What You Can Do With A Master’s Degree In Statistics

In today’s data-driven world, there is an increasing demand for statisticians. A professional with a master’s degree in statistics, however, has an edge and can use their advanced knowledge to get ahead in many industries. Besides a career as a statistician, master’s graduates have a range of options to explore, which can offer good earning potential and job satisfaction.

What it means to be a Statistician

Statisticians are found in a range of fields within multiple industries, from academia to finance. The role revolves around gathering data, analyzing it, and then translating it into useful information which can benefit a business. Research undertaken by statisticians can be used by businesses to identify trends, gain insight into quantitative data and make decisions.

A statistician is a valuable asset to any business. 

Due to the increase in electronic and digital data, there is a growing demand for professionals who have a strategic awareness of data analysis. The overall employment for statisticians is expected to grow 33% from 2019 to 2029, which makes this a steady career choice.

Advantages of a Master’s Degree

Although an undergraduate degree will certainly help you gain decent employment, achieving a master’s degree in statistics is a lucrative move and can give you the upper hand in the professional world. Certain jobs require a high level of knowledge in statistics which can only be attained through advanced classes. A Ph.D. in statistics can be gained after achieving a master’s degree. It is a necessity for most academic careers, however, it is not essential for the majority of other career options.

Depending on what you want to specialize in, there are various postgraduate options to choose from. For example, a degree in medical statistics delves into health studies and scientific research. It is an ideal choice for those seeking a career in the healthcare and biomedical sector. Another option is applied statistics. A professional with a master’s degree in applied statistics will gain a vast knowledge of statistical methodology, making them highly employable in many industries. With a master’s degree, individuals who do not want to be statisticians are well-equipped to branch out into other types of employment.

Transferable Skills

·     Gathering and translating data

·     Data collection process design

·     Applying mathematical concepts and utilizing software for data analysis

·     Spotting trends and identifying patterns in data

·     Data mining

·     Simplifying and conveying data in a comprehensible manner

·     Market research-related skills

Although graduates with a high degree of statistical methodology knowledge are valuable assets to most industries, there are a few industries with exceptionally high demand. The financial, business, and IT industries are obvious choices due to the growing amount of data and the need for a specialist to handle it.

Within the government sector, professionals can help sculpt legislation and governmental policies. The national census is legally mandated and can offer insight into a population, places within a country, and the economy. Working with census data, statisticians contribute to communities by helping to shape strategies. The work they do helps with the decision-making behind the planning and running of public services and also where funding is allocated.

Statisticians working in the sciences section analyze data and can offer insight into biological, chemical, and environmental topics. Master’s graduates who specialize in these industries can also make a worldwide impact.

Career Options

Although originally linked to academia and research, graduates with in-depth knowledge of statistics are much sought after in many other industries, as indicated above. A master’s degree in statistics can broaden your opportunities for various professions; here are a few examples:

Data Analysis

The main difference between a statistician and a data analyst is that the field of data analytics focuses on the programming and implementation of data. On the other hand, statisticians are involved in the theoretical, computational and mathematical aspects of data. Data analysts utilize tools to extract and input data into software for analysis.

Data Science 

There are many similarities between the field of data science and statistics, which makes a statistics degree favorable to those looking to become data scientists. Data science integrates coding, domain knowledge, and the analysis of statistics and math. A role within data science involves designing processes for data modeling. The earning potential for a data scientist is high, with an average base salary of $96,420 per year.

Sports Analytics

Entertainment and sports can be transformed from a subject of personal interest into a career, with a master’s degree in statistics. Sports analytics involves forecasting outcomes to gain a competitive advantage for sporting organizations. Sports analysts use historical data and various information systems to help sporting teams strategize better and improve, in general.


Actuaries analyze data to identify financial risks and help companies minimize the cost of these risks. Actuaries are responsible for policy design and determining premium fees for insurance companies. A bachelor’s degree in an analytical subject, such as statistics, is a good place to start. To become a fully-fledged actuary, most people require additional qualifications. A master’s degree in statistics can offer a higher level of understanding, and a greater earning potential, for people who want to pursue this career.

Environmental Science

Specializing in environmental science can have a major impact on the world, and the work undertaken can potentially benefit entire ecosystems. The role of an environmental statistician involves gathering statistical data to gain an understanding of factors affecting the environment. Environmental statisticians can be found within the government sector, industrial corporations, and nonprofit organizations. The job role is vast, with many aspects of the environment to specialize in.

Marketing Opportunities

Marketing may not be the first industry that is thought of when it comes to statistics, but the opportunities on offer are varied. In every successful business, you will find a marketing department. Given the rise in digital data and the demand for professionals with extensive statistical knowledge, there are many options to choose from.

Market Research

A market research statistician, also known as a market research analyst, utilizes tools to decipher key statistics and translate them into digestible information for decision-making processes. They provide consumer insight and an understanding of the prospects of a business. The role revolves around tracking trends, quantifying strategies, and formulating data-gathering processes. Market research analysts have a low unemployment rate and rank #9 in Best Business Jobs’ according to U.S. News.

Marketing Management

Marketing managers create marketing strategies by determining the interest of potential consumers and making comparisons with competitors. Using various sources such as market research studies, they gather and analyze data and statistics to design marketing strategies. Other duties include developing budgets and projections within the department, and marketing managers are also involved in advertising campaigns for the company. Marketing is a crucial part of any business, and a marketing manager has a large input into the brand identity of the business. Click here for more information on jobs for statisticians within marketing.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists work to increase website visibility and improve rankings on search engines such as Google. It is a constantly evolving role that involves shaping online marketing strategies and generating keyword matches by interpreting internet search information. Besides this, SEO professionals assess marketing content performance and examine the efficacy of content keywords. The role also involves keeping track of SEO-specific data, such as organic traffic.

Freelance Opportunities

Besides pursuing a conventional career at an organization, a master’s graduate can benefit from the liberation of going freelance. Freelance statisticians are able to work with a variety of businesses to interpret data and offer insights for specific needs. Due to the growing demand for professionals who specialize in data and the emergence of data science, statistics graduates no longer have to select one specific career choice. Another positive factor of freelancing is the generally high rate of pay for qualified statisticians. Some companies may not be willing to allocate capital for an in-house specialist due to lack of budget or need, thus creating an opening for freelancers to complete specific projects. 

Freelance opportunities allow master’s graduates to dabble in a mix of projects involving statistics. Besides the variety of work, other benefits include the flexibility to accept or reject projects, the ability to learn new skills, and the freedom to work anywhere in the world.

Earning Potential

Those with a master’s degree in statistics have a broad spectrum of career opportunities to choose from, and so the earning potential depends on the specialty. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Market Research Analyst had a median salary of $63,790 in May 2019, whereas a marketing manager had a median salary of $145,720. The median salary for a statistician was $91,160, with the highest 10 percent earning over $146,770.

Besides the generous earning potential, a degree in statistics can offer job stability, a variety of job prospects, and the potential to upskill.