Getting a Degree in Statistics

statistics degree

Getting a Degree in Statistics

Getting a degree in statistics can be the right choice for someone who enjoys mathematics and numbers. Statistics is a discipline that is about the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. Statistics is commonly taught with university mathematics departments, and some overlap with majors such as economics, sociology, accounting, and finance.

Those who want to become statisticians need at least a bachelor’s degree in statistics. You can also go on to get your master’s degree or Ph.D. in statistics. Many people with a degree in statistics get jobs working for the government or other businesses.

Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics

When you go for your bachelor’s degree in statistics, you most likely would study probability, introductory statistical methods, and the ideas of likelihood and regression modeling. You would learn about the methods involved in statistics to collect, organize, interpret, and analyze numerical information for various settings and industries.

A bachelor’s degree in statistics would take you around four years, and you may take classes such as applied statistics, probability and statistics, experiments and sampling, applied regression analysis, discrete data analysis, and linear algebra.

For in-person programs, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University all have highly rated programs. For online programs, Chadron State College, American Public University, and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell all have highly rated programs.

Jobs with a Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics

  • Financial Analysts, who work in banks, with pension funds, insurance companies, and other businesses, and provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions, have an average salary of $61,971, according to Glassdoor as of September 2020.
  • Operations Research Analysts, who are high-level problem-solvers who use advanced techniques such as optimization, data mining, statistical analysis, and mathematical modeling to develop solutions that help businesses and organizations operate more efficiently and cost-effectively, have an average salary of $69,816, according to Glassdoor, as of September 2020.
  • Economists, who are experts who study the relationship between a society’s resources and its production or output, have an average salary of $97,811, according to Glassdoor as of September 2020.

Master’s Degree in Statistics

Getting your master’s degree in statistics will allow you to define your career in statistics. It would take about 1-3 years, depending on many different factors. You would also focus on a specialization such as biostatistics, survey statistics, and statistical genetics. Students typically need a bachelor’s degree in statistics or mathematics or a similar degree.

Students in a master’s program would conduct research and gain first-hand experience through internships. Some of the classes you might take would be qualitative data analysis, statistical consulting, mathematical probability, or regression analysis.

For in-person programs, Northwestern University, Johns Hopkins University, and Washington University in St. Louis all have highly rated programs. For online programs, Texas A&M University-College Station, Oklahoma State University, and Colorado State University all have highly rated programs.

Jobs with a Master’s Degree in Statistics

  • Statisticians, who practice the science of using data to make decisions and decide what data they need, how to collect it, and analyze and interrupt it, have an average salary of $76,884, according to Glassdoor, as of September 2020.
  • Mathematicians, who are similar to statisticians, generally need a master’s degree and can research and study different mathematical principles and theories, have an average salary of $51,385, according to Glassdoor, as of September 2020.
  • Actuaries, where having a master’s degree would be very beneficial, use statistics to help them determine the financial costs of various risks, and have an average salary of $97,776, according to Glassdoor, as of September 2020.

Doctorate Degrees in Statistics

While you don’t necessarily need a Ph.D. in statistics, it can help you advance to higher researcher positions and/or become postsecondary teachers or even serve as professors in the field. Generally, the degree would take you between 4-5 years. The University of Arizona, Colorado State University, and the Wharton School all have highly rated programs.

Related Majors: Accounting, Applied Mathematics, and Economics.

Scholarships For Statistics Majors

Getting your degree in statistics means you can apply for certain scholarships that specialize in statistics, mathematics, and other related fields. Here are a couple of them:

The Curtis E. Huntington Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was established to recognize the remarkably positive impact Huntington had in this profession. It is awarded annually to undergraduate seniors who are enrolled as a full-time student at a US accredited educational institution, and have successfully completed at least one actuarial examination. They also need to be nominated by a professor and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Actuarial Foundation offers fun and engaging math programs that get teachers and students excited about math. The scholarship is given to multiple recipients in the amount of $3,000.

The Ellis R. Ott Scholarship For Applied Statistics and Quality Management

This scholarship is for a student planning to enroll or who is already enrolled in a master’s degree or higher-level US or Canadian program that has a concentration in applied statistics and/or quality management. Scholarship awards are based on demonstrated ability, academic achievement, career objectives, faculty recommendations, student involvement in campus activities, and industrial exposure to include part-time work and internships. There will be one award for those pursuing a master’s degree, and two for those who are pursuing doctorate degrees. The award would be $7,500.

For more Statistics scholarships, please go here.  For more scholarships for veterans and military, please go here.





About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.