Career Paths for Applied Statistics Majors

Career paths for statisticians
Career paths for statisticians

Statistics have the power to improve everything from business operations to the general quality of life for people across the globe. Professionals with a background in statistics help solve serious problems in industry, science, medicine and so much more. Do you want to build a career that can play a key role in empowering positive change?

Earning a Master of Science in Applied Statistics can prepare you to pursue a variety of rewarding and meaningful career paths. There are plenty of options when it comes to jobs for statistics majors, with potential options in fields ranging from marketing and finance to medical research, information technology, and cybersecurity.

Before diving into specific careers for statistics majors, let’s look at the unique value a Master’s in Applied Statistics can offer in the current job market.


What are the Advantages of a Master’s in Applied Statistics in Today’s Economy?

Organizations use statistics and data science to improve decision-making, forecast potential issues, and opportunities, and build a better understanding of their operations—just to name a few popular applications. The following are some of the benefits that can stem from pursuing this field of study and a broad range of careers related to it.


Rewarding and Challenging Careers in Many Sectors

Because applied statistics focuses on problem-solving and practical solutions for real-world issues, professionals with a background in this field are in especially high demand. Their knowledge and talents can be applied to nearly any situation or scenario requiring the use of statistical tools and methods, including:

  • Predictive modeling.
  • Statistical data mining.
  • Parametric estimation.

Jobs for statistics majors exist within government agencies, private businesses, nonprofits, and other groups, and all of these roles can have a major impact on the stability and success of those organizations. Tasks can range from quantitatively demonstrating the effectiveness of a public health program to forecasting product demand in new and existing markets. No matter the specifics, professionals with a background in applied statistics supply valuable intelligence to their colleagues (and their employers at large) by answering pressing questions with accurate and in-depth analysis.


Creating Solutions that Make a Measurable Impact on the World

Professionals in applied statistics degree jobs take on all kinds of projects. They may analyze data that helps to correct a process issue within a single company or engage in efforts that can address worldwide concerns.

One early example of the transformative power of statistics comes from London in the 1850s. Physician John Snow proved that cholera was a waterborne pathogen through the collection and analysis of data, predating the general recognition of germ theory, as the National Institutes of Health explains.

The field of statistics continues to provide pathways that can enhance public health. General Assembly highlights the work of Bayes Impact, a data science group that works with not-for-profit organizations to resolve pressing issues. One of the organization’s notable achievements is a project with the U.S. Department of Health that helped make better matches between organ donors and potential recipients, improving outcomes for patients.

It’s clear that statistics has long offered opportunities to create widespread and positive change. Pursuing a career in this field can lead to a global impact.


A Highly Relevant and In-demand Skill Set

As organizations continue to find new applications for data analysis and rely on statistics to guide and grow their operations, the skills developed through a Master of Science in Applied Statistics can be especially valuable. Broadly applicable skills for statisticians include:

  • Familiarity with complex statistical methods, including established and emerging processes.
  • Advanced understanding of programming languages and technology relevant to statistical analysis.
  • A firm grasp of mathematics, logic, and critical reasoning.
  • Communication and leadership skills are crucial for communicating the intent, results, and impact of a given project with other data scientists and those outside the field.


a woman working in a statistics field


Career Possibilities for Applied Statistics Majors

Jobs for statistics majors are available in a variety of industries. Here are just a few examples of the many career paths supported by an advanced degree in applied statistics:



Statisticians take on many kinds of problems and use analytical and mathematical processes to understand and address them. Statisticians work in fields ranging from computer science to politics.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that, as of May 2020, the median annual wage for a statistician was $93,290. That’s more than double the median annual wage for all workers, which is $41,950. Statisticians and mathematicians also benefit from a strongly positive job outlook. The projected average growth rate through 2030 for jobs in these fields is 33%. That’s more than four times higher than the projection for all occupations in the same timeframe of 8%.


Data Scientist

Data scientists often focus on resolving particularly complex issues involving large data sets, both structured and unstructured, through modeling and analysis. Among other tools, they use statistical software to visualize problems and results along with data-focused programming languages.

Data science professionals earn a mean annual wage of $103,930, according to the BLS. O*NET reports a positive career growth projection, with available positions for data scientists expected to rise by at least 15% through 2030. 


Financial Analyst

Financial analysts build strong market knowledge and use it to conduct research and statistical analyses. They then share their findings with the ultimate goal of efficiently using existing resources to improve financial outcomes. These professionals work with all types of clients, ranging from individuals and families to large multinational corporations.

The median annual wage for a financial analyst was $83,660 as of May 2020, according to the BLS. While the profession as a whole has average job growth of 6% projected through 2030, widespread need for this kind of support means there are hundreds of thousands of such positions in the U.S.


Marketing Research Analyst

By analyzing potential and existing markets for products, projecting sales, deriving conclusions from related historical data, and measuring the impact of marketing efforts, market research analysts empower businesses to make more informed decisions. They need strong communication and interpersonal skills as well as a background in statistics.

Among the many careers for statistics majors, this is a popular choice. The BLS anticipates a 22% growth in market research analyst roles by 2030, outpacing many other data analysis careers. The median annual wage for this position is $65,810, which is significantly above the average for all occupations.



