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What is Statistics Really?

In theory what is it?

Learning the mathematical justification of estimates and research procedures. There is a greater focus on practical application rather than dry theory. Overall, it is a good grounding in problem-solving.

What is it used for?


What does the major actually entail - work-wise?

Math—through multivariate and/or advanced calculus

Linear Algebra

Probability Theory—very fun!

Research Methods

Design of Experiments

Computer Science is EXTREMELY useful.

What kind of jobs do you get with it?

Statistician, Resarcher, Biostatistician, Actuary.

One of the best things about this major is that you can apply your knowledge of research methods to almost any other discipline out there. If you have an interest in medicine or biotech, you can work with NIH-funded studies without having to get a PhD in microbiology. If you enjoy litigation or finance there are many firms out there specializing in that. The US government hires a ton of statisticians for almost every department, including Justice, Office of the Army, US Courts, the GAO, etc. It's the perfect career path for a person who has many different interests.

What are the fellow students like (personalitywise) in it?

People who are interested in a lot of different things and generally good at Trivial Pursuit. Second-rate mathematicians—they're good at math, but not good enough to major in it. More interested in application than theory.

Common Misconceptions

It is not true that statisticians are boring! We are a fun group of people! Also, it is important to know how to write well and express yourself; one of the major components of statistics is explaining results to laypeople.

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Schools that offer Bachelors for statistics


Math Major unemployment rate

_ Math All Majors
Unemployed %6 %7
Minimum Wage %2 %4
All Others %92 %88
More: Unemployment for all Majors *** not counting stay at home parents *** not counting those currently in grad school

Are things going well in Math?

Going Well %88
Not Going Well %13
More: All Majors Satisfaction ??? This is a social "life satisfaction" question. Overall, would people who graduated with a degree in Math say that their life is going well? It could be interpreted in terms of stress, salary, long hours, future prospects, etc. *** not counting those currently in grad school

Graduates who stayed in Math

Still in Field %67
Got out %33
More: All Majors Still in field ??? A high "got out" percentage can be interpreted a couple of ways -- for instance, perhaps the major is a great stepping stone to becoming a totally different career -- like a doctor. Or perhaps the jobs one gets with the major just aren't that great. *** not counting those currently in grad school
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