Brian Armstrong is a Statistical Analyst and Programmer at QST Consultations. His job incorporates data management, biostatistics and medical writing for the health care industry. He has had this position since completing his Professional Masters in Industrial Mathematics from Michigan State University in 2003.
Brian ís company works with pharmaceutical companies that are conducting clinical trials in an effort to get new drugs/devices approved through the FDA. A significant portion of Brianís work entails computer programming, often on client projects, but also on the internal systems of his company. Already he has been assigned the role of manager on some projects, which involves data management, coordinating the various stages of the project, and ultimately writing a final report. Brian notes that having a background in mathematics has aided him both because his job requires a great deal of statistics, but also because the logic skills needed to be successful at mathematics are also vital for computer programming.
The minimum requirement for Brian's job was a 4-year degree, with a suggested background in mathematics, statistics, and computer programming. While a graduate degree was not essential, Brianís masters degree in Industrial Mathematics increased his technical knowledge and provided him with opportunities for practical experiences before he entered the work force full time.
Brian recalls that he, like many students, was not aware of the vast array of career opportunities for someone with a math degree while he was a student. He did not know that a job like his even existed, and so he advises current math majors to start researching their options early. Brian encourages students to realize that a math degree opens the door for many different career paths, since mathematics is integrated into so many professions at some level.