Applied Statistics: More than Just Number-Crunching

Applied statistics

From using statistics for our everyday budgeting to governments relying on data to run their countries, there’s no denying just how crucial number-crunching is in modern life. Applied statistics, in and of itself, is becoming an immensely popular field of study thanks to the sheer scope of actionable data that’s ever-growing in all industries.

While you may be passionate about statistics and raw data, it might not be obvious immediately as to what you can do with an associated degree. Ultimately, applied statistics training could help you to solve complex problems and issues with greater confidence — a skill that’s going to be immensely transferable cross-industry.

There is no shortage of long-term, fascinating and rewarding jobs for skilled statisticians — and for those who genuinely care about how data can affect the world around us. Leading institutions, such as Michigan Tech, are providing access to courses, including their Masters in Applied Statistics, to cater to true mathematicians.

Let’s take a closer look at what applied statistics involves and what opportunities could be awaiting you upon graduation from an AS degree or similar program.

What is applied statistics? 

Applied statistics is a broad term, as it covers multiple aspects of specific roles in varying industries. With a degree in applied statistics, you will learn how to plan for data collection and management, analyze it, apply statistics to existing problems and even discover new possibilities.

We live in a data-driven world. Everything works in numbers and problems. A skilled statistician will know where to look for the essential data in their field, how to read it, how to interpret the meaning of the data collected using algorithms, tools and even their own software, and how best to move forward with it to prevent problems from occurring again in the future.

It’s why applied statisticians have become so relied-upon in public and private business circles. But what are the main differences between applied statistics and data science?

Data science observes the extraction and organization of information. While data scientists observe and analyze information trends, they also work hand-in-hand with applied statisticians.

Applied statistics, meanwhile, is the science of actually using this data to solve real problems. It’s more than simply collating numbers and looking for patterns. In the public sphere, you will typically find applied statistics relating to the art of using data to solve common concerns.

By graduating with a degree in applied statistics, you’ll be ready to read data and apply it to broader plans for problem-solving. This could take you to one of many different industries and niches. So, what’s out there for graduates in terms of a job market?

What can you do with a Masters in Applied Statistics?

Given the broad need for applied statisticians, graduates in applied statistics can expect a wide variety of roles and positions to be available both at home and abroad. Many go on to become in-house statisticians, data analysts, data scientists or professors.

However, did you know that a degree in applied statistics could also lead you to become an electrical engineer, insurance actuary, business intelligence analyst, computer scientist, market research manager, insurance actuary or even a sports analyst? These are all roles where understanding and appreciating data can help to resolve ongoing issues, soothe customer pain points and even help to manage public concern.

It’s a common misconception that any degree in applied statistics will simply lead you towards a number-crunching role with barely any variety. It’s a highly valuable qualification that could open multiple doors for you across a long and rewarding career. If you’re data-minded and can clearly see how to apply results to real-life planning, it’s a fantastic route to consider.

How much can you earn with a degree in applied statistics? 

Nothing is more rewarding than doing a job that matters and makes a difference. However, it is also only natural to wonder about the income you may be expecting from a degree in applied statistics! 

Your potential salary will vary, of course, depending on the industry you work in, the company you work with and your level of experience. For example, general statisticians make over $95,000 in average yearly salary. 

Experience, of course, is key. A few years after graduating, you can expect to build on this salary, although ceilings will still likely vary depending on your industry. Senior financial analysts, data scientists and senior data analysts all earn above $90,000 per year, with data engineers and actuaries earning well over $100,000 annually.

If you really get involved in your industry, there’s no reason why you can’t build your income expectations even further. Business data analyst managers, marketing research managers and statistics professors all earn up to $150,000 per year, and these roles are available across multiple industries, niches and disciplines.

Statisticians are in high demand. It is believed that between 2020 and 2030, the overall employment of statisticians will rise by about 35%, which isn’t hard to believe when you consider that data is always growing.

Data is everywhere

Data is ubiquitous. Not only is it going to keep on increasing, the need for applied statistics is evident across industries as diverse as hospitality and leisure, transport, food technology, aerospace, upholstery, education and entertainment. With data, and by applying statistics to everyday problems, professionals can solve complex issues that may be holding companies — and their customers — back.

Applied statistics is an endlessly fascinating field that can open many doors for professionals. It requires serious analysis and critical thinking. However, at the same time, it requires a genuine interest in how data can help to resolve some of our longest-standing issues.

With educational bodies ready to innovate to help propel society forwards, it’s unsurprising to find that more and more establishments are providing applied data training.

Through an applied statistical career, you will be able to adapt your knowledge and experience to changes in your field — and wider society — putting you at the heart of resolving some serious challenges. Already rewarding and refreshingly exciting, it’ll be interesting to see what further opportunities develop for graduates in the years to come.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.