Research – Have a clear understanding of the organisations within the medical statistics field, what they do and what your role might entail. You will be prepared at interview and stand out from the other candidates.
Qualifications - For a statistics role, major organisations require at least an MSc in medical statistics/statistics or similar. For a programming role, most companies require a mathematical, statistical or computing related degree.
Placement – See if you can get a placement within the company you are interested for your MSc project.
Network – Reach out to people working in medical statistics! Whether it’s learning more about the field or asking about available opportunities, using social media or attending events such as this to reach out to them proves your enthusiasm and drive for a role.
Online Opportunities/Resources – The PSI website has a wealth of resources such as careers booklets and previous university presentations on medical statistics. Also search LinkedIn and the Allstat mailing list for online job advertisements.
Specialist Recruitment Agency – register with recruitment agencies working within the medical statistics field as they may have opportunities that aren’t yet posted online.
Soft Skills – Don’t forget these! You are likely to be asked to present or participate in a group task at interview.
University Careers Centre – You can get great advice about good interview practice, sometimes even after you graduate.
GradStat Award – why not apply for a GradStat award if your course was accredited? Check with the RSS.
Company Websites - Read company websites. Whether it’s a Clinical Trials Unit (CTU), Contract Research Organisation (CRO) or Pharmaceutical company, you can learn more about the different organisations within the field and the types of jobs available.
Work Experience – Any work experience is valuable. Time working in a bar or volunteering on a committee can provide you with examples of applying various key skills during interview! Experience relevant to medical statistics will make you stand out from the crowd even more; even if it’s just shadowing someone or something more formal such as an internship.
Programming Language – STATA (Academic), R and SAS® (Industry) are the main programming languages. R is free to download and there is a free academic version of SAS® Studio. Make sure to start learning to get a head start!
PSI/Company Events – Make sure to attend any speed networking evenings, careers fairs, company presentations, PSI talks and other PSI events. Remember PSI has free student membership so you can be notified in advance!
LinkedIn – make sure your profile is up to date and relevant with a clear, professional profile photo. Some applications can now take details from your profile automatically, or a recruiter may be able to head-hunt you!
Cold Calling – call a company directly to ask for opportunities or email your CV and covering letter to different companies even if a job is not advertised.
Look Beyond Graduate Schemes - Don’t be afraid to apply for a role that isn’t specifically advertised as a graduate role. If you feel you match the desired skills and qualities for the role but do not necessarily have the exact years of experience there is no harm in applying!