Career Transition: Veteran to Applied Statistics

A veteran studying for a Master's in Applied Statistics with Michigan Tech University
A veteran studying for a Master's in Applied Statistics with Michigan Tech University

Each year, around 200,000 men and women leave the United States military service and return to life as civilians. Each of them faces the unique task of identifying the best jobs for veterans once they are no longer wearing a uniform. 

For many veterans, this transition first begins with earning a college degree, and for good reason. A college education boosts confidence and brings several powerful career benefits, including higher wages, increased marketability, leadership skills, economic stability and greater job satisfaction. 

On the university side, ex-service members are highly valued because they are hard-working and bring distinct skills to learning environments. Students often come from high-pressure settings where they’ve had to learn and master skills in very little time. 

At Michigan Technological University, we want to welcome more veterans to our programs and are proud to offer a National Graduate Service Reduced Tuition Rate. U.S. military veterans, current personnel, and former AmeriCorps and Peace Corps volunteers can receive a reduced tuition rate discounted as much as 33%. 

A booming career path catching the eye of ex-military personnel right now is the world of statistics. The rapid growth of big data paired with advancements in science and technology has opened up endless opportunities for those passionate about applied mathematics.

Veterans with relevant backgrounds interested in math careers can open a variety of doors by earning an online Master’s in Applied Statistics. Well-trained statisticians are essential in nearly all parts of the economy, and learning the latest tools and research will equip you for a career in almost any field.


Is a Master’s in Applied Statistics for You?

Applied statistics focuses on analyzing and interpreting data in various professional contexts. You’ll learn advanced statistical analysis, develop broad forecasting competencies, craft practical experiments, and produce sound, detailed conclusions. This knowledge has wide application in various career possibilities, from research to engineering to healthcare and beyond.

Advanced education in applied statistics is a promising path toward a range of exciting civilian jobs for veterans. If you hold a bachelor’s degree and have spent your military career working in math, computer science, or other STEM roles, or have a background in math, you’re likely a good candidate for this path. Consider some of the military roles that are well-suited for the next step in applied statistics.

Veteran Jobs for Engineers

Did you spend your military days solving problems within various fields of engineering? If so, studying statistics will make you an expert in using and understanding data for experiments, process and product testing, data analysis and other key tasks. Applied statistics is essential in quality assurance evaluations, which is key to any successful product, program, or process.

Engineers with a Master’s in Applied Statistics can work as data analysts, data scientists, statisticians, product designers and engineers, research designers, quality assurance specialists, and other exciting roles.


Veteran Jobs for Physical Scientists, Physicists and Other Scientists

Perhaps you’ve spent your military career as a chemist specializing in chemical, biological, or radiological weapon defense, atmospheric science, or supervising experiments. Maybe you’ve worked as a physicist or physical scientist to test or design equipment, weapons, or other vital areas.

A Master’s in Applied Statistics further equips scientists for exciting opportunities in ex-military jobs like product and process development, experiment design, laboratory oversight, and more. Data scientist Daoud Clarke points out the value of merging expertise in experimentation and data science:

“To be a great data scientist, you have to be great at doing experiments. You can never guarantee you’ll get ten times better results by being cleverer or faster. But you can run more experiments. And the more experiments you run, the more likely you are to get better results, the faster you’ll iterate and the faster you’ll learn.”

Our online Master’s in Applied Statistics includes the three-credit course MA4720 Design and Analysis of Experiments, which teaches the fundamentals of good experimental design and prepares you to:

  • soundly root experiments in science and statistics
  • design completely randomized experiments
  • understand and explain the mathematical models behind your experiments
  • analyze the results of your experiments and account for aspects like confidence intervals.

This specialized training prepares veterans for ex-military jobs in biostatistics, data science, medical or pharmaceutical research, and many other related fields.


Intelligence and Logistics Officers

Military logistics and intelligence officers are also excellent candidates for some of the best jobs for veterans after advanced education in applied statistics. Suppose you have Logistics experience working in air traffic control, supply and warehousing, transportation, and logistics readiness. In that case, you can further develop that expertise by adding greater capacity for understanding and utilizing data.

Intelligence experts are well-acquainted with gathering, analyzing, and applying information from a wide range of sources. Earning a Master’s in Applied Statistics can add a range of new skill sets in statistical analysis and interpretation as well as mastery of cutting-edge technology and statistics software that will prepare you for a variety of excellent civilian jobs for veterans.

