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2020 Statistics Degree Guide

Statistics is an interesting and revealing field where numbers can be applied to solve real-world problems. By majoring in Statistics, you will learn about the science and theories behind data. Your classes will teach you to explore and analyze data in order to reach conclusions about probability. Statisticians interpret data, and analyze trends in order to hypothesize about probable and possible developments in the future. Crunching numbers and performing tests based around your hypothesis will be a huge part of your studies.

Classes that you will take as a statistics major will include calculus, experimental design, probably theory, technical writing, statistical theory, statistical methods, statistical computing, regression analysis, linear regression, analysis of data, statistics for the social sciences, history of statistics, and probability models.

A Recent Jump in Statistics Degrees

#116 Most Popular Major
8.2k Degrees Awarded
10.5% Increase in Graduates

In 2017-2018, statistics was the 116th most popular major nationwide with 8,180 degrees awarded. This represents a 10.5% increase in stats degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 7,325.

Approximately 132 colleges in the U.S. offer a statistics degree of some kind. Our 2020 Best Colleges for Statistics ranking analyzes 66 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for statistics students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of stats programs later in this article.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Statistics

This major requires a student who can think critically and logically. You will be making conclusions based upon your data. You should be a curious person who is ready to solve intricate and detailed problems. Coursework will involve advanced math classes; students should stay organized in order to keep up with assignments. Much of your work will be done on the computer.

Your classes will involve a combination of lectures and labs. Work in the labs will give you practice collaborating with your peers and learning corporately, an important skill to have as you make your transition into the workforce.

Although much of your work will be done independently, be ready to learn from your peers and professors. You may also have to undertake group projects and presentations. Work on your speaking skills in order to communicate in a professional manner, articulating complex ideas and information. Being able to write accurate and concise reports is also necessary. You will have to share and present results of studies that you have designed, collected, and analyzed.

Stats Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional stats certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Statistics Degree Types

There are many different stats degree levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in statistics to something that takes less time like a first year certificate. Statistics programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to stats, with approximately 42.0% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to stats tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 40.4%
Master’s Degree 26.7%
Doctoral Degree 16.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 5.5%
Post-Doctoral Training 4.4%

54.2% of stats workers have at least a graduate certificate. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in statistics have received.


This of course varies depending on which stats career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Stats Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$62k Average Starting Salary
16% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

You will need a master's degree in order to become a statistician. Businesses will invest a lot of money in a statistician in order to organize, analyst, and sort through the data.

Graduates who want to go straight into a career should find opportunities working as advisors, researchers and analysts for businesses, financial industries or government programs.

High Growth Projected for Stats Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your stats degree? Statistics careers are expected to grow 15.5% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to statistics.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Mathematical Science Professors 66,600 9.4%
Natural Sciences Managers 62,300 9.9%
Statisticians 49,800 33.9%
Actuaries 28,900 22.5%
Survey Researchers 14,900 2.1%

How Much Money Do Stats Grads Make?

Statistics graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $61,950 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $34,500 to as high as $126,100. As you might expect, salaries for stats graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Stats Careers

Salaries for statistics graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers stats grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Natural Sciences Managers $139,680
Actuaries $116,250
Mathematicians $104,870
Statisticians $92,600
Mathematical Science Professors $87,140

Getting Your Statistics Degree

With over 572 different stats degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased stats school rankings to help you with this.

Statistics is one of 3 different types of Mathematics & Statistics programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Mathematics 29,945
Applied Mathematics 8,560
Other Statistics 453

View All Stats Related Majors >


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