For those interested or experienced in determining trends and patterns within large sets of data, a career in statistical analytics is an ideal goal. While not the highest paying opportunity in the field of data science, and these positions require plenty of education, statistical skills are very important in market research, business intelligence, and organizational investments. Statisticians will present the evidence needed to determine how a company should make decisions by determining what will happen and why certain scenarios will take place.

Statistical Analytics Degrees

Online Statistical Analytics Programs

Pursuing a degree within data analysis is becoming more convenient with a growing number of online opportunities. It is becoming easier to receive the skills necessary to break into analytical jobs, such as querying data with Excel and SQL, becoming proficient in Python and/or R programming software, and being able to tell a story through data visualization presentations.

Online courses will either be distributed in live, synchronous format with a virtual classroom that may require participation, or asynchronous when coursework can be completed anytime with weekly assignment deadlines.

Online Masters in Statistical Analytics

Especially when pursuing a Master's degree, many programs are geared toward part-time students that take one to two courses each term. If full-time programs are still too time-consuming, there are alternatives in graduate certificates or vendor certifications. Graduate certificates can be truncated forms of data science programs, or they will take portions of the core curriculum and various electives. Vendor certifications through companies like SAS, Oracle, and Cloudera, will show competence with using a specific tool set.

One example of completing one of the vendor-based credentials is the SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst exam using SAS 9, and it will test skills within linear and logistic regression, and developing and measuring modeling performance. The company provides training material and practice exams before taking the official exam and submitting the fee. As with most vendors, there is also an opportunity to pay for instructor-led courses that includes further study materials and the official exam cost.

Statistical Analytics Programs

A career within statistical analysis can be obtained through a variety of college programs in the arts and sciences of statistics, computer science, and data science. In some cases, there will be areas of emphasis and elective courses specifically toward statistical analytics and data analysis. When it comes to Master's degrees, there are a number of varying degrees that are all related to the statistical analytics field, and will be labeled as "Master of..." or "Master of Science in..." Here are the most common subjects:

  • Analytics
  • Applied Statistics
  • Business Analytics
  • Data Analytics
  • Data Science
  • Statistical Science
  • Statistics

Online Master of Applied Statistics at Colorado State

Colorado State University has an online Master of Applied Statistics with specializations in Data Science and Statistical Science. The electives within the latter option include Analysis of Time Series, Methods in Environmental Statistics, and Machine Learning. This program requires 31 credits to complete and all online courses are distributed through the Canvas learning management system. Each course is completed in an eight-week format, and features include viewing lectures on demand, working with other members on group projects, and exams can be administered online.

Online Master of Statistics at NC State

Another example is North Carolina State University's online Master of Statistics degree which requires 30 semester hours of coursework. Along with a core curriculum that emphasizes statistical inference, programming, and linear models, up to three electives can be taken, such as further statistical programming, Applied Time Series, and Applied Bayesian Analysis. The program is delivered fully online through the WolfWare learning management system and provides easy interaction with other students and faculty members.

Online Master of Science in Data Analytics at SNHU

The online university, Southern New Hampshire University, has a Master of Science in Data Analytics that requires 12 courses to complete, and it can be completed in as little as 15 months. Example courses include Enterprise Data Management, Optimization and Risk Assessment, and ethical issues when dealing with data. Graduates will be able to communicate effectively to higher-level officials, enforce privacy and security with the information that is being worked with, and learning about the latest innovations to implement in any organization.

Prerequisite Education

Graduate degrees are recommended for statisticians due to the complex nature of mathematics, computer science, and physics involved in these occupations. Prior to getting into these programs, it is important to have coursework experience within linear algebra and at least a few levels of calculus. Other typical requirements are obtaining a four-year Bachelor’s degree with a cumulative 3.0 GPA (especially in the last few years of education), letters of recommendation, and a personal statement detailing what their career goals are.

Specific requirements for the online Master of Applied Statistics program through the Penn State World Campus includes a degree comparable to a four-year Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, along with the submission of official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. When working with SAS software, the school recommends a Windows computer for better software compatibility.

When it comes to getting into a statistical profession, such as a quantitative analyst, these jobs will require additional coursework in accounting and economics, especially for those that determine what their organization should financially invest in. Within higher education, statistical object-oriented programming and becoming proficient in R can be greatly beneficial. In the healthcare field, informatics positions should have additional background education in biology and chemistry.

