Best Online Master’s Degrees in Statistics: 2017

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Graduate Statistics Programs, Careers & Salaries by the Numbers

Statistics can tell us a lot, and professionals who understand them are vital in almost every industry. For students looking to advance their careers in data analysis, pursuing a master’s degree in statistics is a solid option. As employment for statistics graduates grows, the master’s credential can give professionals the edge they need to climb the professional ladder and earn a higher salary.

Best Online Master’s in Statistics Degrees: 2017

Earning advanced credentials in statistics can help set students apart while applying for careers. To help students find the best learning options for them, we have found the best schools that offer statistics degree as well as online learning opportunities. See which schools made the cut for our 2017 list below.

Rank University Name Score Net Price Financial aid percent Online Programs Aavailable Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate University Information Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services
Rochester Institute of Technology Score99.33
Net Price
Financial aid %90%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate63%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
Colorado State University-Fort Collins Score98.57
Net Price
Financial aid %48%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate63%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
Texas A & M University-College Station Score97.31
Net Price
Financial aid %54%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate80%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
Kennesaw State University Score86.73
Net Price
Financial aid %4%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate42%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less

Timeline of an Online Master’s in Statistics

Getting in: The Application Process

A bachelor’s degree is the prerequisite for application to a master’s program; many graduate level programs in statistics require that the undergraduate degree be obtained in an area related to statistics, such as engineering, math, computer science, or biological science. After identifying which schools are most promising, it’s time to start getting paperwork in order. The following are common documents required as part of the application process:

  • GRE scores

    Students bound for grad school in statistics often must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and many also opt to take the mathematics subject test. The GRE Math test covers undergraduate-level math knowledge consisting of 50 percent calculus, 25 percent algebra and 25 percent additional topics questions.

  • Undergraduate transcripts

    Prospective master’s in statistics students should request official transcripts from all previously attended institutions; these demonstrate that prerequisite coursework has been completed with an adequate grade. Special attention will be given to courses in math or related subjects. Transcripts may be sent either by mail or electronically.

  • Letters of recommendation

    If you have work experience in statistics or a related field, ask your employer or another professional to submit a letter of recommendation. Undergraduate professors are another source for recommendations. Personalized letters that highlight a student’s achievements and qualities can help an application stand out.

  • Resume

    Some online master’s programs will request a resume or CV with your application. Make sure your resume is clear, consistent and relevant—it should highlight past achievements, credentials and experience that best showcase your fit for a statistics graduate program.

  • Financial Documents

    To help defray the costs of graduate school, students may opt to apply for various forms of financial aid from federal, state and private sources. Gather records that detail your income and assets, and possibly those of your family (depending on your age), to demonstrate your financial situation and need.

Year 1

During the first year of a master’s program in statistics, students will complete the core coursework required for the degree, as well as begin selecting individuals to serve on the thesis or research project committee. Students will obtain approval for their projects during this year, and lay the foundation for the intensive work involved in completing it. First year courses typically include topics such as data mining, predictive analytics, probability theory and linear models.

Year 2

During the second year, students will complete their elective or concentration courses. Concentrations for statistics master’s degrees include areas like bioinformatics, data visualization, and data mining. In the second year students will also delve deeper into work on their thesis project; once it is finished, the student will present it to a committee of professionals or teachers. Examples of thesis topics include research in Bayesian modeling, statistical approaches to real-life phenomena and stochastic processes.

Testing & Graduation Requirements

In addition to completing the necessary coursework, statistics graduate students must fulfill other requirements for graduation. These may vary by program, but typically students should expect the following:

  • Comprehensive exams

    Prior to graduation, online students will take their comprehensive exams to demonstrate they have acquired the necessary knowledge from the master’s program. The exam may be in the form of a written test, an essay or an oral exam. Students should begin studying for these exams early in their academic careers, typically starting in year one.

  • Master’s thesis

    The thesis or capstone project is a multi-semester project which will dominate much of the student’s time and efforts. It should contain original theories and research by the student, and will usually involve large-scale data collection and analysis. It may also involve an internship or practicum with organizations affiliated with the program.

Search Online Master’s Degrees in Statistics

Another way to narrow down the search options is to browse available programs using the search tool below. Filter schools by location, degree level, tuition, student population, school type, and acceptance rate. Creating a shortlist of schools can make comparing and choosing easier.

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Master’s in Statistics: Career and Salary Potential

Students pursuing a master’s in statistics often find that choosing a concentration, far from limiting their opportunities, opens up even more. By specializing their skills and knowledge, students position themselves as priority candidates, and can often earn higher salaries because of their expertise. Here are some of the most common concentrations in statistics and the careers they can lead to:

Concentrations
Bioinformatics

Students learn to use and develop methods and software for understanding biological data. Subjects of study include computer science, mathematics, statistics, engineering and biological sciences.

Career:
Biostatistician
Biostatistician

Applies mathematics and statistics to different areas of biology in order to make advancements in the industries of health and agriculture. Designs biological experiments and then collects, analyzes and distributes the findings.

Pharmacologist
Pharmacologist

Assists in the development and testing of new drugs prior to public release by applying statistical techniques and methods throughout the stages of research, development, testing, marketing and distribution.

Public Health Specialist
Public Health Specialist

Uses statistical techniques to collect and analyze health data at the community, state and national levels. Reports on findings to help in developing new public health policies, wellness programs, and methods for raising public health awareness.

Computer Scientist
Computer Scientist

Uses statistical methods in many facets of computer science such as data mining, machine learning, software engineering, speech analysis and image analytics.

Ecological Statistician
Ecological Statistician

Often works for government agencies on a state or national level. Creates statistical experiments and uses data analysis to study natural resources, farming practices, animal tracking and more.

