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Best Statistics Master’s Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Shalom Kamau - May 17, 2022


Pursuing one of the best statistics master’s degrees will increase your salary potential and improve your career prospects. An increasing percentage of undergraduates go on to pursue a Master’s Degree in Statistics, according to the US Census. Advanced training through complex projects, thesis writing, and collaborative research equips you with professional experience and solidifies your credibility.

In this article, we outline the best statistics master’s degree programs, their class offerings, and program requirements. We also delve into statistics master’s degree jobs in a variety of fields. If you want to delve deeper into statistics fundamentals, experimental data analysis, data mining, and predictive analytics, a Master’s Degree in Statistics may be the right choice for you.

Where Can I Get a Master’s Degree in Statistics?

Some of the best universities for statistics master’s degree programs are Arizona State University, Texas A&M University, Stanford University, and North Carolina State University. These universities offer flexible master’s degree courses and have received various accolades for their outstanding programs. Students can select between in-person, hybrid format, and online classes. The universities extend their services to include full-time, part-time, and distance learners.

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What Schools Offer the Best Statistics Master’s Degrees?

  • Arizona State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Stanford University
  • Texas A&M University

What Are the Admission Requirements for a Master’s Degree in Statistics?

The admission requirements for a Master’s Degree in Statistics include an undergraduate degree in a related field, transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, application fees, and a professional resume. Most universities require a 3.0 GPA and transcripts from every institution you have attended for your higher education.

The Admissions Department uses this information to shortlist candidates who qualify for a master’s program. You will complete an online application form and send the required documents via email or mail, depending on the institution’s admission procedure.

Statistics Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • 2.7-3.0 cumulative GPA
  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
  • Official transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Professional resume
  • Personal statement

How to Get a Master’s Degree in Statistics

You will obtain a statistics master’s degree by fulfilling the university’s graduation requirements and attaining the specified credit hours. These comprise a capstone project, core courses, elective courses, and lower and upper-level courses. Most institutions require students to complete the master’s program in less than five or six years. Below is an extensive description of all the graduation requirements.

How Many Credits Do You Need for a Master’s Degree in Statistics?

You need at least 30 to 60 credits to earn a Master’s Degree in Statistics. The minimum number of credits varies from institution to institution and depends on the curriculum. Usually, universities highlight the minimum number of credits under the statistics master’s program requirements.

Statistics Degree Requirements

  • Specific credit hours. You must fulfill the required credit hours as per the school’s prerequisites. Generally, you must attain 30 to 60 credit hours, depending on the school.
  • Thesis or capstone project. Research is a significant part of a master’s program, and a thesis or capstone project helps to showcase an understanding of the program. Graduate students will need to submit a capstone project or thesis as the final step of a master’s degree. These projects make up for at least three credit hours.
  • GPA requirements. You will need at least a 2.7 to 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in all statistics courses to graduate. The GPA differs depending on the school. In addition, you may have to attach your GRE scores and other standardized test scores.
  • Time frame. Generally, a master’s degree takes two years to complete. However, you can earn your degree in one year on an accelerated degree track or take up to five or six years as a part-time student. The career services team will take you through all the learning options to help you narrow down the most suitable degree timeline.
  • 500-level and above courses. If you check the curriculum, you may notice 400-level, 500-level, and 600-level courses. Advanced courses enhance your critical thinking, writing, analysis, and communication skills. You must complete two or more advanced courses that will account for your overall credit hours.

Best Statistics Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
City University of Seattle Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Dakota State University Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations Higher Learning Commission
Drexel University Bachelor of Science in Computing and Security Technology Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Georgia Southern University Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology (Emphasis in Cybercrime) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Northeastern University Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity New England Commission of Higher Education
Old Dominion University Bachelor of Science in Cybercrime (Interdisciplinary Studies) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Regent University Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Pennsylvania State University Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations Middle States Commission on Higher Education
University of South Florida Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
University of Southern California Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence and Cyber Operations Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Best Schools for Statistics: Top Statistics Master’s Degree Programs

The universities above are the best for master’s-level programs in statistics. You will enjoy flexible schedules, engaging curricula, and state-of-the-art learning resources at these campuses. Below is an overview of the school’s history and program details to help you during your school search.