Typical Courses

When pursuing a higher education degree within statistical analytics, students will usually find the following topics within the core curriculum or elective options:

  • Statistical Inference
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Data Visualization
  • Regression Models
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Bayesian Statistics

Statistical inference is connecting the dots and forming a hypothesis on properties of a population. If the course is under the generic name, coursework will consist of an overview of strategies involved in developing theories and generating randomized samples to come toward a conclusion. Propositions include a point estimate and interval estimate, and classifying specific data into groups. Bayesian inference, or Bayesian probability, is a subjective inference to data. This is the method of determining statistical evidence on a subjective belief, such as the likelihood of being paid back when loaning money to a family member, or the chances that a coworker is happy within a workplace.

In quantitative methods, students analyze and interpret statistical analysis through the use of mathematics, sampling, theories, and hypotheses. These methods focus on the collection of data and the creation of models that depict the data that is found. This is in contrast to qualitative methods, which attempts to find the reasoning behind why the data is represented or trending a certain way. Data visualization is creating a story with statistical information, being able to describe trends and beliefs with charts and graphs. Another skill developed is presenting the information to other parties, like management and stakeholders, that are not as technical.

Linear regression is one of the most commonly used forms of predictive analysis – determining the best-fitting line within a set of data. Simple regression is a more straightforward approach, with one predictor variable that is used by an analyst to predict another variable. Other types of linear regression is multiple, logistic, ordinal, and multinomial. This is in contrast to multivariate analysis, which is the study of multiple variables within a set of data. For example, this type of analysis is used when determining not only how much of a good is sold, but various amounts by state and if a customer used cash or credit for their payment method.

Scholarships and Assistantships

For students that have shown outstanding academic work prior to entering an undergraduate or graduate program, there are various scholarship opportunities to apply for. Many programs themselves will offer an internal scholarship for those just enrolling into specific programs. At Colorado State University, the Elmer E. Remmenga Scholarship provides an opportunity for students enrolled in the Master of Science in Applied Statistics at the university.

Frequently, more internalized scholarships will not even require an application process as admittance into the program counts. Otherwise, many scholarships are sponsored by individuals that are specifically for various demographics, such as location or minority representation to boost inclusion within the university, and they will require either high academic merit or demonstrate their financial needs, Some scholarships will require a paper describing why they would benefit from the award.

Scholarships are not limited to certain states or universities. The American Statistical Association (ASA) offers the Wiley Best Statistical Analysis and Data Mining award, which is a $1,500 award given to a student that completes a paper within these topics and had it published in the ASA Data Science Journal. The winner is selected by the editor-in-chief, and there are no nomination requirements necessary.

Assistantships provide an opportunity for successful students to become a teaching assistant or to complete a research project at the university. Essentially, they will help faculty and receive a stipend, along with the potential for lowering their tuition. Becoming an assistant as an undergraduate provides work experience and boosts networking opportunities, not to mention the potential for getting an academic job.

A graduate fellowship is offered at the University of Central Florida for full-time students that are pursuing an education in a Master of Science in Statistical Computing, Data Mining, or Data Analytics. They must reach high academic standards along with submitting strong GRE scores in order to be eligible for the opportunity.

Employment Opportunities

Quantitative Analyst

Collects data in a variety of categories in the government, healthcare, educational sector, and more. These researchers will determine what is the method of interaction, be it interviewing specific candidates, holding a focus group, or sending a broad survey across a segment of people. In some instances, they will observe interviews in order to gather data or determine that surveys are properly and accurately representing information. Median average salary is around $54,237 across the United States according to PayScale.

Political Scientist

This position looks into the impact of developed policies and laws have among the community, establishments, and the policymakers themselves. They research political party interests, voting behavior, and they typically can predict what kind of an impact can happen based on their data. Roles that can be taken as a political scientist include running a political campaign, consulting campaign managers, or market research. According to PayScale, the average wage of a political scientist across the United States is $52,910 annually.

Sociology

Careers that involve the examination of social behavior, which they will collect information through interviewing, distributing surveys, and observing human behavior. They use all the skills from these higher education programs to analyze the information and determine where things are headed. Based on the type of organization they work with, they will present their findings and make recommendations. Some sociologists will have specializations within minority representation, criminal activity, poor communities, and healthcare. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sociologists make an average salary of $82,050 per year.

Available Online Data Science Programs

Notice a missing or inaccurate program? Our data is hand-collected and edited. If you notice a missing data science program, please email schools at datascienceprograms.org to enter a program to be reviewed or to adjust a current listing.