Frequently asked questions

1.0 Recruitment of mathematical statisticians

1.1 What is the recruitment of mathematical statisticians at Statistics Canada?

Every year in which a need for new recruits is identified, vacancies are advertised through the Public Service Commission. During the recruitment campaign, Statistics Canada gives short presentations about the work and benefits of employment at Statistics Canada.

1.2 Do you hire non-Canadian candidates?

All persons residing in Canada and Canadian citizens residing abroad can apply. Preference will be given to veterans, Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

1.3 How many candidates with a bachelor degree do you hire compared to candidates with post-graduate degrees?

Over past years, successful candidates show a well-balanced distribution among bachelor, master and PhD degrees.

1.4 Do you have examples of questions that could help prepare for the written test?

Yes, you can find examples of questions similar to those found on the test on our website. However, tests from previous years are not available.

1.5 How can I prepare myself properly for the written test?

The test lasts 3 hours and it contains two distinct components for which a passing grade must be achieved in each. In one section, you will be asked to write a short text (essay or letter). The other section is made up of direct answer, multiple choice and open-ended questions.

The test is meant to evaluate your written communication, as well as your knowledge in mathematical and statistical domains including the following:

  • probability theory and the distributions of random variables
  • estimation methods, Bayesian methods, multivariate methods
  • hypothesis testing, experimental design, analysis of variance
  • data analysis, regression analysis, time series analysis
  • record linkage, sampling and estimation theory
  • stochastic models, operational research and graph theory.

Suggested reading is available on our Web site.

1.6 When will I be called for an interview?

If you meet the basic entry-level requirements and the results of each part of your written test results are high enough, you will be invited to an interview. Representatives of Statistics Canada will call you to arrange an interview time in the spring, following the exam.

1.7 What do you measure at the interview?

The interviews are designed to assess:

  • application of mathematical or statistical theories and techniques (including but not limited to probability theory and the distribution of random variables, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, regression analysis, data analysis)
  • application of mathematical, statistical or survey methods and concepts (including but not limited to questionnaire design, sample design, estimation)
  • demonstrating integrity and respect (acting with transparency and fairness)
  • thinking things through (exercising sound judgment and obtaining relevant facts before making decisions)
  • working effectively with others (understanding their colleagues' roles, responsibilities and workloads, and balancing their own needs with those of other team members)
  • showing initiative and being action-oriented (accepting responsibilities and putting forward ideas and opinions).
1.8 How will I be informed about the results - job offer?
  • Candidates will be notified by email about the test results in the weeks following the exam.
  • Candidates who have been interviewed will be notified by email about the results in the month following the interview.
  • The offers of employment are made up until September, most of them within two months of the interview. Other offers are made during the year as other positions are identified.
1.9 What kind of positions do you have

Eligible selected candidates will be offered employment with a work week of 37.5 hours. Successful candidates typically receive indeterminate (permanent) offers but based on hiring needs and budgets constraints, other job offers could be made.

2.0 Salary, promotion, benefits, training

2.1 What are the benefits of mathematical statisticians?
  • Four weeks vacation leave, increasing with years of service
  • Modified work week
  • Dental Care and Health Care Plans
  • Registered Pension Plan
  • Special leave: education, maternity/parental, other
  • Personal Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Leave with Income Averaging
2.2 Do you provide training?

Statistics Canada gives high priority to human resource training and development. Employees are encouraged to develop their interests and are supported throughout their career. Statistics Canada offers a complete, well-organized development program in both official languages.

Our statistical training program is large, varied and includes courses or other learning activities of high quality. In the current modernization context at Statistics Canada, mathematical-statisticians must maintain and develop their capacities related to traditional survey methods, while making room for leading-edge methods, data integration and data science.

One of the goals of our training and development program is to build a culture of productive learning. The courses in the classic classroom format are only one element among many of our training tools, that also include self-directed, informal, and by experience training. Seminars, Conferences, or the possibility to pursue university education.

3.0 The work of mathematical statisticians

3.1 What do you expect when someone starts working at Statistics Canada?

On arrival, you will work closely with a more experienced mathematical statistician. He or she will assign your tasks, advise you on technical and professional matters, supervise your training and guide you in your career plan.

3.2 What are the tasks of a mathematical statistician?

Mathematical Statisticians apply, adapt and develop mathematical, statistical or survey methods to practical problems. They explore and adopt sophisticated methods to integrate and transform alternate data sources into statistical information. Their work is crucial to Statistics Canada.

As a mathematical statistician, your main duties will consist of designing, implementing and evaluating statistical methods related to the production of official statistics. This could include work on surveys, work on research projects in various areas related to statistical methods, or work on new methods such as integrating data from a variety of existing sources or adopting new methods to analyze data. Mathematical Statisticians can also be involved in projects related to the combination of classic and leading edge statistical methods, including experimentation with machine learning, artificial intelligence techniques, non-probabilistic sampling, micro simulation and modeled/synthetic data. Mathematical Statisticians face a wide range of theoretical and practical statistical challenges!

The primary role of most of the Mathematical Statisticians is to provide methodological services for Statistics Canada projects. This service is oriented to our internal clients and requires mathematical statisticians to acquire some knowledge of the client area in order to determine and meet its methodological needs.

The work of a mathematical statistician is highly diversified and requires creativity and adaptability.

3.3 Do you have research positions in the mathematical statistician group?

To design and implement effective, scientifically sound methodology, a mathematical statistician must always maintain a good balance of skills in analytical and empirical research and operational work. The majority of mathematical statisticians provide survey methodological support services while some of them are also involved in research. Initially, research could make up only a small part of the duties of a mathematical statistician. However, it could become a major part of his/her duties depending on his/her experience and interests.

3.4 Do you work in teams/groups?

Statistics Canada projects are normally developed through multidisciplinary project teams. Such teams consist of experts from various areas: subject-matter (e.g., economists, sociologists, geographers), survey operations, systems development and survey methodology (mathematical statisticians).

3.5 In what language do you work at Statistics Canada?

At Statistics Canada, you will work with colleagues who speak English and/or French. All managers at Statistics Canada are expected to be able to work in both official languages and all staff are encouraged to become bilingual and make use of both English and French in all aspects of their work. However, bilingualism is not a criterion for recruitment. Training in the other official language (in-house courses and courses given by public or private training institutions) is part of the Recruitment and Development Program.

4.0 The workplace

4.1 If I am hired as a mathematical statistician at Statistics Canada, where will I work?

In the past, all mathematical statistician positions were located at Statistics Canada's head office in Ottawa. Currently, mathematical statisticians work from home due to the pandemic, with some employees working in various places across Canada. It is currently uncertain if employees will be required to be located in Ottawa at a future date.

4.2 Do you pay for the move?

If you are required to move, expenses related to relocation are usually paid by Statistics Canada.

For more information

For additional information on opportunities for employment as a mathematical statistician with Statistics Canada, you can contact us via email at: statcan.marecruitment-marecrutement.statcan@statcan.gc.ca.