1

Arizona State University

Tempe Arizona

ASU is a public research university founded in 1885. The U.S. News & World Report ranks ASU among the top universities in the United States . ASU hosts approximately 74,795 students who pursue a broad range of certificate, undergraduate, and graduate degrees.

Master of Science in Statistics

The Master of Science in Statistics program prepares students for successful careers in government, education, and business. You will select between two tracks in this program: an academic track that prepares you for a doctoral degree, and a professional track that is more career-focused.

You will complete 30 credit hours in various courses, including applied regression analysis, mathematical statistics, theory of statistics, and computational statistics. You will also be required to submit a plan of study which outlines how you plan to complete the 30 credits.

Master of Science in Statistics Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition: $ 837 /credit (in state), $1,308/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 18 – 24 months
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 66%

Master of Science in Statistics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $70 (US citizens), $115 (international students)
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: English proficiency, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a professional resume

Applying to Arizona State University

  1. Select the graduate degree program
  2. Review the admission requirements
  3. Complete the graduate admission application
  4. Pay the one-time application fee
  5. Mail additional materials, including your resume, transcripts, and personal statement, to the Office of Graduate Admission

2

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, Colorado

Colorado State University (CSU) is a midsize, four-year public university in Colorado. Founded in 1870, the institution is among the top public research universities in the US. It is known for its world-class faculty and modern research facilities. CSU has a student population of 32,428, with over 24,000 pursuing undergraduate degree programs.

Master’s Degree in Applied Statistics Statistical Science Specialization

The Master’s in Applied Statistics at CSU offers a statistical science specialization. This specialization focuses on the practical application of statistics, providing hands-on experience for immediate employment upon graduation. In addition, you will gain diverse math and computing skills through core courses and electives.

The core courses cover regression models and applications, quantitative analysis, statistical consulting, experimental design, and mathematical statistics, amassing 22 credit hours in total. You will also select eight credit hours from the elective courses. These include survey statistics, machine learning, time series analysis, and data mining.

Master’s Degree in Applied Statistics Statistical Science Specialization Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $601.90/credit (in state), $1,475.80/credit (out of state), $811/credit (online)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Learning Format: In person, 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 70%

Master’s Degree in Applied Statistics Statistical Science Specialization Admission Requirement

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Math Entrance Exam or GRE scores required
  • Application Fee: $60 for US citizens, $70 for international students
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, resume, personal statement

Applying to Colorado State University

  1. Review the admission requirements. There are additional requirements for international students.
  2. Arrange application materials, including three letters of recommendation, professional resume, personal statement, test scores, and transfer credits (if applicable)
  3. Complete the online application and pay the application fee
  4. Submit all relevant transcripts via email or mail the transcripts to the graduate admissions department
  5. Check your application status

3

Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Drexel University is a private, non-profit university located in the heart of Philadelphia. This research university was founded in 1891 and is known for its efforts in facilitating R1 research and experiential learning. Drexel has partnered with Gattuso to build the largest life science research lab in Philadelphia , catering to a student population of over 20,000 students.

Master of Science in Data Science

Drexel University’s College of Computing and Informatics offers this master’s program for both in-person and online students. The degree is designed to prepare you for in-demand careers in information and technology. You will take four core courses and 11 electives in management and accountability, visualization and communication, analytics, mining, and algorithms.

You will learn to identify and analyze problems, interpret statistical and algorithmic methods, and understand data implementation. You can fast-track your degree by pursuing graduate certificates covering 12 transferable credits.

