Stats Made Easy

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Number smiths gain top three spots for having the best occupations

Today’s Wall Street Journal article on Doing Math to Find the Good Jobs reports that the top three professions are mathematician, actuary and statistician! The perpetrator of this outrageous claim is Les Krantz, author of the “Jobs Rated Almanac.” You can infer what floats his boat by comparing these three ivory tower jobs to the down and dirty ones he rated as the absolute worst: lumberjack, dairy farmer and taxi driver.

So it seems that this caps the revenge of the nerds. However, I am not sure what to conclude from a school chum who went on to become an actuary, made a mint in investments on the side and then retired early to become a dairy farmer. I suspect that many math mavens secretly desire being outdoors chopping trees rather than crunching numbers in an office.

Nevertheless, maybe it’s best for those of us that can do the calculations to resist acting upon our daydreaming during the deadly dull parts. For example, when I rev up my little chain saw things often get quickly out of control, such as the time I took it up a ladder to cut off a branch and while leaning at a particularly dangerous angle got stung viciously by a wickedly large wasp. At times like this one must be thankful for a job involving numbers that can be done despite being temporarily incapacitated.


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