Teacher
Teacher

Works in a private or public school setting, typically on a university level but sometimes for high schools, teaching students the principles of statistics and preparing them for further education and careers in the field.

Computational Finance

Students investigate algorithms currently used in finance, learning to interpret data as well as use and develop computer programs that realize financial models or systems.

Career:
Computer Scientist
Computer Scientist

Uses statistical methods in many facets of computer science such as data mining, machine learning, software engineering, speech analysis and image analytics.

Financial Data Analyst
Financial Data Analyst

Analyzes financial data and identifies trends in various financial markets such as those for credit, stocks or housing. Such analyses are used to help professionals make investment decisions, develop software, or price products.

Teacher
Teacher

Works in a private or public school setting, typically on a university level but sometimes for high schools, teaching students the principles of statistics and preparing them for further education and careers in the field.

Data Visualization

Analyzing and translating data to visual contexts is the focus of this track; because data trends in a text format can be difficult to identify, students also learn to read, recognize, and project data.

Career:
Financial Data Analyst
Financial Data Analyst

Analyzes financial data and identifies trends in various financial markets such as those for credit, stocks or housing. Such analyses are used to help professionals make investment decisions, develop software, or price products.

Manufacturing Data Analyst
Manufacturing Data Analyst

Typically works for manufacturing or industrial companies to help design, manufacture and market products. May use statistical algorithms to predict consumer behavior and create quality assurance models.

Teacher
Teacher

Works in a private or public school setting, typically on a university level but sometimes for high schools, teaching students the principles of statistics and preparing them for further education and careers in the field.

Data Mining

Students examine and analyze large databases in order to generate new information and identify patterns and trends.

Career:
Public Health Specialist
Public Health Specialist

Uses statistical techniques to collect and analyze health data at the community, state and national levels. Reports on findings to help in developing new public health policies, wellness programs, and methods for raising public health awareness.

Computer Scientist
Computer Scientist

Uses statistical methods in many facets of computer science such as data mining, machine learning, software engineering, speech analysis and image analytics.

Financial Data Analyst
Financial Data Analyst

Analyzes financial data and identifies trends in various financial markets such as those for credit, stocks or housing. Such analyses are used to help professionals make investment decisions, develop software, or price products.

Ecological Statistician
Ecological Statistician

Often works for government agencies on a state or national level. Creates statistical experiments and uses data analysis to study natural resources, farming practices, animal tracking and more.

National Defense
National Defense

Works for various governmental agencies concerned with establishing and carrying out national policy. Statisticians in this field design experiments, develop computer simulation models, and research budget allocation methods.

Census Worker
Census Worker

Work for the census bureau to collect and analyze data about practices and trends in population demographics, housing, agriculture, business and transportation. Designs survey samples and methodologies, analyzes measurement errors, and assesses survey quality.

Machine Learning

From simple computer programs to robots to self-driving cars, machine learning is a major part of today’s technological world. In this concentration, students explore pattern recognition and computational learning theory in artificial intelligence.

Career:
Computer Scientist
Computer Scientist

Uses statistical methods in many facets of computer science such as data mining, machine learning, software engineering, speech analysis and image analytics.

Manufacturing Data Analyst
Manufacturing Data Analyst

Typically works for manufacturing or industrial companies to help design, manufacture and market products. May use statistical algorithms to predict consumer behavior and create quality assurance models.

National Defense
National Defense

Works for various governmental agencies concerned with establishing and carrying out national policy. Statisticians in this field design experiments, develop computer simulation models, and research budget allocation methods.

Potential Salary Increases with a Master’s Degree

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics considers a master’s degree to be the minimum qualification needed for a job as a statistician, mathematician or survey researcher. Therefore, a master’s degree in statistics automatically opens up new potential career paths to those who earn it. It also translates to a higher salary. Statisticians and biostatisticians make $79,990 a year, mathematicians make $103,720, and survey researchers make $49,760. Compare these figures to jobs requiring only a bachelor’s degree, such as social science research assistants, who make $39,460 a year, or statistical assistants, who make $42,070.

Growth potential 27%
Average Salary $79,990

Additional Resources & Links

  • American Society for Engineering Education

    As a nonprofit, ASEE is a member-run organization that works to promote and improve engineering and technology education.

  • American Society for Information Science & Technology

    ASIST has over 4000 members who are professionals and information specialists in computer science, linguistics, management, engineering, medicine, chemistry and education. The society works to develop theories and find techniques and technologies that will improve access to information.

  • American Statistical Association

    The ASA supports excellence in the development, application and dissemination of statistical science. Its website includes information about meetings, publications, membership services, education, accreditation, and advocacy.

  • Association for Computing Machinery

    ACM is dedicated to advancing science, engineering and information technology.

  • Association for Women in Computing

    With chapters and members worldwide, AWC works to promote the advancement of women in computing. Their members include professionals such as programmers, system analysts, operators and technical writers.

  • International Association of Survey Statisticians

    IASS promotes the study and development of theories and practices for creating sample surveys.

  • The Computing Research Association

    A resource for individuals in computer science, computer engineering, and related fields, the CRA works to strengthen research efforts and advanced education in the computing fields, expand opportunities for women and minorities, and to conduct policy work.

  • The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics

    COPAFS is a network of educators, researchers, public health professionals, civic groups and businesses who rely on statistics that are collected by the national government.

Best Online Master’s in Statistics Degrees

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RANK COLLEGE SCORE TEACHER/STUDENT RATIO COST GRADUATION RATE
1 Texas A & M University-College Station 100.00 20:1 79%
2 Colorado State University-Fort Collins 97.50 16:1 65%
3 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus 95.00 12:1 79%
4 Rochester Institute of Technology 92.50 13:1 63%
4 Kennesaw State University 92.50 21:1 43%