PostSecondary Recruitment  Mathematical Statisticians
The new virtual 20202021 Mathematical Statisticians (MA) PostSecondary Recruitment campaign will be launched in December 2020 to January 2021. The specific dates will be finalized later this fall.
Consult the links below for more information about the position and the application process.
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The work of a Mathematical Statistician
The work of a Mathematical Statistician
At Statistics Canada, we produce and interpret a high volume of statistical information. We sample, collect, acquire, clean, correct, combine and analyze data to explain statistical information related to many aspects of Canada's economy and society. We produce statistics by conducting censuses every five years and by conducting numerous surveys, but also by exploiting data coming from a very broad range of data sources. We develop and use innovative solutions including machine learning and big data, stateoftheart statistical theories and leadingedge statistical methods.
Statistics Canada is currently undertaking a significant transformation. Outcomes of this transformation will be an agency that is responsive to emerging data needs, increases the statistical literacy of Canadians and facilitates the responsible use of data for decision making. Innovative statistical methods are now more than ever essential to our success. A very knowledgeable, talented and diversified workforce is at the core of this transformation and Mathematical Statisticians play a key role.
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. The quality of data outputs and the costs of operations are heavily dependent on the methodology used.
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, nonprobabilistic sampling, micro simulation and modeled/synthetic data. Mathematical Statisticians face a wide range of theoretical and practical statistical challenges!
Statistics Canada projects are normally developed through multidisciplinary project teams. Such teams can include experts from various area: subjectmatter (e.g., economists, sociologists, geographers), survey operations, systems development and methodology (mathematical statisticians). This structure requires mathematical statisticians to acquire some knowledge of the client area in order to determine and meet its methodological needs.
Within a team, the Mathematical Statistician brings his or her expertise, experience and a critical, analytical mind to the area of statistical and survey methods. In the multidisciplinary project structure, he or she is primarily a service provider. The work of a Mathematical Statistician is highly diversified and requires creativity and adaptability. Individual Mathematical Statisticians usually work on several projects or activities at the same time. Each project is a new challenge; readymade solutions in the literature can rarely be directly applied. 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 methodological support services while some of them are also involved in research.
Research
Like any organization striving to be the best in its field, Statistics Canada places great emphasis on research. The organization has a long and rich tradition of research in the area of statistical methods. In particular, methodological research focuses on cuttingedge ways to produce reliable statistics at a lower cost.
Statistics Canada provides the environment and support that enable Mathematical Statisticians to deal with all types of research problems, whether they are associated with a specific project, or are more general in nature.
Mathematical Statisticians regularly conduct theoretical studies and empirical simulations to support the methodological services they provide to project teams. They also carry out research on a variety of subjects related to statistical methods, such as spatial and temporal estimation, nonsampling variance, outlier detection, benchmarking, interpolation and calendarization, longitudinal data analysis, and time series. 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.
Results of mathematical statisticians' research projects may be presented at relevant conferences and published in technical journals. One of these is Statistics Canada's own internationally renowned journal, Survey Methodology.
To foster and promote research, Statistics Canada has established an external fellowship program. In addition, Statistics Canada is actively involved in joint research projects with universities and with statistical agencies in other countries.
Work environment
As a new employee, you will work closely with a more experienced Mathematical Statistician which will allow you to gain valuable experience that will enhance your professional skills.
Statistics Canada is committed to offering its employees a modern and flexible workplace. A great importance is placed on the wellbeing of employees. We have numerous programs and facilities designed for the benefit of employees. Health and safety, respect and fairness, flexible work arrangements, a sense of belonging and recognition and workplace wellness are at the heart of our organizational culture.
Training and development
Training and development
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, wellorganized 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, mathematicalstatisticians must maintain and develop their capacities related to traditional survey methods, while making room for leadingedge 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 selfdirected or informal training, such as handson training
Inhouse courses
A number of courses on statistics and survey methodology are offered on a regular basis by guest instructors or experienced Statistics Canada employees. The courses cover both classical theory and the results of recent research. To provide technical and professional support, a complete range of courses is also offered on other subjects as varied as informatics, project management, employee supervision and presentation skills.
All new employees also participate in a sixweek fulltime course called Survey Skills Development Course. Participants work in teams to design and conduct a complete sample survey on a predetermined socioeconomic topic. Steps include negotiation of an agreement with the client, questionnaire design, sample design, data collection in the field, estimation, and analysis of the survey results and presentation of the conclusions. This practical training is complemented by classroom sessions.
Seminars, Conferences, and Publications
Mathematical statisticians are encouraged to present the results of their work at seminars and at relevant conferences, and to submit articles to technical journals. In addition to publishing the journal Survey Methodology, Statistics Canada holds an annual symposium on a topical theme related to statistical methods.
