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

From: Frank E Harrell Jr <f.harrell_at_vanderbilt.edu>
Date: Tue 30 Aug 2005 - 02:13:06 EST

Berton Gunter wrote:
> Avneet:
> Not to throw a wet blanket on your enthusiam for R (which I share) but ...
>
> -- Bert Gunter
> Genentech Non-Clinical Statistics
> South San Francisco, CA
>
> "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.

One disagreement Bert - code submitted to FDA does not need to be SAS either from industry or academia, but especially from academia. Many sponsors submit no code at all because they use Excel (!) which FDA allows (just as they allow Minitab).

The number of job ads in Amstat news desiring R/S-Plus skills is on the increase. There have even been such ads from industry, though few.

Frank

>
> 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.
>
> -- Bert
>
> -- Bert Gunter
> Genentech Non-Clinical Statistics
> South San Francisco, CA
>
> "The business of the statistician is to catalyze the scientific learning
> process." - George E. P. Box
>

-- 
Frank E Harrell Jr   Professor and Chair           School of Medicine
                      Department of Biostatistics   Vanderbilt University

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Received on Tue Aug 30 02:20:35 2005

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