in Applied Statistics at Oxford University. This programme emphasises practical sessions and computer intensive methods. It appealed to me because I want to apply my skills to solve real world problems.

I chose The University of Auckland because of its 360° Student Exchange Programme. In this programme, I spent one year at UCLA during my 2nd and 3rd year. This was an eye-opening experience and also set my path towards majoring in Statistics. My favourite paper at Auckland was also the most challenging paper that I took: Stats 730 - Statistical Inference.