University education
Statistics Canada encourages employees to continue their professional development by taking academic courses relevant to their job. Three universities in the OttawaGatineau area allow employees to improve their knowledge. As well as regular courses offered by local universities, there are programs customized for Statistics Canada personnel. Furthermore, on occasion, Statistics Canada grants education leave to employees. These employees have the possibility of fulltime education leave to pursue an additional university degree in statistics or a related field.
Pay rates
Pay rates
Generally speaking, all candidates are hired at the MA2 level. The starting salary of a mathematical statistician is $59,933^{Footnote *}. After 16 to 24 months experience at Statistics Canada, the salary reaches the first step of the MA3 level. Annual pay increments then take place within the MA3 level until the maximum salary is reached.
Level  Position  Promotion  Pay rate 

MA2  Methodologist^{Footnote 1}  Postsecondary recruitment  $59,933 to $71,778 
MA3  Methodologist  Promoted^{Footnote 2} from MA2 typically after 16 to 24 months  $72,964 to $85,959 
MA4  Senior Methodologist  Selection process  $87,124 to $101,613 
MA5  Senior Methodologist  Selection process  $102,066 to $115,898 
MA6  Section Chief  Selection process  $113,702 to $128,373 
MA7  Assistant Director  Selection process  $124,499 to $139,334 

A registered pension plan, a dental care plan, a health care plan, a disability insurance plan, and life insurance are included in the benefits of the employees of the federal public service. As a new employee, you are entitled every year to 20 days of vacation leave, 15 days of sick leave, 5 days of leave for familyrelated responsibilities and 2 days of leave for a personal reason. Up to 52 weeks of maternity/parental leave and up to 5 years of leave without pay for childcare and eldercare are also available.
Who can apply
Who can apply
Persons residing in Canada and Canadian citizens residing abroad. Preference will be given to Canadian citizens.
Application process
Application process
The application process for the 20202021 campaign has not yet opened. It should be launched in December 2020 to January 2021. Please come back later this fall for specific dates and procedures.
Qualifications and other requirements
Qualifications and other requirements
Candidates must be able to demonstrate the following:
 A degree from a recognized postsecondary institution with specialization in:
 mathematics, statistics or operational research or
 one of the physical, life or social sciences, combined with an acceptable number of courses (normally 20 oneterm courses/ approximately 60 credits) in mathematics, statistics or operational research at the level of a recognized postsecondary institution.
 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).
 Innovative thinking (recognizing when standard or conventional approaches will not work and making modifications).
 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 actionoriented (accepting responsibilities and putting forward ideas and opinions).
 Ability to communicate effectively in writing in English or French.
Examples of questions for the written test for Mathematical Statisticians
Examples of questions for the written test for Mathematical Statisticians
The written test is evaluating knowledge AND ability to communicate in writing. It consists of two parts. Part A contains one question to test writing ability. Part B tests knowledge and contains multiple choice questions, fillintheblank questions and an open question. There is no break period between the two parts of the test.
Examples of questions similar to those found on the test are given below.
Please note that tests from previous years are not available.
Part A  Writing Ability
Example 1
Prepare a letter of approximately 200 to 300 words to the director of recruitment for Statistics Canada in which you explain how your training, work experience and interpersonal skills make you a strong candidate for a position as a mathematical statistician.
Example 2
In 2002 and 2007, public health officials conducted a survey on the lifestyle choices of members of your community. The following table shows an extract of the official results of that survey:
Year  Population (Number of Adults)  Estimated number of "smoking" adults  Estimated number of adults with "hypertension"  Estimated number of "smoking adults with "hypertension" 

2007  5,000  300  350  250 
2002  4,000  400  400  200 
As a journalist involved in community affairs, you have followed this story closely from the beginning. Therefore, your editorinchief has asked you to write an article for your newspaper which explains the survey results to your readers.
Please write this article in 200 to 300 words.
Part B  Knowledge
Probability and Statistics
1. In a batch of 10 items, we wish to extract a sample of 3 without replacement. How many different samples can we extract?
Answer: 10! / (7!*3!) = 10*9*8 / (3*2*1) = 120
2. The difference between the parameter we wish to estimate and the expected value of its estimator is __________.
Answer: the bias
3. Let X and Y be independent random variables. Suppose the respective expected values are E(X) = 8 and E(Y) = 3 and the respective variances are V(X) = 9 and V(Y) = 6. Let Z be defined as Z = 2X – 3Y +5. Based on these data, the value of E(Z) is _____ and the value of V(Z) is _____.
Answer: 12 and 90
4. Which of the following statements about the X^{2} (Chisquare) distribution is always false?
 The X^{2} distribution is asymmetrical.
 The variance of a random variable having a X^{2} distribution is twice its mean.