Master of Science in Data Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,355 per credit
  • Required Credits: 45 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person, 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 71%

Master of Science in Data Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, letter of recommendation, statement of purpose, and resume

Applying to Drexel University

  1. Go to the online application page
  2. Select the academic area and the Master of Science in Data Science program
  3. Select your preferred term
  4. You will be redirected to a different page where you'll create an account and fill out the application
  5. Submit all relevant documents and complete your application

4

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina

Duke University is a private, non-profit university founded in 1838 as Brown School. The university underwent several name changes before becoming Duke University in 1924, honoring James Buchanan Duke, who established the brilliant Duke Endowment.

The university sits on over 8,000 acres and is known for its excellent athletic performance, competitive admissions, and world-class faculty. Currently, Duke University is home to a student population of over 16,000.

Master’s in Statistical Science

This two-year program targets students seeking professional careers in statistics and those planning to work towards a doctoral degree . The courses include six core courses, major electives, and external electives. Some of the courses include predictive modeling and statistical learning, Bayesian and modern statistical data analysis, and theory of statistical inference.

Additionally, all new students will undergo a six-day bootcamp that covers computing, linear algebra, Bayesian statistics, and other math and statistics topics. You will also complete the Progress Report Form after your first year and submit it to the Director of Graduate Studies. Lastly, all MSS students will submit a thesis or portfolio of work presentations before graduating.

Master’s in Statistical Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition and fees: $30,760 (Spring), $34,941(Fall)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 96%

Master’s in Statistical Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No specific requirement
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $95
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: English proficiency test results, transcripts, resume, letter of recommendation, statement of purpose

Applying to Duke University

  1. Review application deadline: all applications are due on January 4 th every year
  2. Complete the online application
  3. Pay the application fee and submit the required documents
  4. Submit an interview request with the MS Director
  5. Monitor your application status

5

George Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia

George Washington University is a private research university founded in 1821. This federally-chartered institution is known for its outstanding academic programs and access to internships and career opportunities. In addition, the District of Columbia is home to several business and administrative organizations that will widen your job search pool post-graduation. The institution accommodates approximately 11,000 undergraduate students and has a student population of 21,017.

Master of Science in Statistics

GWU’s Columbian College of Arts and Science offers this program to students who want to work in statistics and other quantitative fields. The program features courses that focus on mathematical statistics, applied statistics, and statistical computing. In addition, you can select between the thesis and non-thesis options, which are available to full-time and part-time students.

Furthermore, you select between four tracks based on your interest and educational goals. They include computational, applied, theoretical, and biostatistics tracks. Each track covers unique math and statistics topics like data analysis, deep learning, linear models, clinical trials, and multivariate analysis.

Master of Science in Statistics Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,430 per credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 85%

Master of Science in Statistics Admission Process

  • GPA: 3.86
  • Standardized Test: GRE
  • Application Fee: $80
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, English proficiency test scores, resume

Applying to George Washington University

  1. Review application requirements
  2. Create an account on the GW application portal
  3. Upload all required documents and pay the application fee
  4. Attach your letters of recommendation to the given email address
  5. Submit your application and check application status updates

6

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Oklahoma State University is a public land-grant research university established in 1890. OSU is known as America’s healthiest university and hosts the largest student union in the United States. OSU offers over 300 majors and 200 graduate programs to its vast student body of 24,535 students from the US and beyond.

Master of Science in Applied Statistics

The MS in Applied Statistics is for working professionals seeking to understand data analysis. Courses include applied regression analysis, mathematical statistics, SAS and R programming, experimental designs, statistical machine learning, nonparametric methods, time series analysis, and sample survey designs. The required courses account for 29 credit hours, and the elective coursework covers three credit hours.

