Is Statistics Major a Good Major for You?

Are you fond of solving problems that involve data analysis and number crunching? Then you might want to consider majoring in statistics, which is great for anyone who loves computer science and mathematics.

Statistics is a good major for those who want to make sure that they will be employed in a related field after graduation. The vast majority of careers for those with a bachelor’s in statistics have a growth rate that’s higher than the average for all jobs, based on US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.

If you are planning on declaring statistics as your college major, don’t stop reading now — we will discuss so many things about it, each one every future statistics major needs to know about.

But before anything else, let’s answer this pressing question…


Statistics vs. Data Science: What’s the Difference?

Simply put, statistics is a branch of applied mathematics that focuses on the analysis of data using math. On the other hand, data science is a branch of computer science that uses statistics, among many tools, in collecting and analyzing data. Both disciplines involve using data in order to deal with problems.

At first glance, it would seem that statistics and data science are one and the same. That’s because they share something in common: utilizing existing data for a variety of purposes.

However, the disciplines differ in how they process data in order to obtain insights and solutions.

Since it’s a branch of math, it isn’t surprising why statistics involves a lot of math. Unlike data science, however, it usually involves analysis of smaller sampled data. Meanwhile, data science uses a variety of disciplines, including statistics, in extracting and preparing data for analysis, including especially big data.  

What Kind of Students Major in Statistics?

More often than not, students who major in statistics are fond of math, including algebra and calculus. Many students majoring in statistics are interested, too, in data science and computer programming. They’re also those who intend on having careers that enable them to solve problems by analyzing data.

If math and computer science-related subjects are some of your favorites in high school, then it’s probably a good idea to add statistics to your list of potential college majors.

Otherwise, it might be a good idea for a college-bound teener like you to steer clear of it.

Students who major in statistics are also those who wish to hold careers in the government, healthcare, insurance and other industries as solvers of existing problems and/or preventers of potential problems in the form of research assistants, information scientists, risk analysts, etc.

statistics class

Is Statistics a Boring Major?

Students who are not interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in statistics and having careers in a related field may find statistics a boring major. Those who hate math and data analysis may even find it intimidating. But for those who genuinely want to major in it, statistics can be interesting and engaging.

Before you decide to enroll in an undergraduate degree program in statistics, check that you really like it.

No matter the major, it can be uninteresting and tedious for students who are not fully invested in the discipline. This is true whether the major is easy or hard or popular or uncommon.

Generally, students are not required to declare a major until toward the end of their sophomore year of college. You may consider taking related electives in order to determine if you will like statistics or not.

Is Majoring in Statistics Difficult?

Not a lot of listings of the most difficult majors include statistics, which means that it’s neither the hardest nor the easiest. However, a lot of majors known to be challenging require undergraduate students to know statistics. Some of them include engineering, computer science, physics and mathematics.

In most instances, students who find statistics hard are those that are poor in math.

There are lots of math courses statistics majors have to take. As a matter of fact, it is said that students majoring in statistics usually have to take as many math-related courses as math majors.

But there’s more to statistics than just crunching the numbers — as an undergraduate student who is majoring in statistics, you will also have to carry out a lot of analytical thinking and problem-solving tasks.

Should I Pursue a BS or BA in Statistics?

Both a bachelor’s of science (BS) and a bachelor’s of arts (BA) in statistics take around four years to complete and practically cost the same. However, a BS in statistics focuses more on the scientific concepts of mathematics. On the other hand, a BA in statistics focuses more on applied mathematics.

You can rest assured that a BS and BA in statistics come with their own merits.

However, the general consensus is that a BS in statistics offers more job opportunities. But it’s the more difficult of the two. That’s because it involves core courses designed to study the major more in-depth.

Still, it’s on a case-to-case basis in that your interests, needs and career goals should be taken into account before you decide whether it’s a BS or BA in statistics you should work on.

What Can You Do With Degree in Statistics

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in statistics may apply for entry-level statistician job positions, which allows them to make a median salary of $96,280 per year. The job growth rate for statisticians from 2020 to 2030 is 33%, which is so much faster than the projected growth rate for all jobs (8%).

Some employers, unfortunately, may prefer statisticians with a master’s degree in statistics or a closely related field like mathematics. However, there are many other job options for those with an undergraduate degree in statistics.

The following are some of the careers available for statistics majors:


Market research analyst

  • Median annual salary: $63,920
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 22%

What statistics majors serving as market research analysts do is examine market conditions in order to determine the ability of businesses and companies selling products or offering services to rake in profit.

Cost estimator

  • Median annual salary: $65,170
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 1%

Majoring in statistics equips future cost estimators with the skills necessary for them to be able to analyze data necessary for assessing the cost, time, materials and manpower needed to manufacture products or provide services.

Database administrator

  • Median annual salary: $98,860
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 8%

Since database administrators are tasked with creating and organizing systems for storing and securing data, it’s generally a good idea for statistics majors to choose electives or minors in data science or analytics.


  • Median annual salary: $105,900
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 24%

Statistics majors working as actuaries are some of the highest-paid professionals. What they do is determine the financial impact of risk and uncertainties. The vast majority of actuaries work in finance and insurance.

Management analyst

  • Median annual salary: $93,000
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 14%

The ability of statistics majors to use math in analyzing data makes them competent management analysts, whose primary roles include coming up with and recommending ways to improve the efficiency of businesses or organizations.

statistics student

Which Schools are Best for Statistics Major?

Many of the colleges and universities recommended for degree-seeking students who like to major in statistics are private ones with elite statuses. There are also a few highly ranked public or state institutions available. Non-traditional students may choose to earn an online bachelor’s degree in statistics.

The following are some of the schools you may check out while building a college list:

Columbia University$63,530
Harvard University$55,587
Yale University$59,950
University of Chicago$60,963
University of Pennsylvania$61,710
Northwestern University$60,984
Dartmouth College$60,870
Brown University$62,404
Cornell University$61,015
Rice University$52,895
Johns Hopkins University$58,720
Northwestern University$60,984
Dartmouth College$60,870
University of California – Los Angeles$13,268 (in-state) and $43,022 (out-of-state)
Emory University$55,468
University of California – Berkeley$14,361 (in-state) and $44,115 (out-of-state)
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor$16,178 (in-state) and $53,232 (out-of-state)
University of Virginia$19,698 (in-state) and $53,666 (out-of-state)
University of Southern California$60,275
University of Florida$6,380 (in-state) and $28,658 (out-of-state)
Best Colleges With Program in Stats

Best Online Schools With Program in Stats

A bachelor’s degree in statistics may also be earned online, which is a wonderful idea for individuals who are unable to attend school just like most everybody else.

The following are a few examples of fully accredited institutions with online degrees in statistics:

  • Atlantic International University
  • Colorado State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Iowa

Just Before You Major in Statistics

Statistics is a major that involves a lot of math, from linear algebra, differential equations to calculus. But for those who love math and are willing to work hard for a bachelor’s degree, the payoff can be big. While many different careers are available for statistics majors, even more opportunities are waiting for those with a master’s degree.

Related Questions

Are statistics majors happy?

According to a survey conducted by CareerExplorer, individuals who majored in statistics in college are happy with the degrees they earned. As a matter of fact, out of a possible 5 stars, they rate their satisfaction level 3.5, just like individuals who majored in mathematics, sociology, art studies and foreign languages.

Is a master’s degree in statistics worth it?

While there are statisticians with a bachelor’s degree in statistics or a closely related field, most full-fledged statisticians have a master’s. More high-paying career opportunities are available for those with a graduate degree in statistics, including in the fields of education, management and consulting.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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