Re: [R] staying with R, jobs in R

From: Berton Gunter <gunter.berton_at_gene.com>
Date: Tue 30 Aug 2005 - 01:42:18 EST


Avneet:
Not to throw a wet blanket on your enthusiam for R (which I share) but ...

"The business of the statistician is to catalyze the scientific learning process." - George E. P. Box    

 Your better off finding a
> job you like
> at a company you like and then convincing them that R is
> better (not to
> mention the R skill set you are bringing to the table).
> Good luck to you.
> Roger

Fine advice, but a tad unrealistic. The reality (according to Bert):

  1. Most jobs for statisticians are in the pharmaceutical/medical industry (which includes academic research centers) in clinical trials. Data: See job ads in Amstat News.
  2. For better or worse, in this arena SAS is the standard. You will **not** -- repeat, NOT -- convince industrial employers who have thousands of lines of legacy infrastructure code and legions of SAS programmers to change. You may well make some inroads in academic research venues. In both, you will generally be free to use whatever software you like for your own work, but the final code submitted for FDA approval will almost certainly necessarily be SAS. Rail all you like, but those are the realities.
  3. Another significant amployer of statisticians these days is the "finance" industry (credit scoring and the like). Data: See Amstat News ads again. There S-Plus is already widely used, so you should have no difficulty using R and even getting others to adopt it.

I think outside these arenas -- for example, in industrial research and engineering centers or in pre/non-clinical pharmaceutical work, you'll again be free to use what you like. But there are relatively few jobs there, so that despite Roger's noble advice (with which I again agree), first you gotta eat and pay the mortgage.

And I also say: good luck.

"The business of the statistician is to catalyze the scientific learning process." - George E. P. Box



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