 If X_{1} and X_{2} are two independent random variables with a X^{2} distribution with n_{1} and n_{2} degrees of freedom respectively, then the variable Y = X_{1} + X_{2} has an F (Fisher) distribution with n_{1} and n_{2} degrees of freedom.
 If X_{1} , …, X_{n} are independent random variables having a normal distribution N(0,1), then X_{1}^{2} +…+ X_{n}^{2} has a X^{2} distribution with n degrees of freedom.
 The X^{2} distribution is dependent only on a single parameter.
Answer: C
Sampling
5. Single stage cluster sampling is more precise than simple random sampling when the ___________ is negative.
Answer: intracluster correlation
6. In order to estimate the total for a variable of interest, a simple random sample without replacement of size N/4 from a population of size N is sought. After some thought, it is decided that a simple random sample without replacement of size N/2, instead, will be drawn from the same population. By what factor is the variance of this estimate reduced with this increased sample size?
Answer: 3
Mathematics
7. The inverse of the matrix $X=5\left[\begin{array}{cc}2& 5\\ 4& 1\end{array}\right]$ is ___________.
Answer: ${X}^{1}=\frac{1}{5}\left[\begin{array}{cc}\frac{1}{22}& \frac{5}{22}\\ \frac{2}{11}& \frac{1}{11}\end{array}\right]$ or ${X}^{1}=\left[\begin{array}{cc}\frac{1}{110}& \frac{1}{22}\\ \frac{2}{55}& \frac{1}{55}\end{array}\right]$
Data Analysis
8. The primary goal of principal component analysis is to:
 Divide a set of multivariate observations into classes.
 Assign a particular multivariate observation to one of several classes.
 Characterize the correlation structure between two sets of variables by replacing them by two smaller sets of variables which are highly correlated.
 Find the variables among a set of predictor variables that are the best predictors of a set of variables of interest.
 Explain the variability in a large set of variables by replacing it by a smaller set of transformed variables that explains a large portion of the total variability.
Answer: E
Open Question
9. A basic question in planning a sample survey is the size of the sample that is required. In your opinion, what factors should be considered when determining the size of the sample and how does each one affect the sample size?
Testimonials
Testimonials
"I love my job at Statistics Canada! I have the opportunity to work with really knowledgeable peers on a variety of interesting and innovative projects. And all this while continuing my training in statistics and enjoying a great work life balance!"
"Statistics Canada has a wonderful workplace culture that has allowed me to develop my skills as a methodologist in a dynamic and welcoming atmosphere. The people at Statistics Canada challenge and support each other as producers of quality information, lifelong learners and dedicated professionals."
"At Statistics Canada, my projects allow me to work on many steps of the survey process using stateoftheart statistical methods. Furthermore, it's easy to achieve a balance between my work and my personal life. I have access to flexible hours which gives me the opportunity to participate in various activities outside of work."
"Working among the largest group of mathematical statisticians in Canada, I am able to interact with and learn from experts in various domains on a daily basis. This, along with the encouraged rotation between positions and the myriad training opportunities, are just some of the ways that a job at Statistics Canada provides unparalleled opportunities for career development in survey statistics."
"I enjoy very much the research and development aspects of my daily work that allow me to apply skills learned in university to prominent and innovative projects. Statistics Canada is an employer that also promotes wellness and active living at the workplace. I just love to come to work every day!"
"I was glad to find a job that allows me to use all my skills acquired through my years in university. Innovative projects, excellent working conditions, plenty of opportunities for advancement… All this and I get to work with a dynamic group of people! I could not ask for better."
"The MA stream at Statistics Canada has given me not just a job, but a career. From junior to senior, I have been able to choose my path and work on projects that both interest and challenge me. I feel Statistics Canada has really invested in my development, even while starting a family."
"I've always had varied interests and skills: should I become an author, teacher or mathematician? I discovered that I could do all of that at StatCan, and even more! Not only have I become an expert in implementing the Bootstrap in surveys, but I also provide training on related technical subjects both at the Agency and externally."
"The training offered at Statistics Canada has allowed me to keep learning since my first day on the job — in a wide range of areas including my second language and supervising skills as well as statistics and computer programming."
"My plan by joining Statistics Canada was to gain some work experience in statistics and then reevaluate my options. Once there, I discovered a variety of projects available to me, all in a stimulating work environment rich with professional development opportunities. I was quickly won over and never thought of leaving. Statistics Canada was the right choice!"
Contact our recruitment team
Contact our recruitment team
Note that if you require help with the online application process, you must contact the Public Service Commission of Canada at 18887804444.
For additional information about a career as a mathematical statistician at Statistics Canada, or about the recruitment process, we invite you to attend our information sessions held across the country at the beginning of each recruitment campaign, or contact us at statcan.marecruitmentmarecrutement.statcan@canada.ca.