Master of Science in Applied Statistics Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $233.80/credit (in state), $879.75/credit (out of state), $364/credit (non-resident online)
  • Required Credits: 32 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 64%

Master of Science in Applied Statistics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE, no minimum score
  • Application Fee: $50 (US citizens), $75 (international applicants)
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Resume, an original transcript from every college, a goal statement, three letters of recommendation, and an Agreement to Advise statement from an OSU faculty member

Applying to Oklahoma State University

  1. Select the MS in Applied Statistics program
  2. Create a new account and log in to review admission requirements for residents and international students
  3. Complete the online application
  4. Submit all required documents
  5. Pay the application fee and submit

7

Stanford University

Stanford, California

Stanford University is one of the most prestigious universities worldwide, attracting thousands of students from across the globe. The private research university was founded in 1885. Since its inception, Stanford has served millions of students and currently hosts 15,953 students enrolled in different degree levels. It is located in Stanford, California, and prides itself in a rich history rooted in family and community.

Master of Science in Statistics

The Department of Statistics offers this advanced degree at the Tempe campus through the School of Humanities and Sciences. The degree requires 45 credit hours from nine core classes, mathematics and programming requirements, and electives.

The coursework includes applied statistics, stochastic processes, probability theory, statistical inference, and mathematical science. Pursuing this statistics master's degree allows you to explore it as a terminal degree or combined with a doctoral degree.

Master of Science in Statistics Overview

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Tuition: $1,207 per unit
  • Required Credits: 45 units
  • Program Length: 9 - 18 months
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 95%

Master of Science in Statistics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $125
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirement: Official transcripts

Applying to Stanford University

  1. Select the MS degree program
  2. Review the application deadlines
  3. Explore the admissions process on the departmental website
  4. Prepare all required documents
  5. Complete your application

Texas A&M University | College Station, Texas

Texas A&M University (TAMU) is a midsize public land-grant institution founded in 1876. It is a renowned research university known for its agriculture, engineering, and technology programs. TAMU is the oldest higher learning institution in Texas and the parent institution of Texas A&M University Health Science Center. Currently, TAMU has a student population of 70,418.

Master of Science in Statistics

This master's program features thesis and non-thesis options. The former requires 36 credit hours, and the latter requires 32 credit hours. The coursework requirements improve your knowledge of statistical methods, computational statistics, and statistics theory. Core classes include biostatistics, computational mathematics, theoretical statistics, applied data analytics, and data science.

Master of Science in Statistics Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition:  $788.89/credit (in state), $1,313.40/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 32 credits (thesis), 36 credits (non-thesis)
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person, 100% online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 83%

Master of Science in Statistics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores, but currently test-optional
  • Application Fee: $65 for US citizens, $90 for international applicants
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, TOEFL or proof of English proficiency, unofficial transcripts, statement of purpose, and a resume

Applying to Texas A&M University

  1. Select the program and identify application deadlines
  2. Create an account on Texas A&M GraduateCAS
  3. Fill out the application form with personal information, academic history, and other relevant information
  4. Upload all the required documents and test score results
  5. Pay the application fee and submit your application

9

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech University is a four-year public university created by legislative action in 1923. The university began as Texas Technological College before transforming into one of the largest comprehensive higher education institutions in Texas.

With a student population of 40,322, Texas Tech is known for its numerous awards in national championships and high-quality education. You will also enjoy state-of-the-art learning facilities and a relaxed environment to help you succeed.

Master of Science in Statistics

This program includes three distinct options: thesis, non-thesis-report, and non-thesis-exam. Each option requires 36 credit hours from six required courses, four to eight elective courses,  and a thesis, report, or final exam. At the end of the first semester, you will create a study plan to guide your studies and specify the desired program length. The curriculum covers complex analysis, probability, statistics, applied statistics, algebra, and topology.

Master of Science in Statistics Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition and Fees: $8,653 (residents), $16,180 (non-residents)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 63%

Master of Science in Statistics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Unofficial transcripts, resume, creative portfolio, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation

Applying to Texas Tech University

  1. Complete the online application to the Graduate School
  2. Complete English proficiency test
  3. Pay the application fee
  4. Submit all required documents
  5. Monitor application status

10

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

UC Berkeley is a four-year public institution that was founded in 1868 as the flagship institution of the University of California. The institution nourishes research and reflection to provide high-quality education to over 42,000 students. UC Berkeley is known for its majors in social science, mathematics and statistics, biomedical science, marketing, and management.