Combining your background in logistics and intelligence with a Master’s in Applied Statistics will equip you for roles as a data scientist or statistician in various fields of expertise. You’ll also have a stronger resume for managerial and executive positions in those areas, given the combination of field experience and added understanding of evaluating and utilizing data.

These are just a few examples of military roles that are well-suited to transition into an applied statistics program. Other functions, such as accountants and financial managers, computer scientists and IT specialists, and cryptologists, will also find the program to be an excellent step toward a rewarding civilian future.


What Are Some of the Best Jobs for Veterans Trained in Applied Statistics?

Let’s look broadly at some promising civilian jobs for veterans in applied statistics. You’ll discover dozens of ex-military opportunities available to you, but these wider categories will give you a sense of what’s possible.



Statisticians are vital to the success of almost all industries and enterprises. They collect, analyze, and interpret quantitative data for more informed, reliable decision-making. As organizations enter a growing data and information future, statisticians with working experience in specific fields are crucial.

“The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone’s backyard.” 

Legendary statistician John Tukey

Career Outlook for Statisticians

The future for careers in statistics is bright, as reflected in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking statistician #2 in its list of “Best Business Jobs,” #5 among “Best STEM jobs,” and #6 among its overall list of “Best Jobs.”

Employment opportunities for statisticians are expected to grow 35% by the year 2030, which is nearly nine times the national average for all job growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates the median salary for statisticians is $93,290. The top 10% of statisticians earned more than $170,150.


Market Research Analyst

Organizations rely on market research analysts to direct their focus by understanding the interests and behaviors of their target audiences. By collecting and analyzing relevant customer-centric data, market research analysts perform an essential role in developing products and services that enable businesses to grow and flourish. This crucial role requires capacities learned by earning an applied statistics graduate degree, including:

  • Devising and evaluating data collection methods
  • Performing statistical and data analysis
  • Using current, industry-standard software and tools
  • Effectively interpreting and presenting data that has been gathered and analyzed

Career Outlook for Market Research Analysts

The BLS anticipates job growth of 22% from 2020-2030 for market research analysts. That means approximately 96,000 new positions are expected to open each year over that decade, and much of that growth will be driven by an increasing need for professionals well-trained to gather and interpret growing volumes of data.

The median annual salary for market research analysts was $65,810 in 2020, but analysts in several industries, including publishing, management, and finance, earned more. The upper 10% of market research analysts made more than $127,000 per year.


Data Scientist

Data scientists work within a variety of industries, including computer systems design, management companies, scientific consulting, research and development, and more. A merging of multiple disciplines, data science utilizes machine learning processes to discern trends and insights relevant to particular industries and markets. This enables businesses and organizations to optimize decision-making, improve processes, and better serve customers and stakeholders.

Career Outlook for Data Scientists

Individuals with the proper data science training are in high demand. A recent IBM survey found that opportunities are growing over 5% per year, and the BLS projects job growth of 22% by 2030 for computer and information research scientists. 

The BLS records a median annual wage of $98,230 for data scientists and mathematical science occupations, with the top 10% earning over $165,000.


Prepare Yourself for the Best Jobs for Veterans

As mentioned above, we are proud to offer a reduced tuition rate to students who have provided service to the United States of America and the world. 

Our Master’s in Applied Statistics cultivates in-demand knowledge to prepare you for various professional settings. Our 100% online program can be completed in as few as five semesters and is ideal for veterans transitioning out of active duty who want flexible academic opportunities. 

We understand the transition from military to civilian life can be daunting and strive to offer increased aid along the way. Students are assigned Enrollment Advisors during the application process and receive one-on-one support from a Student Success Advisor when the program starts.

The curriculum covers the most important components of applied statistics, including:

  • Advanced Statistical Methods — Combine tested techniques with emerging technologies.
  • Programming and Technology — Improve familiarity with industry standards software and tools such as R, SAS, S-Plus, and Python.
  • Real-World Problem Solving — Work with real datasets to overcome common challenges and drive decision-making.
  • Communication and Leadership — Build the professional skills to present outcomes with confidence and clarity.

Schedule an appointment with an Enrollment Advisor to discover how you can build on your military background to prepare for a vibrant civilian career.