What Can I Do with a Master’s in Statistics?
There are many prosperous career opportunities one can find in the thriving world of big data, but if you’re just beginning to survey the field, it can be difficult to determine which path is the best for you.
One area of specialization that should be high on your list of options is statistics. Dating back to the 17th century, statistics has continuously evolved as a field, remaining highly relevant even in our age of technological advancement.
If anything, statisticians have only grown in stature in recent years, as the rise of data-driven analytics has transformed businesses across industries.
Indeed, there’s a tremendous amount of need for employees with statistics skills, making it a highly valued and much sought-after role in companies of all sorts. If you have strong abilities in math, a career in statistics is worth giving serious consideration.
The majority of high-paying statistics jobs are only available to those who hold master’s degrees in statistics. This is because the advanced work expected of statisticians requires deep expertise and complex skills that are difficult to develop outside of a master’s program. Even if you hold a bachelor’s degree in statistics, it’s still recommended that you pursue further education to ensure that you can capitalize on the wonderful job opportunities available to you.
This article will provide an overview of the top job titles for those who specialize in statistics, alongside statistician salary information, job outlook, and more.
Job Titles for Statistics Specialists
As you’ll see, other master’s in statistics jobs follow from this basis of collecting data and interpreting it to improve an organization’s or individual’s decision-making. This baseline skill has a wide range of practical applications in other jobs that are worth mentioning first.
Every industry needs someone who can analyze data to simplify it, creating easier decision-making processes for others unacquainted with the technical side of probability and statistics.
Statisticians make good money, but what exactly is their job? What does a statistician do at work?
The short answer is that statisticians are primarily responsible for processing numerical data so businesses and organizations can use it to make the right decisions. This can entail a variety of tasks, from assessing raw data to find its most salient information to projecting the probability of event outcomes.
In this day and age, businesses of all types are relying on this type of data-driven analysis to guide decisions ranging from the efficacy of operational models to the success of viral marketing campaigns. This is why statistics is a good baseline for many careers.
In contexts where high-level decisions are being made, such as in business or government, people with an understanding of statistics are necessary assets for risk-management purposes.
Statistician Salary Range and Job Outlook
Since statisticians provide such critical services to businesses, they are compensated highly for their work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2021, statisticians earn a median annual salary of $96,280. Statisticians in top-paying industries, such as scientific and technical services, earn even more, with the BLS reporting a whopping median salary of $129,800.
Job growth estimates for statisticians are equally promising, if not even more so. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for statisticians will grow by an incredible 31% 2031, greatly exceeding most other industries in the United States. Indeed, few industries outside of those encompassed by big data can boast such high salaries at the same time that they promise booming job opportunities.
At first glance, data scientists’ job descriptions may sound highly similar to statisticians. They are responsible for interpreting large quantities of complex data into digestible reports for professionals in all industries, especially in business.
However, the primary difference between data science and statistics is that statistics is a method involved in both disciplines. In contrast, data science uses different data interpretation and collecting methods not used by statisticians.
Data scientists use Python and SQL, like coders, and usually do not expressly write business reports. That’s typically the job of data analysts, who rank slightly lower on data teams than data scientists.
Thus, while data scientists interpret data, they do so at a high technical level and create models for analysts to interpret in non-technical language.
A benefit of a master’s in statistics is that learning new data analysis methods will not be as challenging. Having an analytics background–especially at a graduate level—makes it so new methods of analysis become easier to pick up.
Further, many data research teams feature data scientists and statisticians working together, using the different tools at their disposal to paint the most complete picture of their data findings to company leadership.
Data Scientist Salary Range and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2021, the average data scientist’s salary was $100,910 annually, ranking it slightly higher than statisticians in terms of salary numbers for those who hold Master’s in Statistics degrees.
Like statisticians, the job outlook for data scientists is exceptional, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting an anticipated growth of an absolutely stellar 36%. If you’re looking for a career path with longevity, take note.