Master of Arts in Statistics

This on-campus program includes four-credit courses that focus on statistical computing, linear models, intro to probability, and intro to statistics at an advanced level. The core courses cover 20 semester credits, including a capstone project that can be a thesis or comprehensive exam. In addition, you will choose an elective course to cover the final four credits.

Master of Arts in Statistics Overview

  • Accreditation:  Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition: $238/credit
  • Required Credits: 24 credits
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 92%

Master of Arts in Statistics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Optional
  • Application Fee: $120 (US citizens), $140 (international applicants)
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts, letters of recommendation, English proficiency proof, statement of purpose, and resume

Applying to the University of California, Berkeley

  1. Select the MA in Statistics program
  2. Identify program deadlines
  3. Review program requirements and prepare all the required documents
  4. Pay the application and submit your application
  5. Track your application’s progress

What Is a Statistics Master’s Degree?

A statistics master’s degree is a graduate program that is a level above a statistics bachelor’s degree . A Master’s Degree in Statistics provides advanced training and specialized statistics coursework for students with a foundation in mathematics. Usually, a statistics master’s degree takes graduate students two years of study to complete if they are in a full-time program.

The best statistics master’s degrees cover the practical application of mathematical sciences. You will learn about mathematical and applied statistics, data analytics, programming, data structures, and data science. The master’s degree prepares you for senior-level positions in tech, research, medicine, engineering, business, and education organizations.

How Important Is a Master’s Degree in Statistics?

A Master’s Degree in Statistics is essential for anyone looking to advance their career in the field of statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that professionals with a master’s degree have a higher earning potential than bachelor-level professionals. With the advanced experience, skills, and knowledge earned while studying for a master’s degree, you can thrive in senior roles and negotiate for higher salaries.

Apart from salary benefits and a broader professional pool, you will gain specialized knowledge in the areas of statistics. Statistics is a broad field, and pursuing a master’s allows you to narrow down on a specific niche. Furthermore, many employers now consider a master’s degree the new normal for job role requirements and future career advancement.

What Types of Master’s Degrees Can You Get in Statistics?

The two types of master’s degrees you can earn in statistics are a Master of Science or Master of Arts. These degree programs have a similar curriculum outline, time frame, and graduation requirements. Some institutions also offer a Master of Research in Statistics, which delves into statistics research and develops advanced research skills that prepare you for a doctoral degree.

Is It Better to Get a Master of Science or Master of Arts in Statistics?

A Master of Science in Statistics is better for students who prefer to focus on tech-related scientific or mathematical courses. In an MS program, you will study courses in computer science, engineering, biochemistry, economics, and mathematics. In addition, MS students participate in lab work and scientific research and hone their logical math skills.

A Master of Arts in Statistics prioritizes humanities courses, including literature, English, languages, art, and communications. MA in Statistics programs focus on research and discussion-based learning through seminars and collaborative class engagements.

The main difference between an MS and MA in Statistics is the thesis requirement. An MS will require additional mathematics courses and a thesis for program completion while a MA in Statistics does not.

What Is the Difference Between a Statistics Master’s Degree and a Statistics Certificate?

The difference between the two educational paths is that a certificate typically takes one year and requires 12-15 credit hours to complete, whereas a statistics master’s degree has a two-year duration and requires 30 or more credits. Also, a certificate program is more affordable than a Master’s Degree in Statistics. Finally, a statistics master’s degree focuses on skills in the field of statistics as a whole, while a graduate certificate in statistics offers specialized training in a specific area of statistics.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Master’s Degree in Statistics?

It costs from $8,875 to $44,667 to get a Master’s Degree in Statistics. These numbers from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) include tuition costs and required fees for public and private institutions. These figures can fluctuate depending on whether you are an in-state student or an out-of-state student. Most institutions also allow students to pay per credit, which is cheaper for transfer students.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Statistics Master’s Degree?

