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What Classes are in a Statistics Degree Program?
A degree in statistic requires students to learn the methods and mathematics used to extrapolate information from data. Students may study statistics at the bachelor or graduate level. Statistics is very mathematics intensive, requiring students to learn various forms of mathematics to develop and utilize statistical models. A bachelor's degree is not necessary to pursue graduate level degrees in statistics, though a math background is required.
It is also important to know top colleges and universities offering degrees in statistics will require students to understand the intricacies with a variety of social sciences such as sociology, economics, psychology, anthropology, geography, linguistics, and political science given the overlap and applicability in each domain.
A curriculum in statistics may include:
- Data Analyses
- Linear and Experimental Models
- Statistical Methods and Models
Prerequisites for a Statistics Degree
If you are applying to an accredited college or university’s statistics program, you will need to meet certain requirements prior to earning admissions to their program. In addition to a robust background in mathematics, you will need to have exceptional grades in both math and sciences. Since math permeates every discipline in life, a strong grasp of mathematical principles is an essential key to expanding your knowledge in the field of statistics. It is recommended you have taken classes in computer software, computational math, or data analysis as these areas are in demand across disparate sectors of our economy.
Top Statistics Degrees
When considering what type of statistic degree to obtain, it is important to place your priorities first. Meaning, if you desire to teach advanced statistics at a private college you will most likely need to obtain a doctorate degree while a research analyst for an ad agency may only require a bachelor’s degree to enter the field. A cross-section of degrees for statisticians are listed below for you to research further.
Bachelor Degree in Statistics
A bachelor’s degree in statistics focuses on the basics of statistics: collecting, analyzing, interpreting, formatting, and presenting data in coherent ways. A bachelor degree is the entry-point to a variety of vocations that include working with various government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, research & development firms, software companies, advertising agencies, market research organizations, accounting firms, financial entities, and quality control in fabrication or manufacturing companies.
Master Degree in Statistics
The master degdree programs for soon-to-be statisticians often comes in two flavors: Master of Science (MS) and a Master of Education (EdM). A Master of Science in Applied Statistics is a 2-year program for full-time students that includes classes like: statistical inference, linear models, experimental design, computational statistics, regression analysis, longitudinal data analysis, multivariant analysis, and latent structure analysis. The Master of Education, on the other hand, includes more social sciences like psychology, psychometric theory, public health, social services, and empirical research.
Doctorate Degree in Statistics
Doctorate degree programs in statistics are offered by colleges and universities as a EdD or a PhD program. Both and EdD and PhD are terminal degrees in statistics as there is no degree beyond the doctorate level. While both degrees are recognized by the National Sciences Foundation as equivalent to a PhD in medicine, the differences between a PhD and EdD comes down to the curricular design and post-graduation intent of the degree. A graduate with a research-based PhD in Statistics will typically pursue a career in teaching or academic research while disciplined-based EdD degree holders can pursue careers in clinical, research, or administrative fields.
Can I Specialize Within Statistics?
Yes, most statisticians specialize in a particular discipline within a sector of the economy. We will cover a short list of areas of specialization for you to consider as you think about the right college program for you. A list of highly specialized career options for a statistician include:
- Data Analysis
- Data Modeling
- Market Research
- Actuarial Science
- Environmental Science
- Research Centers
- Predictive Analysis
Employment Opportunities for Statisticians
A career in statistics will involve the design, implementation and interpretation of statistical models in order to obtain information for specific purpose. This may be performed through the development of surveys, experiments, polls or other methods where the collection of data takes place. The statistician will then examine this data and interpret the results in order to present a conclusion. The use of statisticians in business and government is widespread. Statisticians work with government most agencies in order to determine probabilities and recognize trends. Private companies will utilize statisticians to track trends in markets, compile historical data, determine demographics, and more.
Largest Employers of Statisticians
- Scientific Research Centers
- Federal Government
- Management Consultants
- State Government
- Insurance Carriers
States with the Highest Employment of Statisticians
- California 4,120
- Maryland 3,000
- Massachusetts 2,640
- Pennsylvania 2,510
- Texas 1,590
Top Paying States for Statisticians
- New Jersey $129,320
- Delaware $112,500
- Connecticut $109,060
- District of Columbia $104,680
- Maine $102,940
Statistician Career Outlook
Jobs for statisticians are expected to grow 6 times as fast as the average over the next decade at a rate of 34% adding some 10,100 jobs during that time. Increased growth will come from the need for data analyses for tech companies, increased data efficiency for government agencies, and the need for data to make informed decisions for businesses in general. Additionally, statisticians are heavily used by pharmaceutical companies, particularly to extrapolate data from drug tests to see the effectiveness of new medications.
Statisticians with master or doctoral degrees will be able to consult privately, as well as develop new test model for data collection. Independent researchers are able to propose project ideas, and often work alongside agencies or private firms in order to tackle specific issues. Graduate degrees will also open up teaching opportunities in statistics.
The average pay for statisticians:
- Federal Government - $95,000
- Research and Development – $83,000
- Insurance Companies - $66,000
- Teachers (all levels) – $65,000
- State Government - $45,000
Individuals interested in statistics may also be interested in mathematics, demography and population study, or business statistics. For further research, consider visiting the ASA to learn more about member benefits and professional networking opportunities in this field of study.