Why Earn a Degree in Statistics Online?
If you have an aptitude for mathematics and would like to gain skills that can help you get work in companies across industries, an advanced degree in statistics could be an excellent choice for you. In fact, some statisticians have found their expertise to be so coveted that they don’t even have to look for work but leave job-hunting to the recruiters knocking on their doors.
Those with a background in statistics can capitalize on the big data boom, finding a huge variety of jobs that can make use of their skills.
If you have the skills it takes to become a statistician, it’s worth investigating if pursuing a degree is the right path for you, as it could be a rewarding and remunerative profession.
What can I do with a Master’s in Statistics?
A Master’s in Statistics can be a pathway to numerous prestigious job titles. If you don’t yet hold a bachelor’s degree, many schools offer Statistics degrees or related coursework to give you the grounding you need to ultimately pursue a master’s degree.
There are positions for statistics degree holders available in nearly every sector you can think of, from for-profit companies to government agencies and more. Job titles for these opportunities can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Data analyst
- Financial analyst
- Statistical modeler
With so many fantastic opportunities available for statisticians, it’s amazing more people aren’t rushing into the field. (In fact, many are lining up to get degrees that make them eligible for big data occupations, but job openings continue to soar, meaning the ground is still fertile to launch a thriving career.) Some are intimidated by the schooling needed to become a viable candidate for a statistics role.
Good news for those who are contemplating pursuing a data science career: thanks to newfound opportunities in remote education, it’s easier than ever to acquire a statistics degree, with options available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and even doctorate level. To learn how to get a degree in statistics online, read on.
Why get a degree in statistics?
Statistics is an expansive and versatile field that can lead to numerous lucrative opportunities in data science. Overlapping with computer science and other data-related fields, statistics is an older discipline that is continuing to evolve with the times.
Statistics vs. Data Science: What’s the difference?
Unlike a formal data science degree, an advanced statistics education is specifically focused on the complex math needed to perform quantitative analysis.
Both data scientists and statisticians analyze data, but statisticians chiefly employ mathematical models while data scientists draw heavily from computer science, algorithms, and machine learning.
Both professions can find lasting success in the world of big data. Statistician’s skills are also useful in a range of other fields, including business, healthcare, intelligence, and more.
Salary range and job growth for statisticians
Since statisticians are employed in such a wide range of occupations and industries, it can be difficult to report data that encompasses the entirety of the workforce. However, across fields, statisticians are much sought-after and highly valued as a result.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, statisticians earn a median annual salary of $96,280 per year, greatly exceeding the numbers for many other occupations. In top industries for statisticians, these numbers are even more impressive, with those working in scientific and technical services earning a median salary of $129,800.
As encouraging as these salaries are, the job growth predictions for statisticians are even more so. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an estimated job growth rate of 31% for statisticians by 2031, a number only matched by other data science professions. This is fantastic information for anyone concerned about developing a career that will not just reward you in the short-term but will be reliable in the long term. With a statistics degree, you’re likely to find high-paying jobs for a long time to come.
Advantages of an online degree
Once a debated subject among academics, remote learning is rapidly expanding to become a new norm, offered by many universities who previously only offered in-person courses. Having streamlined their offerings and addressed the biggest challenges posed by online education, these programs are now as respected and in-depth as on-campus options.
There are many reasons why getting a degree in statistics online could be an ideal solution for you. First and foremost is convenience: getting your degree remotely allows you to pursue your education without disrupting your life. Many online education options offer a totally flexible schedule, providing you materials to complete on your own time. This makes it possible to study at the same time that you hold down your existing job, which can be critical for students who need to work while they’re in school.
Having a flexible academic schedule can be a necessity for students, both in their day-to-day lives and their long-term planning. Beyond making it possible for students to find their own time to take classes and complete work, many online degree programs are designed with part-time programs that make schoolwork significantly more manageable.
Another convenience of online degree programs is that they allow you to find the right program to meet your needs regardless of your location. This opens up opportunities at some top statistics masters programs beyond the schools that are closest to you, as well as saving you the tremendous and costly difficulty of moving to be near your program.
Online degree opportunities should be heartening for anyone who is intent on pursuing a Master’s in Applied Statistics or a related degree.
Earning your degree in statistics online
If you’ve decided you want to take the next steps to sign up for an online masters statistics program, it’s important to know what your program will involve. In many ways, the offerings of an online program are similar to in-person options, though they involve fewer regular meeting times and are often pre-recorded.
Below are some of the basic hallmarks of an online masters in statistics program.
An online degree program in statistics should offer an education as complete as in-person alternatives. Statistics is a rigorous field that is closely tied to the discipline of mathematics. Coursework in a statistics degree will typically cover a vast breadth of math-related topics, including the following:
- Statistical theory
- Linear algebra
- Differential equations
There are also usually options to add elective courses to your studies to help carve out an area of expertise while in school. This can be a great option for students who want to hit the ground running in a particular field as soon as they have completed their programs.
There are excellent online programs for whatever level of education you have: for those who have not attended college, programs at the associate’s and bachelor’s level can give you the foundations you need to excel in a master’s in statistics down the line. If you hold a bachelor’s, you’re ready to work toward your masters, which is the standard degree level for high-earning statisticians. If you’d like to specialize beyond that, doctorate programs can confer upon you the highest level of accreditation available in statistics.
If you want to know more about the different types of statistics degrees that are available and what their eligibility requirements are, take a look at our Guide to the Best Data Science Programs, which includes a comparison of associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees as well as boot camps and other certification programs.
How to find the best school
With so many online degree options available, it can be difficult to know what exactly you’re looking for in your program. The following are the most important considerations you should take when choosing where to earn your degree in statistics online.
When looking into online statistics programs, it’s imperative to find a school that is properly accredited. This includes regional and national accreditation. Only accredited schools can reliably confer to future employers that you have met the baseline expectations for your degree level. Don’t invest your time and money in a program that won’t pay off in the long run. Be sure to do your due diligence to make sure you can take the reins on the career you want.
What works best for your schedule
Different online degree programs offer greatly different scheduling schemes from one to the next, so it’s important that you figure out your priorities before making your selection.
The most important factors to consider are the hours you have per week to devote to school and the number of years you’d like your program to take. Be sure to check in with yourself about what’s feasible for you and what timeline will allow you to sustain momentum in school as well as the rest of your life.
Just like in-person schools, there is a wide cost margin between different online education programs. It’s important that you look closely at the tuition rates and other estimated costs for all programs that interest you, making careful estimates to help you anticipate your expenses.
Those who are concerned about the high cost of school will be relieved to know that many degree programs offer excellent scholarship and fellowship opportunities to help students pursue higher education and invest in their careers. Take a look at the offerings of the various schools on your list to see if there are plans that account for your needs.
Taking the next steps to pursue a degree in statistics
Now that you’ve learned what you need to know about earning a degree in statistics online, the next step is to look into the program offerings available to you.
If you already hold a bachelor’s degree, you’re ready for a master’s program, which will likely be your final educational step before entering the workforce. Our Best Master’s in Data Science Programs for 2023 includes the top statistics masters programs.
If you don’t yet hold an undergraduate degree, the next step on your educational path is a bachelor’s degree. Our Guide to Choosing an Undergraduate Bachelor Program will tell you everything you need to know to get started.