Is a Master's in Statistics Worth It?

Is a master's degree in statistics a smart investment of your time and money? Take a look at the opportunities that a master's degree can open up to make your decision. Schools offering Mathematics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can You Do with a Master's Degree in Statistics?

The use and abuse of data holds a central place in our fast-changing world. Thus, the job prospects for those who can understand and interpret complex data are increasingly bright. You can find entry-level statistics work with a bachelor's degree. However, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics found that statisticians with a master's degree earn $20,000 more a year than statisticians without a master's. That means that in just a few years of full-time work you will earn back the investment you put into your master's degree education. A master's degree in statistics can lead you down numerous paths to a meaningful career.


Statisticians use their mathematical reasoning skills to solve real-world problems. A statistician might work in an insurance company creating monthly insurance rates based on a client's accident reports. Or they may work for a human rights firm interpreting data from a humanitarian crisis in order to improve aid measures. Nearly every field needs statisticians to help make use of big data, so you can apply your master's degree in statistics within any field that interests you.

Data Scientist

By obtaining a master's degree in statistics, you can advance from being a data analyst (analyzing and interpreting data) to a data scientist (using data to explore unknowns). This change in title comes with the added benefit of a higher salary. Data scientists visualize, interpret and make data useful. For example, a data scientist might build an algorithm to match you to your perfect new partner on a dating app or ensure that the ads popping up on your web searches are relevant.


Biostatisticians collect and analyze data related to humans, plants, animals or any other living thing. According to a master's degree in biostatistics is the #2 master's degree for finding a job. Because of the importance of data in research, a biostatistician is an invaluable member of research teams and may be able to work on projects ranging from curing diseases, treating health issues or cataloging data on endangered species.

Survey Researcher

A survey researcher plans, executes, and analyzes survey data for their employer. As a survey researcher, you will work with massive amounts of data and must sort out what is useful and what is irrelevant. You can work for polling organizations, corporations, universities, the government or any agency that collects survey data. New technology has replaced many entry-level positions survey positions, making a master's degree more important than ever for a successful survey research career.

Sports Statistics Analyst

A sports analyst puts their master's degree in statistics to work improving outcomes for professional sports teams. They create mathematical models to evaluate player performance. They use their models to predict how different conditions could positively or negatively affect a team's chance of success. Sports analysis offers a lucrative career for students who wish to blend their statistics skills with a love for sports.


Becoming an economist is a competitive and rewarding career that requires at least a master's degree, if not a Ph.D. Economists research the way society uses and distributes its resources. As an economist, you will work in an office conducting research in a particular field. You will then use your expert research and analytical skills to provide advice to your employer or advise on policy decisions.

Careers with a Master's in Statistics Median Salary (2019)* Job Growth (2016-26)*
Statistician $88,190 33%
Data Scientist $118,370 19%
Biostatistician $75,546 23%
Survey Researcher $57,700 2%
Sports Statistics Analyst $60,375 27% (2012-2022)
Economist 104,340 6%

Source: *

Admittance Requirements for a Master's Degree in Statistics

While you do not need a bachelor's degree in statistics to apply for a master's, you will need to have completed university-level coursework in mathematics, statistics, and probability. You will also need to take the GRE, the most common graduate school admissions test. Most statistics master's degree programs require 1-2 years of full-time study. Students will take courses in applied statistics, theoretical statistics, and probability.

Because complex statistical data is a centerpiece of modern life, there are innumerable ways to use a master's in statistics in both the public and private sector. A master's degree in statistics qualifies you for a wide range of meaningful careers.

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