Figuring out how many red M&M’s there are in a bowl might seem like just a crowd-pleasing party trick, but if you apply the same math to bigger questions, you could help solve some major issues. Statisticians spend their days working to find the answers to problems in fields like medicine, marketing, education, and business.
They create surveys and experiments to find out, for example, how popular a television show is or how effective a drug is. Using only small samplings of people, Statisticians can give reliable results about how an entire population will behave.
Before you can start figuring out facts, you first need to learn your math. Undergrad degrees in statistics take four years to complete and are full of math classes that cover subjects like probability theory, differential calculus, and statistical modeling.
There are a number of different schools offering bachelor’s degrees in statistics, including a few online options. Decide where you hope to spend your time based on things like price, location, and flexibility of class offerings.
After you graduate with your bachelor’s degree in statistics, there are only a few areas where you can find entry-level positions. A large number of Statisticians work for the government, and the majority of job opportunities for new graduates are with government agencies. Typical first jobs in this field include Mathematical Statistician and Research Assistant.
Most Statisticians continue on to get a more advanced degree. Master’s degrees are required for positions as Financial Analysts, Biostatisticians, Econometricians, or Data Analysts. If you hope to teach at a university or lead research, then you’ll need to continue your schooling further and get a Ph.D.
Once you have your master’s degree, you can even choose to switch to another industry, like insurance, economics, or investment banking.