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Switching from Database Marketing to Biostatistics -- many questions about Biostats!

I've been programming daily in SAS for the last 5 years, first in Economic research and most recently in database marketing. I've realized that I'm significantly more interested from a personal basis in the sciences vis-a-vis marketing and considering going back to school for Biostatistics. My questions are these:

1. What is the demand for statisticians specifically trained in biostatistics? Do research scientists feel just as comfortable - or more so - hiring a "pure" statistician?

2. I'm making close to $100k now -- are the salaries of starting, or early-to-mid career bio-statisticians with an MS or PhD similar or better?

3. Any thoughts on the demand for MS vs. PhD in the private sector?

4. Has anyone else made this switch?? Thoughts??

Thanks so much!

Tags: PhD, biostatistics, career, careers, doctorate, masters, school, statistics, stats

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I agree! And, very concise and precisely written also.


My name is Walter Earl Roper and I'm a graduate of the University of Illinois. Your saving grace - as well as mine and others - is Barack Obama. Yes! In order for Biostatistics, and my field, Bioinformatics, to thrive, there needs to be somebody at the top of the ladder pushing for advancement in Science and similiar fields. Are soon to be former President George W. Bush nearly trashed research - public and private - in the U.S. because of his families sole interest in energy - oil.

Although, the U.S. still is looked upon as a major player in this area, we are in decline. China, Britain, Israel and India and others are jumping all over this area. Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and BioTech are still frowned upon by a lot of people as a way of making a living; I was looking at CNBC about the best professions to go into and I can share with you a url that is "general" in nature that may encourage you...

You need to have some courses in Molecular Biology, Algorithms Cell Biology, DNA, Proteins, mRNA and the like. Lots of debate in the area as to which side of the fence you should be from - either Biology or Computing. I'm right in the middle. If you would like to discuss this more, email me at:


[email protected]


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