Biostatisticians combine life sciences and statistics to produce analysis and reporting for fields like public health, medicine, and environmental science. They design studies and clinical trials, decide on the best methods of data collection for the project at hand, and much more.

O*NET reported the median wage for biostatisticians was $92,270 as of 2020. Available positions are projected to grow by at least 15% through 2030.


Business Intelligence Analyst

Business intelligence analysts use applied statistics to present clear pictures of present market conditions. An analyst may evaluate sales data to present how customers responded to a new product release or the emergence of new competitors. This work involves developing analytical methods, catching data anomalies, and validating incoming data. 

O*NET listed a median salary of $98,230 per year for business intelligence analysts in 2020. Applied statistics graduates are in high demand for this profession with a 15% estimated growth in jobs by 2030.


Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts identify future challenges and obstacles for their employers. Applied statistics prove useful when recommending new markets for investment, acquisition opportunities, and consumer demand for services. Professionals in this career path use predictive modeling and simulations to inform future initiatives.

The median annual wage for operations research analysts was $86,200 as of May 2020, according to the BLS. The projected growth rate for the position through 2030 is 25%, which is significantly higher than the average for all occupations.


Computer Scientist

Computer scientists apply rigorous methods to solve problems related to hardware, software, and computing infrastructure. This field has expanded far beyond the university classroom with corporations and government agencies in need of computer science experts. Advanced programming and math skills found in applied statistics are invaluable to success in computer science.

The BLS found the average computer scientist earned $126,830 per year in 2020, and a projected 22% growth in jobs by 2030.


Data Analyst

Data analysts are tasked with identifying current trends in user or consumer behavior based on multiple data sources. A/B tests, customer surveys, and purchasing behaviors can be used to determine the successes or failures of business initiatives. This career for statistics majors differs from data science in its focus on present trends rather than future projections.

Robert Half reported a salary of $106,500 for data analysts in the 50th percentile of earners in its 2022 Salary Guide. This job for statistics majors will remain in high demand as public and private employers expand their analytical efforts.


Data Engineer

Reliable pipelines from raw data pools and databases are essential to work done by analysts and data scientists. Engineers build and maintain data infrastructure that meets current user requirements while anticipating future needs. Data engineers also automate processes and clean data for better analytical outcomes.

Robert Half’s 2022 Salary Guide reports a $141,500 salary for the 50th percentile of big data engineers. The specialized skills and knowledge necessary for this position have driven demand for data engineers by 33% annually as reported by LinkedIn and is included in their top 15 emerging jobs in the U.S.


Insurance Actuary

Insurance actuaries use their knowledge of applied statistics to inform insurance policy development. They use data to determine the risks of health events, natural disasters, and market fluctuations for policyholders. Insurance companies rely on actuaries for data-driven decisions that minimize costs and fulfill policy requirements to customers.

Actuarial professionals earned a median salary of $111,030 in 2020, according to the BLS. Applied statistics experts will find a favorable market for these jobs with a 24% estimated growth in actuarial positions by 2030.


Scientific Researcher

Public and private laboratories across the world need researchers well-versed in applied statistics. The complexities of modern scientific research demand programming and statistical knowledge. Scientific researchers use lab work to study everything from vehicle fuel efficiency to food health.

This professional category is an umbrella for dozens of career paths with varying salaries and demand levels. For example, the BLS published a median salary of $68,830 for agricultural and food scientists with a 9% projected growth in jobs by 2030. Statisticians in this field can earn above-average salaries from government agencies, food manufacturers, and engineering firms.


Sports Analyst

Modern sports generate enormous amounts of data that are beneficial to media outlets and teams. Sports analysts employed by publications and TV networks use applied statistics to find insights for upcoming games. College and professional teams use sports analytics to improve player performance and anticipate opponent strategies.

Sports analysts can expect to earn comparable salaries to statisticians with a median salary of $93,290 based on BLS data. The sports analytics field remains in its early stages, contributing to the 33% estimated growth in statistician jobs by 2030.


Statistics Professor

An applied statistics degree is the first step toward a fulfilling career as a statistics professor. The aforementioned professions are only a sample of the jobs to be filled by new graduates. Statistics professors used their advanced education to train future professionals who can tackle the world’s problems with data.

The BLS listed a median salary of $80,560 for postsecondary teachers in 2020. The bureau projects a 12% growth in teaching positions by 2030, showing the ongoing demand for advanced degree holders.

Complete Your Master of Science in Applied Statistics

Applied statistics emphasizes real-world applications of statistical processes and tools, supporting the development of the knowledge and abilities required for many roles across the modern workforce. Current and future statistics students have a wide variety of career possibilities to consider.

Do you want to advance your education and build the type of skill set that supports organizations ranging from government agencies to private businesses? A Master of Science in Applied Statistics from Michigan Technological University can empower you to effectively compete for a variety of advanced and rewarding careers related to statistics. Gain hands-on experience using real datasets, and master the tools required to succeed including R, SAS, S-Plus, and Python

At Michigan Tech, you can complete your program entirely online, choose any of three yearly start dates, and graduate in as few as five semesters. The curriculum is delivered over ten courses, seven weeks each, designed to be flexible for the working professional.

Take the next step forward on your career path: earn your Master of Science in Applied Statistics online with Michigan Tech.