Data analysts are more responsible for interpreting data for those unacquainted with the technical side of things than data scientists are. They are accountable for producing company reports and projections based on data scientists’ models.
In other words, data analysts aren’t collecting and analyzing data so much as taking data analyzed by the data scientists and consolidating it for business executives and entrepreneurs.
Data Analyst Salary Range and Job Outlook
Another highly valued role in companies across industries, data analysts earn high salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for operations research analysts is $82,360 per year, considerably higher than many other professions. Those in mathematical science occupations earn even more, with a median annual salary of $98,680, directly in line with data scientists.
The job outlook for data analysts is also quite strong: the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an estimated growth rate of 23% by 2031 overall, with a 29% growth expectancy for mathematical science occupations.
Of the master’s in statistics jobs, the most challenging to attain at a high level is a job as an actuary.
Actuaries use data to make long-term projections for businesses on the opportunity costs associated with decisions of all kinds. Managing risk and reward are crucial for business operations, especially in finances. Actuaries primarily work as the managers of data in financial departments across institutions to project the probabilities of current financial decisions across multiple periods.
Actuarial science is the discipline involved in actuarial work, but statistics are essential to actuarial science.
Though entry-level jobs as an actuary only require a bachelor’s degree with no particular major, anyone interested in being an actuary with a master’s degree in statistics will be able to enter the field in a high-ranking role.
While the bar for employment entry isn’t high, the bar for acceleration as an actuary is extraordinarily high. Actuarial scientists must pass a series of exams from professional societies to progress in their career, requiring much study in mathematics and statistics.
Actuary Salary Range and Job Outlook
The entry-level salary for an actuary is roughly $45,000. Still, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall average is $105,900 annually as of 2021. It is also not uncommon for actuaries to vastly surpass this average, easily clearing $250,000 a year.
Job outlook for actuaries is remarkably strong, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting an estimated growth rate of 21% overall and 29% for those in mathematical science occupations.
Everything on our computers has a physical basis, known as hardware. Hardware includes exterior features of the computer, such as the screen and keyboard, and interior features, like the hard drive and the RAM.
What is on our computer and supported by such hardware is known as “software.” Computers have hard drives that store software and software is a series of codes that generate all of the programs we know, love, and use daily.
Coding is not only used for data science and data analysis, but it also serves a functional purpose. For example, someone has coded everything that exists on the internet, either directly or indirectly –by “indirectly,” what is meant is that software engineers can code something. Hence, it automatically reproduces further code, known as “machine learning.”
In any case, software engineers are those most responsible in business and technology organizations for the functional use of data and statistics by creating all of the software programs needed to use a computer.
Even a software program as banal as software engineers coded Microsoft Word because code is what responds to inputs coming from the keyboard, producing outputs in the form of words on the screen.
Software Engineer Salary Range and Job Growth
Software engineers have highly valued skills and are compensated accordingly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual salary for software engineers of $109,020.
Job opportunities for software engineers are growing at an impressive rate, with the BLS projecting an estimated growth of 25% by 2031.
A Master’s Degree in Statistics Jobs Boost Salaries
Master’s in Statistics jobs like statisticians, data scientists, data analysts, and actuarial science are all highly lucrative career paths. If you already have a background in statistics, mathematics, or computer science, it’s well worth considering pursuing an advanced degree. A master’s degree in statistics makes you a more viable candidate than an online certificate or bootcamp program because the rigor of the curriculum makes graduates adaptable to learning endless alternative methods of data interpretation and engineering.
To become eligible for a master’s degree in statistics, one needs a bachelor’s degree–ideally in mathematics or statistics, but not necessarily.
If you’ve decided that the right path for you is a master’s degree in statistics, one of the first things you should consider is what school you plan on attending. Click here to learn about graduate programs in statistics, among other related programs, that can help you pursue these lucrative job options.
For all other career information related to master’s degrees in statistics, click here to learn more about how to pursue a thriving big data career.