The demand for statisticians and data scientists is on the rise. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), statistician jobs rank seventh among all job categories. Statistics and its related fields are among the fastest-growing professions with an estimated 34% growth rate through 2026. The 2019 PayScale survey of salaries found an average salary of $71,920, with upper-level salaries of $108,000 and entry-level salaries of $50,000.
To grow and succeed in this competitive field, professionals need strong mathematical and analytical skills. Michigan Technological University offers an online Master of Science in Applied Statistics that prepares graduates for the full spectrum of statistics careers.
The diverse variety of jobs for statisticians include:
A background in statistics is a good starting point for an actuarial career. Actuaries are employed by insurance companies, banks, and financial institutions to evaluate risks. An insurance actuary analyzes statistics to determine the likelihood of events before auto, life, home, and other insurance policies are developed. Actuaries who work with financial institutions review market conditions and other data to inform investments.
The BLS found that actuaries earned an average salary of $1028,880 per year in 2018. Actuarial jobs are projected to grow by 22% from 2016 to 2026. (BLS). This statistics job opportunity is ideal for risk-minded professionals who want to help companies save money.
The term data scientist has been popularized in the 21st century due to the expansion of statistical use in new fields. Noted data scientist Nate Silver wrote in The Signal and the Noise that data without context is useless. Silver’s work with the website FiveThirtyEight has turned to raw data on polling, election results, and campaign finance to predict political trends.
A background in mathematics and statistical analysis is critical to a data science career. This technical knowledge helped data scientists earn an average salary of $91,581 in 2019, according to PayScale. Data scientists earn up to $133,000 per year based on PayScale’s estimates.
Economists use data on markets, consumer behavior, and long-term trends to understand relationships among economic players. An economist can specialize in topics ranging from retail behaviors in cities to histories of international trade. Professionals pursuing careers in economics can find work with government agencies, universities, companies, and nonprofit organizations. Economics is a separate field from statistics, but industrious students can study both to anticipate the needs of future employers.
The BLS estimated a job growth rate of 6% for economists from 2016 to 2026. Economists averaged an annual salary of $104,340 in 2018. The salary range varies from entry-level positions held by recent graduates to Ph.D. holders working in the private sector. A career in economics allows you to use statistics to make sense of the world.
Statistics are used by financial analysts and advisors to help individuals and companies make smart decisions with their money. A financial analyst follows trends in stock and bond markets, along with corporate news, to inform their advice to clients. Successful analysts dig deep into management changes at publicly traded companies as well as mergers and acquisitions in search of valuable data.
Financial analysts earned an average of $85,660 per year in 2018 according to the BLS. The BLS also found a projected job growth of 11% through 2026. Companies who hire statisticians hope to expand their reach through informed financial decisions.
Community colleges and universities around the United States need statisticians to teach future generations about the importance of the field. A statistician with a master’s degree can pursue careers in higher education, imparting their knowledge through courses at two-year and some four-year universities. Tenure-track faculty positions are possible for statistics professionals with doctoral degrees. To achieve tenure, you would need to publish academic papers in the field and excel as a teacher.
Retirements and expansion of mathematics departments will help these statistics job opportunities grow in the next decade. The BLS estimated a 15% growth in postsecondary teaching jobs in the United States. The typical college professor earned $78,470 per year in 2018.
Learning to integrate statistics into an organization
The statistics fields mentioned above are not restricted to particular industries or companies. Aspiring statisticians need the latest analytical techniques as well as strong interpersonal skills to adapt to different work environments. Undergraduates looking to strengthen their credentials for a competitive marketplace often consider graduate programs before taking full-time work.
Michigan Tech’s online MS program uses courses in computational statistics and predictive modeling to train graduates for statistician careers. This program also features courses in business leadership and communications for statisticians who are looking to excel in dynamic areas of business.