I am a psychology student at UCF. I intend to pursue a master's degree in industrial and organizational psychology. We use SPSS in the psychology department. How prevalent is SPSS used in offices? Would learning other statistical software packages like SAS be more helpful? Which statistical software packages are used most often in offices?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Michael Chernick, kjetil b halvorsen, Robert Long, whuber Jan 17 at 14:13

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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by offices? Industry? If so, it's heavily sector dependent and potentially even depends on the application (e.g. analytics, ML, DL etc.). E.g. certain regulated industries have a long tradition of using SAS, but I guess in most places R and python are gaining ground nowadays. $\endgroup$ – Björn Jan 17 at 6:35
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    $\begingroup$ In an international forum I wouldn’t assume that people know what UCF means, I don’t think it affects the answer to your question much, but if you mean “in my country”, you should say what it is, as software preferences vary nationally, as well as by disciplines. $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Jan 17 at 8:01
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    $\begingroup$ Which offices? What field? What country or region? The answer might be R, Python, SAS, Matlab ..... $\endgroup$ – Peter Flom Jan 17 at 12:00
  • $\begingroup$ I apologize for the ambiguity in my question. I am a psychology student at the University of Central Florida. I intend to pursue a master's degree in industrial and organizational psychology. I am most interested in jobs with the United States Department of Defense, specifically with the United States Navy in the state of Florida. At the moment, I do not have enough information to specify the application. Ideally, I would like to know which kinds of statistical analysis software are used most often in the United States Department of Defense in Florida. $\endgroup$ – Edgar Metke Jan 19 at 0:01

As Björn writes, it depends heavily on your field. SPSS is extremely common in psychology, and of course people like to stick with the tool they know, so SPSS is also pretty common in functions that have many psychologists, like HR. If you plan on working in such a field, SPSS is a pretty safe bet.

However, R and Python have been gaining ground in general statistics and data science, as per publications like the Rexer Data Science Survey. If you may want to go deeper into data science, I would definitely recommend you learn at least one of the two, perhaps rather more Python than R (which is preferred by the more statistical community).

R would also be a good thing to know in psychology. You can do everything SPSS does in R. The learning curve is steeper, true. But R forces you far more to actually understand what you are doing, rather than click a couple of buttons whose names sound promising and then hunt through the output for $p<.05$, which SPSS tempts you to do.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer, sir. I greatly appreciate it. $\endgroup$ – Edgar Metke Jan 22 at 0:39

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