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What Can You Do With a Degree in Statistics?

by Terri Williams, studioD

Students who pursue a degree in statistics have a strong background in data collection and numerical measurements. For example, coursework at the University of Georgia can include such classes as Statistical Methods, Applied Experimental Designs, Regression Analysis Methods and Statistical Programming. Electives include Applied Stochastic Processes, Sampling, Nonparametric Methods and Statistics Quality Assurance. Graduates with a degree in statistics can put their education and training to use in a variety of careers.


Approximately 33 percent of statisticians work for the federal government at such agencies as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis or the Bureau of the Census, where they create and analyze surveys to assess unemployment, wages and other data. Some statisticians are employed by pharmaceutical companies to gauge the effectiveness of certain drugs in treating medical conditions. The manufacturing industry also employs these professionals to test the performance of products. According to May 2012 salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, statisticians earned an annual mean wage of $79,570.

Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts collect and analyze consumer data and market trends to measure the effectiveness of a company’s marketing strategies and products. This information helps businesses identify the target audience, determine the best price for their products or services and create the best marketing plan. Market research analysts can be employed in any industry; however, almost a third work for professional, scientific and technical firms, while the others work in the finance, insurance and information industries or for wholesale trade companies and management firms. The BLS recorded the salary for market research analysts as $67,380 as of May 2012.


Most actuaries work for various insurance companies, where they estimate the cost of providing insurance to policyholders. For health and life insurance companies, actuaries analyze the policyholders’ risk factors and project the number of anticipated claims. For property and casualty insurance companies, they estimate the probability of such events as accidents and natural disasters, and estimate how many claims will be filed. Some actuaries also help companies develop pension and retirement plans. Actuaries earned $106,680 as of May 2012, according to the BLS.

Financial Analysts

Financial analysts, also known as securities analysts and investment analysts, evaluate such investments as stocks and bonds, and help companies make wise investment decisions. They also study the company’s financial records to evaluate expenses, costs and sales, and financial records to seek ways to make the company more profitable. Almost half of the country’s financial analysts are employed by finance and insurance agencies, such as banks, hedge funds, security and commodity brokerages, and insurance carriers. The rest work for the government and private industries. According to the BLS, the salary of financial analysts as of May 2012 was $89,410.

About the Author

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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