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i m frustrated. i have post graduation degree in stats long back (in 1994 ) and have industrial experience of 17 years where I have used stats at minimum.But now I am impatient to start career in stats but seems that I am lagging behind new generation in terms of skills required for job in stats.But I am determined to bounce back.Kindly guide me and tell me in which topics of stats should I focus .Also let me know which software/languages will help me to get there.

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Hi Parag,

I humbly recommend you focus on marketing analytics (unless you wish to work in healthcare or financial services which will take you down a different path). Don't worry about the skill, techniques, methods, etc so much as how you can either 1) Create New Users for a company or, 2) Retain Users for a company. It all boils down to this. Show them the value of loyal customers. Show them the value of lowering the acquisition cost of acquiring new customers. Don't over think it. Focus on customers, customers, customers.



Hi Greg,

First of all thanks a lot for quick reply . I really appreciate your "out of box" thinking. I will certainly follow this path as I am also inclined to analytics that too in marketing.I hope you will continue to guide me in future too.



Great suggestion Greg! Fraud detection is also a path with lots of potential, especially if the economy does not improve. Environmental stats might also see a come back.

Hi Parag,

I would like to add about the software. SAS and SQL are very popular and you will encounter them in many job descriptions. SPSS Statisitcs is nice to know  as well.

Thanks Dmitry.

I agree that the big domains are marketing / media research, scientific (including healthcare) and  financial.  I spent 25 years in market and media research and am now in anti money laundering.  The 2 key drivers for most of us in analytics are quality (however it is measured) and cost.  Most of the analytics teams I am aware of want skills in math / stat, data / DB, computational tools, domain knowledge, problem solving, process improvement, . . . .  


No one person will be strong in all areas.   My suggestion is to be very strong in one area and knowledgeable in 2 or 3 more.  The ability to relate your skills to one or both of the key drivers of quality and cost will also go a long way.


Take care - Bill


"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.”-- Mark Twain


yeah , I agree with you.have you any time thought of financial / job insecurity any time in your service span of 25 yrs?



hi an undergraduate student of stats and from the little i know so far , i think  you have to be conversant with  spss  statistic can actually teach yourself  how to use the software...its easy  to learn.

oh john thanks a lot

Another way you might capitalize on your graduate degree in stats is add a little Lean Six Sigma background.  Maybe a green belt or better.  Because you have both the degree and industrial experience you should be able to mine your experience for the project that is often required for a "belt".

There is a "free" version of SAS which I think is called "R" and you should not overlook Excel if you have access to Microsoft Office.  While the programming doesn't crossover if you need a free spreadsheet look at


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