It takes approximately two years in a full-time program to get a statistics master’s degree as a graduate-level student. However, this timeframe will change if you are a part-time student or in an accelerated program. Most universities require students to complete a master’s degree within five or six years.

You can take two courses per semester as a part-time student and complete your master’s in five years. Alternatively, you can complete eight credits per semester and finish the degree in two years. With 15 credits per semester, you can get your master’s in one year. Many universities offer these different degree options to cater to a variety of needs and personal goals.

How Hard Is It to Get a Master’s Degree in Statistics?

It is very hard to get a Master’s Degree in Statistics. First, you must complete your undergraduate in mathematics or statistics, which takes four years and requires at least 120 credit hours of coursework. Only then can you strive for a Master of Statistics.

A statistics master’s degree is time-consuming, and the curriculum is challenging. You must complete prerequisite coursework, meet the credit hour requirements, and complete a thesis or capstone project which usually takes six months of research and execution. The coursework is also very complex, requiring focus and a lot of commitment.

Why Should You Get a Statistics Master’s Degree?

You should get a statistics master’s degree to acquire in-depth knowledge in statistics. The statistics industry relies on analytical skills, mathematical capability, and hands-on experience. A master’s degree has a condensed curriculum that focuses on developing these skills and enhancing your professional value. Pursuing a statistics master’s degree allows you to diversify your career opportunities and negotiate better salaries.

What Courses Do You Need to Take in a Master’s Degree Program in Statistics?

During a Master’s Degree in Statistics, you need to take courses in applied statistics, mathematical statistics, regression, probability theory, statistical analysis, data management, and programming. These courses cover all aspects of statistics, including research, analysis, data interpretation, and execution.

Mathematical Statistics

This course explores the application of mathematics in statistics. You will learn how applied mathematics uses probability theory to collect statistical data. The course enhances your mathematical foundation by providing rigorous training in complex equations and problems.

Data Management

Data management is a required course where you will learn advanced methods of collecting, analyzing, and storing data. The course also covers the applications of these methods in real-world projects. Additional skills taught include programming, data analysis, and critical thinking.

Applied Statistics

An applied statistics course in a master’s degree program covers hypothesis testing, descriptive statistics, estimation, confidence intervals, power, regression, and diagnostics. In addition, you will learn about planning, managing data, drawing conclusions, and interpreting data. This is usually an upper-level course that requires at least three credit hours.

Statistical Programming

Statistical programming involves the use of computation techniques to understand the efficiency of a product and analyze data. You will learn to apply different statistical concepts, write code, and explore statistical programming languages . These languages are crucial in data science and reconfiguring unstructured data.

Predictive Analytics

This course covers a broad area of study that focuses on the art and science of predictive analysis . You will learn to build reliable predictive models to make actionable performance predictions. Additionally, students gain advanced data analytics skills related to resource assets and operations.

Continuing Education Paths for Statistics Master’s Degree Graduates

After completing your statistics master’s degree, your continuing education path could involve pursuing a PhD in Statistics, the highest education level in the career field. Alternatively, you can apply for a graduate certificate, online courses, or licensing and certification courses that develop your skills without the long-term commitment.

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What to Look For in the Best Statistics Master’s Degree Programs

A Master’s in Statistics is a demanding degree and significantly impacts your career trajectory. During your school search, you should consider cost, class offerings, your professional goals, the pace of study, and degree options.

You will put in hours of research, take advanced studies courses, and work on complex projects that contribute to your degree. Below are the top five factors to consider when selecting the best statistics master’s program for you.

Pace of Study

The pace of study refers to the speed at which you complete your graduate education. Typically, a Master’s Degree in Statistics takes two years. However, if you want to complete your degree sooner, you can find degree options that support an accelerated track. This degree allows you to complete your degree in about one year.

