Kenneth Pick graduated from the GPSR program in 2009. He is currently a survey methodologist with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. NASS is the nation’s source for timely, accurate, and useful statistics in service to all aspects of U.S. agriculture. As a survey methodologist for NASS, Ken designs agriculture-related questionnaires and works with his colleagues to reduce measurement errors. Depending on the day, this may mean analyzing large sets of paradata, conducting cognitive testing with respondents, or behavioral coding the interviews conducted by enumerators. Prior to his current position, Ken was a survey methodologist for the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and a director of research for Global Market Insite, a technology and market research start-up based out of Bellevue, WA.
Prior to joining the GPSR program, Ken graduated from the University of Washington with Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Mass Media Studies. During his tenure at the University of Washington, Ken always enjoyed his research methods courses and when considering graduate school wanted a program with both a strong qualitative and quantitative curriculum. This is what drew him to the GPSR program; Ken notes that “the GPSR program is unique among the survey methodology graduate programs in that it offers a strong curriculum on qualitative methodologies, in addition to quantitative analysis.” It was this emphasis on qualitative methodology that helped him land his position with the U.S. Census Bureau upon graduation. Ken explains that “they [the U.S. Census Bureau] were particularly impressed with my knowledge of qualitative methodologies, specifically with cognitive testing. That, combined with my skills analyzing large data sets, made me a valuable new employee. And for that, I thank the entire GPSR faculty, and in particular Jenn Dineen and Thomas Craemer.”
Ken’s advice to current students is to take advantage of the GPSR alumni network and get to know the opportunities available to them once they have the GPSR degree.