From the Science editorial Why Statistics? of 6 April 2012:
“Statistics is the science of learning from data, and of measuring, controlling, and communicating uncertainty; and it thereby provides the navigation essential for controlling the course of scientific and societal advances. This field will become ever more critical as academia, businesses, and governments rely increasingly on data-driven decisions, expanding the demand for statistics expertise.”
From the New York Times story For Today’s Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics of 6 August 2009:
“the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians”
There is currently a very marked shortage of professional statisticians across a range of disciplines in Australia. The hottest areas are biostatistics/bioinformatics and financial modelling, but more traditional areas such as survey designs are also feeling the pinch. Advertisements for biostatisticians are going unfilled for a long time. The methodology division of the Bureau of Statistics reports that the output of honours graduates in statistics is no longer sufficient to fill its annual recruitment needs. The need for statisticians is more recognized than even before in Australia and there are far more employment opportunities than ever before. There are several jobs for every honours graduate that Australia is producing. It is very difficult to understand why the number of graduate statisticians being produced by Australian universities is decreasing rather than increasing.
Some idea of the range of employers in Australia and NZ can be had by browsing the recent job announcements. The job announcements site also allows you to search for all jobs over the past couple of years advertised by a particular employer.