Alternatively, if you can’t commit to full-time graduate studies, select a master’s program that offers flexible hours of coursework. Part-time statistics graduate students can take up to five years to complete the degree.

Cost

A Master’s in Statistics is not cheap. Therefore, consider the cost and tuition payment options when you select a statistics master’s degree. Remember, a high tuition cost does not have to be a deal-breaker, as the school’s graduate department should have an array of payment options and financial aid to accommodate all students.

Graduation Rate

Consider the institution’s graduation rate as it provides insight into the number of students who complete the degree. The graduation rate also indicates the school’s accountability and how it motivates its students. You can check the National Center for Education Statistics or official school websites to find out these rates.

Curriculum Content

A Master’s Degree in Statistics features a curriculum that requires approximately 30 credits. You will complete core classes, including mandatory courses, elective courses, and a thesis or capstone project. The best statistics master’s degree curriculum should include courses on mathematics and statistics, statistical models, scientific computing, numerical analysis, database management, applied statistics, and logistics regression.

Flexibility

Universities offer in-person and online programs on a full-time or part-time basis. These offerings allow recent undergraduates and working professionals to find the perfect master’s program for their needs. The best programs offer flexibility and you can choose your course of study depending on your financial capability, schedule, and goals.

What Is the Most Affordable Statistics Master’s Degree?

The most affordable statistics master’s degree is available at Oklahoma State University. According to NCES data, the annual in-state tuition is $5,611 and $21,114 for out-of-state students. Additional costs will include application fees, books and supplies, accommodation, and additional resources.

Salary and Job Outlook for Statistics Master’s Degree Graduates

A statistics professional presents data to her colleagues.
A statistics master’s degree enhances your expertise in the field of statistics and serves as a strong foundation for a career in finance.

Many people pursue a statistics master’s degree to expand career prospects and salary potential. With a Master’s Degree in Statistics, you can explore careers in a variety of industries and develop specialized skills that translate to career longevity. Read on to discover the salary outlook and some of the highest-paying jobs for a Master’s in Statistics.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Statistics Master’s Degree?

It is not hard to get a job with a statistics master’s degree. Employers are quick to hire applicants with a master’s degree or higher. In addition, pursuing a Master’s Degree in Statistics diversifies your job search because you can apply for high-level jobs in government, technology, engineering, health care, education, and the finance industry.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 33 percent job growth rate for statisticians and mathematicians between 2020 and 2030. To facilitate your job search, statistics master’s degree institutions also invest in student services, career coaching, and counseling to prepare students for graduate careers.

What’s the Average Statistics Master’s Degree Salary?

According to Payscale, the average salary for someone with a statistics master’s degree is $89,000 per year . However, the average annual wage can fluctuate depending on your title and responsibilities.

For example, a senior data analyst earns an annual median wage of $84,485 , a statistical analyst earns $68,707, and a senior data scientist takes home over $120,000 annually. These salary estimates exclude benefits and perks, which differ from employer to employer.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Statistics Master’s Degree?

The types of jobs you can do with a statistics master’s degree include data scientist, biostatistician, quantitative analyst, actuary, mathematician, and statistics professor. Statistics master’s degree graduates enjoy a wide variety of career opportunities that lead to professional independence and fulfillment.

Statistics Degree Jobs

  • Statistician
  • Data scientist
  • Mathematician
  • Market research analyst
  • Financial analyst

Potential Careers With a Statistics Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With a Master’s Degree in Statistics?

You can make between $80,000 and $130,000 with a Master’s Degree in Statistics. However, this number can grow depending on your negotiation skills and employer, as a master’s degree is highly valued in the professional sector. Here are some of the highest-paying jobs for a statistics master’s degree holder.

