Complete Guide to an Online Statistics Degree
Online statistics degrees are available at all degree levels. Students will learn to create experiments, collect data, summarize collected data to aid in understanding, and make estimates about the present or future based on the analysis of numbers. Graduates of an online statistics program may find employment at government agencies at the state, local, and government level. They can also find work at healthcare centers, financial centers, conducting market research, and in environmentalism.
Most aspiring statisticians should seek a master's degree in the discipline, although entry-level positions are available for graduates who hold a bachelor's degree. Students should also consider accreditation before making a commitment to any program. Attending a regionally accredited program will assure students that they are receiving an education that meets high quality standards, and graduates from an accredited program will be more competitive in the job market.
Most Popular Accredited Online Schools for Statistics Degrees
Online Statistics Degree Overview & Career Information
Undergraduate studies are available in statistics, which will prepare graduates for some entry-level jobs. A bachelor's program will take four years to complete the required 120-credit hours. Applicants must have a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher to qualify for a bachelor's program. A master's degree is the next level of education for aspiring statisticians, and will prepare them for higher level jobs in the field. Students can complete a master's program in two to five years through 30 to 40-credit hours of study. It must also be noted that students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to qualify for graduation. Graduate certificate programs in statistics are also available online, often for specific statistics specializations, and can be completed in as little as a year.
Online Associate Degrees in Statistics
An online associate degree in statistics prepares students to comprehensively use data to help a wide range of organizations make effective decisions based upon reliable information. Students in these programs will learn how to use mathematics, statistics, and computational tools to carry out in-depth analyses in a variety of different areas and effectively communicate these results to others. This degree is ideal for those who are analytical, curious, and enjoy solving problems and intellectual challenges. Generally, applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some schools require a minimum GPA, letters of recommendation, and/or standardized test scores (typically the SAT or ACT).
An online associate degree in statistics is usually a two-year program. Classes in the degree program cover such subjects as informatics, calculus, oral communication, computer science, social sciences, logic, statistics, databases, database design, probability, data science, and programming. Graduates are prepared to work as data analysts, statistical programmers, statistical assistants, financial/business/credit analysts, project coordinators, and in other related professions.
If graduates wish to continue their education, they can transfer credits (depending on the courses completed) toward a Bachelor of Science in data science, a Bachelor of Science in mathematics with data science specialization, or other bachelor’s degree programs in the social, applied, or natural sciences that feature coursework or studies in data science. This is helpful for those interested in a STEM-related career, as many require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Statistics
Students can graduate with their bachelor's degree in statistics at the university level through four years of full time study. Online bachelor's programs in statistics require 120-credit hours comprising of both general education and major specific courses. Core courses include basic statistics, basic statistics with calculus, intermediate statistics, probability, regression, design of experiments, linear algebra, and introduction to computer science. Bachelor degree holders will be eligible for entry-level jobs as statisticians in the field of healthcare, federal government, local government, or financial agencies. To qualify for a statistics bachelor's program applicants must have a high school or college transcript showcasing a GPA of 3.0 or higher. A satisfactory SAT or ACT score will also be required for entry. Because some universities' statistics programs are highly competitive, declaring the major early may be necessary to ensure access to all required courses.
Online Master's Degrees in Statistics
Students who have completed a bachelor's degree in statistics will be eligible to move on to a graduate program. Statistics students will be required to complete 30 to 45 units of study and can complete their online master's education in two to five years based on full or half time enrollment. An emphasis will be put on industry software including Minitab, R, and SAS to help participants enhance their data analysis abilities. Other key areas of study include analysis of discrete data, sampling theory and methods, applied time series analysis, statistical analysis of genomic data, applied non-parametric statistics, and applied multivariate statistical analysis. Some master's programs may require their students to complete a thesis. It must also be noted that a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 is required for graduation. For admission into a graduate program, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA in statistics or related discipline from a regionally accredited institution. Graduates who hold a master's degrees can go into careers such as financial planner, economist, market researchers, and statistical consultants.
Online Doctoral Degrees in Statistics
An online doctoral degree in statistics enhances students’ understanding and abilities in the areas of applications and research practices and equips them to develop and support new IT innovations. Those interested in this degree should have a bachelor's degree, preferably in mathematics or computer science and will typically need a minimum GPA and GRE scores. Previous coursework in probability and statistics is ideal, but skills in mathematics — especially linear algebra and calculus — as well as computer science, are usually more important. Applicants should also have a fundamental knowledge of business and information systems. Candidates should be able to properly analyze and assess organizational systems, understand the role of IT professionals, use and create spreadsheets for computations and analysis, and understand the basic principles of programming.
Depending on the institution, applicants may be required to have considerable experience in the use of statistical packages such as SPSS or SAS before being accepted. Those who do not meet all of the requirements may have to complete additional credit hours of coursework. Students can often tailor the degree to suit their area of interest and complete a dissertation. Coursework generally includes statistical analysis, decision theory, Bayesian statistics, probability theory, applied statistics, statistics in bioinformatics, and applied algebra.
A full-time student can complete an online doctoral degree in statistics in about three years, while those studying part-time may take up to five years. Graduates with this degree can pursue careers as professors; researchers in an academic, private, or government environment; or as IS directors or managers. Statistical modeling is used in many different fields, so graduates have a wide range of options when it comes to employment.
Online Certificates in Statistics
Universities also offer online graduate certificate programs in statistics for students who either don't want to commit to a full degree, who want to supplement another graduate degree they are earning, or who want to improve their understanding of statistics for various reasons. Certificate programs typically consist of 10 to 12 semester credit hours and can be completed in as little as a year. Examples of required course work include applied statistics, applied regression and analysis of variance, introduction to experimental design, and non-parametric statistics. Applicants interested in a graduate certificate program will be required to hold a bachelor's or equivalent degree from an accredited university and must possess some knowledge of college level algebra. Graduates will be prepared for jobs as statisticians in fields such as health and medicine, government, and business.
The Importance of an Accredited Online Statistics Degree
Regional accreditation is the process in which outside agencies conduct quality assurance reviews for higher education institutions and well as the programs within them. This ensures that the student's attending the school is receiving the best education that will adequately prepare them for their professional career upon graduation. Accreditation focuses on the areas of faculty, course content, facility, testing, and instructors. Attending an accredited school also means that transfer process will also be much easier for students who are interested in transferring to another institution or program. Many institutions will only accept transfer credits from other institutions that are accredited. Students who are in need of financial aid will also want to consider accreditation, as federal grants are only available for accredited schools. Accreditation also plays an important role in job searching because many employees will not recognize degrees unless it has been received through an accredited program.
Graduates of an online statistics program may find employment in a variety of different fields including government, healthcare, finance, and education. Day-to-day tasks for statisticians include figuring out what kind of data needs to be collected and determining the best way to collect it, creating surveys, polls, and other methods of data collection, collecting and interpreting data, and creating reports on what they discovered. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal government employs the highest number of statisticians. Much of the work statisticians do for the government involves collecting different kinds of data relating to jobs and pay. Another notable career option is working as a biostatistician. These professionals look at data that has to do with the health of both the population as a whole and individuals. Their work may be used for a variety of different purposes, such as figuring out how to best treat a large population during an epidemic, or understanding how a particular treatment will affect an individual.
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