Just two years out from graduating from the University of South Carolina with her statistics degree, Hurst works for the highly regarded Pew Research Center in Washington D.C.
As a research assistant on the Social & Demographic Trends team, Hurst helps develop survey questionnaires, analyzes datasets, fact checks publications and creates charts and graphs. All of this comes together to provide greater understanding of how people live in the United States.
Hurst recently worked on a project using Census data to study multigenerational households, shedding light on trends like the increase in people who live with parents into adulthood as well as the reasons for this cultural shift.
Hurst describes her work as “telling stories with data.” In researching areas significant to life in the United States – such as the gender pay gap and the complexities of identity – she's been able to expand on the work she started during her time at UofSC.
She’s excited to see that work pay off. Hurst says writing her thesis and learning to code in her upper-level statistics classes gave her the skills she uses now as a professional statistician.
For students considering a career in statistics, Hurst has this advice: “First, take as many coding classes as you can and practice those skills.”
“Second, stick with it,” she says. “The statistics degree is challenging, but your perseverance will get you to the finish line and into a data career that you find value in every day.”