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Careers Involving Factor Analysis

Jan 17, 2020

Occupations that involve research and assessing data regularly may use factor analysis to compile the information into relevant categories and break it down so that the most relevant factors are considered. Some career options that involve using factor analysis are looked at in this piece.

Career Options for Jobs Using Factor Analysis

Factor analysis involves breaking data down into relevant factors so that significant information is considered in the analysis. For example, if reporting consumer trends for an international business with service in fifty countries, one might group nations together based on certain factors that seem to drastically affect the results, such as high or low GDP, trade power, or foreign conflict levels. These are just a few examples of how certain variables could affect nations similarly; factor analysis involves analyzing data patterns in order to categorize, make conclusions, and even control for the effects of said patterns. Factor analysis may be used in careers in business, life sciences, social sciences and math.

Job Title Median Salary* (2018) Growth* (2018-2028)
Statisticians $87,780 31%
Atmospheric Scientists $94,110 8%
Budget Analysts $76,220 4%
Psychologists $79,010 14%
Cost Estimators $64,040 9%
Information Security Analysts $98,350 32%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Jobs Using Factor Analysis

Statisticians

Statisticians spend their careers focused on gathering and interpreting information. This information can be used to help determine how well a type of medication performs or how safe drinking water is. When preparing their studies, they have to determine relevant variables, and they use advanced forms of factor analysis to determine how to categorize and interpret information they receive. They must have a master's degree in statistics or a comparable subject.

Atmospheric Scientists

Atmospheric scientists may use factor analysis when preparing a weather forecast. As part of their work, they may serve as a meteorologist and review data about conditions that may affect the weather. They must break down the information into different categories and determine the most significant or likely variables that will affect the weather. Those who provide forecasts on television or radio need to break down relevant factors into understandable information for their audience to follow. A bachelor's degree is necessary to start out in this field, and some advanced positions require applicants who have completed graduate studies.

Budget Analysts

A bachelor's degree will prepare individuals to work as a budget analyst, although a master's degree may increase opportunities for those working in this field. Budget analysts are involved in the finances of organizations; they must review financial data, make sure that budgetary paperwork is complete, and uphold absolute accuracy of information. They regularly synthesize and assess expenditures, revenue, and projections; factor analysis helps these professionals map trends and identify potential budgetary problems. For example, factor analysis may reveal the specific variable causing slow budget realization. Depending on findings, they may recommend moving forward with certain expenditures and curtailing others.

Psychologists

Analytical skills, as well as a doctoral degree, are required for a career as a psychologist. Psychologists use their ability to analyze data when conducting research on human behavior and determining factors that may be affecting a person's mental state or behavioral choices. Factor analysis is involved in their work because they must be able to isolate the variables that affected the data in order to come to meaningful conclusions that can be published.

Cost Estimators

Cost estimators provide estimates for projects. This might involve making a proposal for a building project, or it could mean preparing an estimate for a proposed service's cost. Cost estimators need a bachelor's degree. They may use basic factor analysis as part of their job because they need to consider and incorporate variables when creating cost estimates. For example, a building project that will be worked on during the summer months may have more consistent working weather, while a similar project that's scheduled during the winter months may face weather-related delays (and thus a variable affecting cost) in northern states. Cost estimators need to break down potential factors to relevant variables for each project they are working on.

Information Security Analysts

A bachelor's degree in a discipline such as computer science is usually required for a career as an information security analyst. They may also need prior computer programming experience or experience working with computer systems. Strong analytical skills are a specific requirement for this career. The primary objective of an information security analyst is to make sure that computer networks are secure. This may involve factor analysis because as part of their duties, information security analysts will review data that can be interpreted and filtered with variables. They then determine the best steps to take to improve a network's security.

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