Highest-Paying Statistics Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Statistics Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Director of Analytics $129,430
Senior Data Scientist $127,452
Mathematician $108,100
Actuary $105,900
Statistician $95,570

Best Jobs for Statistics Master’s Degree Grads

Below is a list of the best statistics master’s degree jobs. This will give you an idea of what to expect as a master’s degree graduate. Each job details the job outlook and lists the highest-paying states. This information helps you evaluate your degree options, plan your pace of study, decide on employment location upon graduation, and establish your career goals.

1

Director of Analytics

Average Salary: $129,430

The director of analytics heads the data analytics and data warehousing department. You will offer the final input on data analytics systems and research strategies to develop guidelines that align with the company's needs. You must have a solid foundation in statistics and strong leadership and communication skills. Organizations prefer applicants with a master's degree.

2

Senior Data Scientist

Average Salary: $127,452

Senior data scientists oversee the duties of junior data scientists and facilitate various data science projects. Your duties will include hiring junior staff members, providing advanced expertise in statistical concepts, writing reusable codes, and building data pipelines. You will need advanced experience in statistical modeling and analysis, programming languages, and Big Data.

3

Mathematician

Average Salary: $108,100

Mathematicians use mathematical formulas to analyze and interpret data. They apply mathematical theories, algorithms, computational techniques, and advanced computer technology to solve complex problems with advanced equations. Mathematicians work in business, engineering, government, education, and other advanced fields.

4

Actuary

Average Salary: $105,900

Actuaries possess advanced mathematical skills that help measure the probability of future financial risks within an organization. Daily duties include reviewing, preparing, and presenting financial reports to company executives. You will also design and test insurance policies and business strategies, calculate cash reserves, and estimate the economic cost of potential risks.

5

Statistician

Average Salary: $95,570

Statisticians apply statistical methods to collect and analyze data to solve real-world problems. They design surveys, opinion polls, and engagements that facilitate data collection. In addition, statisticians compile their findings and present them to stakeholders. Pursuing a master’s degree gives you a clear understanding of statistical concepts and analytical skills to succeed in this career.

Best Jobs According to Your Major

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Is a Master’s Degree in Statistics Worth It?

Yes, a Master’s Degree in Statistics is worth it. You will expand your knowledge of statistics fundamentals and advanced topics and gain access to senior-level job opportunities upon graduation. Advancements in technology bring a lot of changes to the industry, and continuing your education at the master’s level keeps you up-to-date on the latest software, technology, and statistics resources.

The industry is growing, and although bootcamps, online courses, and undergraduate degrees build your foundation in statistics, a master’s degree will open more doors in a variety of industries. This will help you to reach your professional goals and earn a higher annual wage.

Additional Reading About Statistics

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Statistics Master’s Degree FAQ

Can I get a statistics master’s degree for free?

No, you cannot get a statistics master’s degree for free. Usually, these degree programs are expensive because of the complex coursework, quality of academic resources, and certification. However, most institutions allow students to pay per credit or apply for financial aid.

Which other universities are known for successful statistics master’s degree programs?

Other universities known for successful statistics master’s degree programs include Carnegie Mellon University, Oregon State University, North Carolina State University, Duke University, Eastern Kentucky University, and Columbia University. Finding the best graduate school for your master’s degree depends on your personal goals, budget, and availability.

Can I apply for a senior role with a Master’s Degree in Statistics?

Yes, you can apply for a senior role with a Master’s Degree in Statistics. A statistics master’s degree demonstrates your proficiency in the field and proves that you have the skill set to take on more responsibility in different career fields.

How long will it take to earn a Master’s Degree in Statistics?

It can take between one year and six years to earn a Master’s Degree in Statistics. The time frame depends on your desired pace of study, which can be full-time or part-time. For example, if you want to complete 30 credit hours within a year, you can split the program into two semesters of 15 credits each. If you take two courses per semester, you can complete the master’s degree in five years.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Shalom Kamau

About the author: Shalom is a career freelance writer whose work has appeared online at Ledmond and Watotolove. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts and Film Technology from Kenyatta University. She also has a copywriting certificate from DigitalMarketer.

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