The intersection of math and science is where incredible discoveries and progress come to life. Both mathematicians and scientists are analytical, logical, and curious problem solvers. Although mathematicians and scientists may work with different analysis methods, they both strive to test, experiment, and challenge theories to expand the understanding of the world around us. As a result, math and science constantly converge to provide better outcomes.
If you’re passionate about math and science, a Master’s Degree in Applied Statistics delivers insight into a broad spectrum of statistical sciences and methods, and their application to solve real-world problems. For example, statistics use in scientific research allows scientists to quantify population data, forecast trends, and validate or disprove scientific theories. After obtaining your degree, you can apply your love of math to advance the pursuit of scientific knowledge and progress through exciting career opportunities. Learn more about the numerous benefits of earning a Master’s Degree in Applied Statistics.
What is the field of applied statistics?
Statistics is the branch of mathematics that contains data collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation. As new technologies emerge and the accumulation of big data accelerates, organizations need professionals who can make sense of data to solve real-world challenges — this is the purpose and value of applied statistics.
Applied statistics is a practice that involves using statistical methods to identify challenges, solutions, and opportunities across a wide range of industries, including astronomy, biology, education, engineering, healthcare, marketing, medicine, sports, and more.
Where do science and statistics intersect?
Scientists use mathematical and statistical methodologies to make predictions, devise experiments, and draw accurate conclusions in various areas. Applied statistics are especially relevant to computer science and data science, as data scientists employ statistical methods to organize, interpret, and apply data to organizational challenges. Regardless of their industry or job, mathematic scientists commonly use the following statistical methods in their roles and responsibilities:
- Design, conduct and analyze statistical studies to arrive at a hypothesis.
- Use statistical computing and prepare statistical reports to visualize and communicate findings to teams.
- Employ descriptive and graphical methods, probability models, parameter estimation, and hypothesis testing to validate or disprove scientific theories.
Case Study: Scientists use applied statistics to help save lives during the global pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, health officials, scientists, healthcare workers, and national and local leaders used applied statistics to help save millions of lives. Scientists and statisticians rapidly developed data management systems to help healthcare institutions slow the spread of the virus, prepare staff, and enhance patient outcomes. Data management systems enable health care workers to:
- Monitor COVID-19 cases, testing, positivity, and hospitalization rates
- Track inventory and demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) across hospitals and health care centers
- Evaluate the most effective treatments to ease symptoms
- Develop a vaccine to reduce the risk of infection and deploy large-scale studies to test the effectiveness of the vaccine
- Create data visualizations to help local, state, and national leaders make policy decisions that affect everyone
Why earn a Master of Science (MS) in Applied Statistics?
As seen in the case of the pandemic, professionals with applied statistics skills offer immense value in times of crisis. However, there are many other science-related statistics jobs where professionals with an MS in Applied Statistics can make a difference. Additionally, data science is booming, and data analytics is one of the most sought-after skills in the job market. As a result, graduates with an MS in Applied Statistics will see the following positive job outlook and salary options.
Job Outlook for MS in Applied Statistics
Data analytics and statistical skills are in high demand across industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of mathematicians and statisticians is projected to grow 33 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than average across all occupations. As a result, the United States will see approximately 5,200 openings for mathematicians and statisticians each year through 2030.
MS in Applied Statistics Salary
Statisticians can earn lucrative salaries; according to the BLS, the median annual wage for statisticians in the United States was $95,570 in May 2021, and the most experienced professionals earned more than $157,000.
What are popular science-related career paths for those with an MS in Applied Statistics?
There are numerous science-related career paths you can choose from to marry your love for math and science. A few of the most rewarding careers include working as a data scientist, biostatistician, or meteorologist. We have outlined three of the top science-related jobs for graduates of applied statistics and the expected job outlook and salary below.
1. Data Scientist
Data scientists develop and implement techniques and analytics applications to transform raw data sets into meaningful information using programming languages and data visualization software. Additionally, data scientists obtain technical skills to apply data mining, modeling, natural language processing, and machine learning to extract and analyze information from large structured and unstructured datasets.
- Data scientists typically engage in the following:
- Mining and analyzing data from company databases to improve marketing, product development, or overall business strategies
- Using predictive modeling to optimize revenue growth, enhance marketing campaigns, and personalized customer experiences
- Developing A/B testing campaigns to test websites, products, and services
- Communicating with teams to execute data-driven strategies and measure progress over time
Job Outlook for Data Scientists
U.S. News & World Report projects a 31.4 percent employment growth for data scientists between 2020 and 2030. In that period, an estimated 19,800 jobs will open up for professionals with relevant experience.
Data Scientist Salary
According to the U.S. News & World Report, data scientists in the United States earned a median salary of $98,230, and the highest-paid data scientists made approximately $130,370.
Biostatisticians merge life sciences and statistics to deliver data analysis and reporting for various fields, including public health, medicine, and environmental science. They design studies and clinical trials in their day-to-day life and make data-driven decisions in scientific areas related to biology. For example, biostatisticians significantly impacted the pandemic by using statistics to monitor disease transmission, infection rates, and vaccine efficacy and using related data to make decisions.
Biostatisticians typically engage in the following:
- Designing studies or clinical trials in specific research areas
- Determining the best methods for data collection and analysis
- Analyzing data to draw conclusions
- Interpreting and communicating any findings to internal and external teams
Job Outlook for Biostatisticians
The job prospects for trained statisticians are growing much faster than average, with the BLS projecting a growth of 35 percent in statistics jobs by the year 2030. The BLS also predicts an overall increase of 28 percent for jobs in mathematical science, giving biostatisticians a promising career outlook.
According to the BLS, the median salary for statisticians in mathematical science occupations in the United States is $93,170 per year. However, the top paid statisticians earn more than $150,800.
3. Atmospheric Scientist/Meteorologist
Atmospheric scientists, otherwise known as meteorologists, study the weather and climate and examine how those conditions affect human activity, climate change, and the planet's future. They help conceive forecasts, collect and compile statistics from the field, help develop new data collection instruments, and advise on potential risks or crisis and remediation plans related to weather events and climate change.
Atmospheric scientists typically engage in the following:
- Measuring temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, wind speed, and atmospheric properties
- Utilizing software models to analyze data about the atmosphere
- Writing computer programs and code to support modeling efforts
- Conducting research to improve understanding of weather phenomena
- Generating weather graphics for users through data visualization
- Using mathematical models, satellites, radar, and local station data to compile forecasts
- Educating the public about the weather and climate change
- Assisting with crises and warning the public when threatened by severe weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and tsunamis
Job Outlook for Meteorologists
The job prospects for meteorologists are steady, with the BLS projecting job growth of 8 percent by 2030. This prediction is about as fast as the average for other occupations across the United States.
According to the BLS, the median salary for atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists, is $94,570 per year, and the top paid statisticians make more than $150,700.
Advance Your Career With a Master of Science in Applied Statistics
Are you passionate about math and science? Are you interested in applying statistics use in scientific research? With a Master of Science in Applied Statistics, you can make a real difference in the world, furthering climate change efforts, improving health outcomes, contributing to scientific discoveries, and more.
A Master of Science in Applied Statistics from Michigan Technological University can empower you to effectively compete for various 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.