How To Become A Sports Statistician
Career Video: Sports Statistician
Sports statisticians are a booming field, and there will be many positions needed in the coming years. As technology advances, sports statisticians will be able to use computer programs and mathematical models to predict outcomes. This will help professional sports team be able to optimize their rosters and be able to win games. A sports statistician is able to combine their love of sports with their love of mathematics into one career.
Why Become A Sports Statistician
Sports is all about the numbers. People want to know what the likelihood is that one team will win against another team; what the chances are of one player scoring, if given a certain set of conditions; what sorts of factors will determine the outcome of the game. Previously, people could only make educated guesses about these outcomes. But with the arrival of more sophisticated technologies, we are now able to use data to make predictions.
A sports statistician uses mathematical models to evaluate players and teams from many different sports in order to project performance. A statistician begins by collecting data. They build computer programs that automatically find data, as well as using paid data services that record, organize and clean data. Then a sports statistician will build statistical models around the data that they collect and analyze it. Different conditions during a game will have different outcomes, so a sports statistician will build different models to predict how changes in each scenario will affect the outcome of the game.
A sports statistician is somebody who is able to use technology to solve complex problems. They can take data and analyze it. They enjoy abstract thinking and are able to look at the bigger picture. This is a good career choice for somebody who loves sports, is good at math, and wants a career working with statistics and probability.
Sports Statisticians must possess the following qualities and skills:
- Loves Sports
- Problem Solver
- Good Communicator
- Computer Literacy
Sports Statistician Work Environment
Sports statisticians are employed by professional sports teams. They spend much of their time in an office environment, using a data service to record, organize and clean game data. Statisticians often work in teams with other professionals. They may travel as part of this position. Sports statisticians work full-time.
Sports Statistician Salary
The median annual salary for statisticians was $80,500 per year in 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are many factors that will determine salary. A sports statistician is hired by a professional sports team, and their rates of pay may vary. The years of experience a person has will also impact their salary. Location where a statistician lives, such as a large city, may increase rate of pay. These all will determine the salary for a sports statistician.
Sports Statistician Career Outlook
Employment for sports statisticians is expected to increase by 34 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is a much faster rate of growth than other positions in the United States.
Technology has resulted in being able to use data like never before. Now companies can use data to make informed business and policy decisions. Previously, sports teams may have to guess at future predictions for their team performance and individual player performances. Now there is the technology available to track data and make decisions about how a team will probably perform. Sports statisticians are needed to analyze this data and make predictions.
Sports Statistician Degree
If you are interested in becoming a sports statistician, read below to find out how.
Step 1: Undergraduate education. You will need a bachelor’s degree to become a sports statistician. There are many programs to choose from including mathematics, economics, computer science, or another related field. Be sure to take classes in statistics, probability, calculus, computer programming, and more. These courses will create the foundation for your education and help you figure out if a career as a sports statistician is right for you.
Step 2: Internships. The sports industry is very competitive, and most people find their jobs as sports statisticians by being hired internally or by networking into the position. It is important to make connections within the industry. Find an internship in the sports industry, working in the statistics field. The internship can be paid or unpaid. During your internship, you will learn more about the sports industry and how statistics is used in a real world setting. This is a great way to make connections and potentially network your way to a position in this career field.
Step 3: Play a sport. If you love sports, being a sports statistician may be a great career for you. It is not a requirement to play a sport to have this job, however, people who have a background in sports will have a better understanding of their jobs. Whether it is football, basketball, or another sport, playing a sport, whether at the high school or collegiate level, or even as an extracurricular, will help you understand the statistics that go behind the games.
Step 4: Master’s degree. Most professional organizations look for people who have obtained a master’s degree in their field. Check out programs in statistics, economics, and other related fields. These programs will prepare you for a career as a sports statistician, giving you an in-depth look into the field.