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Career Information for a Degree in Statistics

Degrees in statistics typically cover advanced math theories and topics. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for statistics graduates.

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Statisticians, mathematicians and survey researchers can all prepare for their careers with a degree in statistics. These professionals typically require a minimum of a master's degree.

Essential Information

Statistics degrees focus on analyzing data in hopes of answering a specific question or problem. Surveys and experiments are created by statistical professionals, which can apply to many industries today. Through data analysis, these statistics professionals can make conclusions for businesses, science-related fields and engineering professions. Students looking to find work in this math-related field typically need to hold an advanced degree.

Career Statistician Mathematician Survey Researcher
Education Requirements Master's degree Master's degree Master's degree
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 34% 21% 12%
Mean Salary (2024)* $84,440 annually $112,560 annually $59,340 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Students looking to pursue a statistics career typically need to get their master's. Careers in this field analyze data and trends, and then apply this information in the real world. Below are overviews and descriptions for possible careers for statistics graduates.

Statistician

According to the American Statistical Association (ASA), statisticians are experts in the production and evaluation of data. These individuals may review existing numerical data or perform research to gather new figures. Once they collect the data, statisticians look for patterns or trends and make conclusions, which they use to solve problems in the fields in which they work. Depending on the size of a project, statisticians may work in teams.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), statisticians are often referred to by special titles because they can work in so many industries (www.bls.gov). Many work for public or private companies, medicine manufacturers or government agencies. Statisticians may, for example, design systems to evaluate specific data types that a company prioritizes. The ASA indicates that many jobs require statisticians to use computers to organize and evaluate large amounts of data. The BLS estimated that employment opportunities for statisticians were expected to increase 34% from 2014 to 2024. The BLS reported that the mean annual salary of a statistician was $84,440 in May 2015.

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Mathematician

The BLS defines mathematicians as professionals who use mathematical theories and techniques to solve problems in academia, economics and other related fields. These professionals are generally categorized as theoretical or applied mathematicians. Theoretical mathematicians develop new math principles, while applied mathematicians use their knowledge to solve practical problems.

Mathematicians review problems pertaining to the industries in which they work and develop computational models used to predict results or run tests. The BLS indicates that some mathematicians develop encryption codes to protect sensitive data. Similar to statisticians, these individuals use computers extensively, and some positions require knowledge of common programming languages. The BLS predicted that employment opportunities for mathematicians would increase 21% from 2014 to 2024, although openings will be competitive due to the small size of this career field. The BLS reported that the mean yearly salary of a mathematician was $112,560 in May 2015.

Market and Survey Researcher

The ASA indicates that market and survey researchers use different forms of research to determine trends among consumers and populations. Market researchers are hired by companies in merchandising, television and other sectors to determine what products they should sell and how they should advertise those products. These professionals may conduct scientific and nonscientific research methods, including focus groups and field experiments. The BLS states that market researchers may also contribute to advertising campaigns.

Survey researchers, on the other hand, focus specifically on creating and conducting surveys, according to the BLS. They're often concerned with demographic issues, such as income, gender and ethnicity. Besides working for private businesses, survey researchers may collect data for the government to determine funding and policy decisions. The BLS estimates a 12% job growth for market research analysts in the decade 2014 to 2024. In May 2015, market research analysts and marketing specialists earned $59,340 as a mean annual salary.

Statisticians analyze data to find solutions to an issue or answer questions. Statistical information can be important in a wide range of industries, from health to business. Mathematicians focus more on academic work, and market and survey researchers collect data to help companies determine what products they should market, and how to advertise effectively.

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