Why Statistics?

Statistics is used in almost any discipline including secondary education, biology, health sciences, engineering, computer science and pharmacology, in order to understand and account for randomness and make decisions accordingly. As a result the demand for statisticians is high and the choices available to statisticians are diverse.

Jobs in Statistics

ThisIsStatistics.org  is a great resource for students, parents, teachers and counselors who are wondering about the training, career options and career prospects for statisticians. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also gives employment projections on their website.  The job titles given to statisticians vary so make sure to look for related occupations.

What Do We Offer?

Our elementary statistics course (MATH 220) is, for most, the gateway course for the option 1 minor in statistics and a good course for those with an interest in the major, as it provides a survey of classical applied statistical methods. The upper level classes, generally speaking, each focus on one particular class of methods presented in MATH 220. Those with interests in applying statistics to their major discipline might consider a deeper foray into regression (MATH 322) - a tool for modeling relationships, the design and analysis of experiments (MATH 321),  and/or methods for analyzing categorical data (MATH 327) such as you might get from surveys. Our other intermediate courses represent a broad array of topics so that you can choose those that best suit your interests e.g. those with an interest in applications to biology might be interested in biometrics (MATH 354) and multivariate methods (MATH 421).

The option 2 statistics minor is geared towards those majoring in a discipline that requires a calculus foundation. The required and elective courses in this minor reflect topics that would be useful for those going into industry or graduate school.

Calculus is at the heart of statistical methods; giving statisticians the means to model continuous phenomena.  As such, those completing the statistics major will take single and multivariable calculus (MATH 236-7) and be introduced to calculus based statistics through our probability and statistics course (MATH 318).  This course seeks to introduce you to a variety of classic statistical methods just as MATH 220 does, but from a more theoretical viewpoint e.g. you will see why the formulas are as they are. The other intermediate classes in the major overlap with those offered in the minor. Our upper level classes provide a solid foundation for graduate studies in statistics (any 400-level course), actuarial exams (MATH 426-7), and some graduate programs in engineering (MATH 423). Our statistics majors are required to take a course in statistical consulting (MATH 428) which provides practical experience with a real-world problem and training in the oral and written communicaton skills needed to be an effective statistical collaborator.

The use of statistics has only grown with the advancements and popularity of computers; computers being necessary for quick and reliable statistical calculations. The major requires some form of formal programming course, and such a course is optional for one of the minors. Regardless, our faculty use a variety of statistical programs so you would likely gain experience in at least two of the following:  SPSSR and/or SAS.

A variety of faculty also offer special topics courses each year related to their scholarly interests. These have included: Bayesian statistics, linear statistical models, statistical methods in clinical trials, and genomics. 

Back to Top