The study of statistics involves collecting and analyzing data, often through surveys and/or research, for various purposes. What can you do with a degree in statistics, then? This article provides the answer to that question as well as examples of schools with reputable statistics programs and companies that hire people with statistics degrees.
The field of statistics contains terms that may be rather confusing to many people. This particular section defines some statistical terminology necessary for understanding the basics of statistics.
Data – numerical or categorical specifics; information gathered to organize and analyze
Population – broad group of people or things being studied
Sample – actual selection of people or things surveyed/studied
Median – middle number in an organized numerical set of data
Mean – sum of all numbers in a set divided by the total numbers in that set of data; also referred to as the average
Normal distribution – bell-shaped graph displaying organized data obtained by surveys/research with the peak being near the median of the set
Standard deviation – measurement of the variation and disbursement of a set of numbers; value is determined by a specific mathematical formula
Statistics Degree Programs
In order to best prepare yourself for further education and jobs in statistics, you should consult your guidance counselor for advice on which high school classes will best benefit your future. Math courses that focus on probability, testing, and statistics are particularly beneficial. You should begin researching colleges and universities with exceptional math departments during your junior year of high school and start applying to them early on in your senior year.
The University of Melbourne in Australia offers undergraduate students a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics. This program prepares students for careers in science, economics, finance, the ever-popular field of engineering, and more by providing them with advanced problem solving skills and the ability to work together in teams to accomplish common goals. At the University of Melbourne, students learn in-depth statistical analysis and how it relates to business, technology, and natural environments. The university’s Bachelor of Science Extended in Mathematics and Statistics focuses more on the scientific aspect of statistics with workshops to help improve students’ understanding of the material covered in class.
The Department of Statistics at the University of British Columbia in Canada offers undergraduate and graduate students excellent educational opportunities in the realm of statistics. Undergraduates are taught the ways in which statistics has evolved over the years, the importance of problem solving through the use of statistics, research and presentation processes, and more. They learn how to apply the knowledge they gain to create and carry out projects in order to demonstrate their understanding of statistics. Graduate students at the University of British Columbia have the opportunity to earn either a Master of Science in Statistics of a Master of Science in Statistics with a Biostatistic option that is connected to public health. These masters programs help students gain even further advanced skills necessary to succeed in a career in which they can apply their knowledge of statistics.
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Boston University provides students with the opportunity to earn a bachelors degree and/or masters degree in mathematics with a specialization in statistics. These programs are designed to prepare students with the knowledge necessary to become successful in the working world. Faculty members do their utmost best to provide their students with the education they deserve in hopes that they will spread their wings upon graduation and make a difference in the world of statistics. Students can choose to participate in the Probability and Statistics Group in order to further build their problem solving skills in statistics through research opportunities, as well.
Careers in Statistics
While in college, you should begin looking into types of careers related to statistics. Doing so will help you decide what career path most intrigues you, helping you to create goals and form your educational experience to achieve those goals. This section contains examples of possible career paths to choose from once you earn a degree in statistics.
Entry Level Careers in Statistics
With a bachelors degree in mathematics and concentration in statistics or a bachelors degree in statistics, you may be interested to know that you could qualify for some of the career options described below.
Entry Level Statistician
With a bachelors degree in statistics, you may qualify for a position as a statistician. Statisticians may work for the healthcare industry, manufacturing plants, or government agencies creating tests for products or performing studies on populations in order to best determine possible outcomes and treatment techniques. They spend their days performing mathematical research, using expert analytical and research skills as well as great communication skills.
Entry level statisticians can earn around $41,000 annually, depending on education and experience levels.
Budget analysts assess proposed company budgets to ensure budget amounts and plans adhere to set regulations. They confirm that proposed budgets will benefit companies and make sure that budgets are followed carefully. Budget analysts often possess bachelor degrees in statistics, mathematics, or finance. They also have excellent problem solving and communication skills, as they converse with other members of finance teams to approve and monitor budgets. It is also crucial that budget analysts are detail-oriented and are regularly capable of meeting strict deadlines.
Budget analysts may earn an annual salary of $50,000, depending on education and experience levels.
Actuarial TechnicianActuarial technicians assist certified actuaries with their day-to-day activities. Responsibilities of an actuarial technician may include but are not limited to tasks such as keeping track of actuarial databases, creating office memos, documenting provided information, and more. Becoming an actuarial technician is a great way to gain experience for advancing to a career as an actuary. The majority of actuaries and actuarial technicians tend to work in the insurance industry. Actuarial technicians can possess a bachelors degree in actuarial science, mathematics, statistics, business, or another related field. They have outstanding written and verbal communication skills and are good records keepers.
Actuarial technicians may earn around $52,000 a year, depending on education and experience levels.
Advanced Careers in Statistics
Upon gaining a few years of experience with your bachelors degree or after you have earned a masters degree or doctoral degree in statistics or related field, many more opportunities will become available to you. Some of these career options are described below.
Operations Research Analyst
Operations research analysts help business management teams by performing research for and assessing information necessary for management to make realistic, beneficial business decisions. They use mathematical reasoning and modeling to assist with budgets and other financial plans. A position as an operations research analyst typically requires a few years of experience and at least a bachelors degree in mathematics, statistics, or related field. Operations research analysts are also excellent critical thinkers and have great problem solving and mathematical skills. They are also skilled in written and verbal communication.
Operations research analysts can earn around $72,000 or more annually, depending on education and experience levels.
Biostatisticians create studies and perform statistical research, often in the medical field, in order to determine and assess treatment options for patients. Some biostatisticians collect and analyze data in order to learn of the causes and effects of specific populations being subjected to environmental issues. Biostatisticians typically possess a masters or doctoral degree in biostatistics, mathematics, statistics, or another related field. They have excellent problem solving and communication skills and may have experience in the mathematical or medical field.
Biostatisticians may earn around $76,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.
Companies that Hire People with Statistics Degrees
Companies around the world are constantly in search of people with degrees in mathematics and statistics. People with statistics degrees are highly valuable. Below is a small list of examples of companies that hire people with degrees related to statistics.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – hires positions for mathematical statisticians, information technology specialists, accountants, budget analysts, etc.
Department of Veterans Affairs – hires positions for operations research analysts, budget analysts, medicine statisticians, statisticians, medical records technician, program support assistants, etc.
Think Finance – headquarters in TX; hires positions for productions operations analysts, marketing analysts, etc.
Mars Chocolate – locations across the globe; hires positions for sales data and reporting analysts, account managers, analytical laboratory specialists, analytical scientists, etc.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital – Little Rock, AR; hires positions for biostatisticians, data managers, etc.
If you have a passion for numbers, a desire to help populations medically without earning a medical degree, then perhaps you may be most interested in getting a job in statistics. This article is meant as a mere stepping stone on your journey to discovering the right career path for you. Research more colleges and universities for statistics programs today.