Undergraduate Major in Statistics

Statistics is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States. Statisticians are trained to understand data, uncertainty, and natural variation, as well as think critically and use evidence to solve complex problems. They enjoy relevant employment opportunities within nearly every area, including business, education, entertainment, finance, government, insurance, manufacturing, marketing, medicine and pharmaceuticals. An undergraduate degree in statistics from The Ohio State University prepares students for entry-level positions in these fields as well as for graduate study.

Statistics majors receive a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from the College of Arts and Sciences. Details can be found in the PDF icon Major Program Overview [pdf]. To declare an Undergraduate Major in Statistics or for more information, please make an appointment with Undergraduate Advisor Jim Kilburg by calling 614-292-6961.


Possible Careers and Salary Estimates

Students entering the workforce with the major in Statistics will be well-suited for jobs requiring statistical analyses of data coupled with the ability to provide theoretically grounded insights. Employment prospects are strong, with a projected growth of 34% from 2014-2024, making “statistician” the 9th fastest-growing occupation according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Statisticians work in many fields, such as pharmaceuticals, finance, consumer science, medicine, environmental science, agriculture, business, education, science and engineering, and the social sciences. Statistics majors will also be prepared for graduate study, leading to further opportunities in academia, industry, and government. Within Columbus, there are numerous opportunities for employment as a statistician, with companies such as Nationwide Insurance, JPMorgan Chase, and Battelle Memorial Institute regularly hiring Ohio State-trained statisticians.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017 the national median salary for statisticians was $84,060. This includes workers specializing in fields such as biostatistics, agricultural statistics, business statistics and economic statistics.


FAQs

What kind of student would this program be good for?
Students interested in understanding data, uncertainty, and natural variation, as well as the process of modeling and decision-making to solve complex problems using data.

Are there any selective requirements for admission?
No, but Intro to Computer Programming, Calculus I, and Calculus II are pre-requisites.  

What areas does the program specialize in?
Statistics is the science of decision-making under uncertainty, and it encompasses all that is required to make sound decisions based on data and models of the world. On the one hand, this includes study design, and the collection, assessment, and curation of data; on the other, it includes formal statistical models that capture an abstraction of reality and the tools of probability upon which the models rest. Finally, the notions of statistical inference bring data and model together to both make decisions and enrich our understanding of the world. Students will gain statistical, computational, and numerical skills which are applicable in many fields such as agriculture, business, education, science and engineering, finance, medicine, and the social sciences.

How is this different from other majors?
Statistics vs. Data Analytics: The field of statistics encompasses the theoretical development and practical application of methods for collecting and analyzing data. It builds upon solid training in mathematical fundamentals to develop models for real processes and to use these models to analyze data. Data analytics is a relatively new term that refers generally to the development of methods for collecting, storing, organizing, and making algorithm-based predictions from large-scale data. Computational issues are at the forefront of methods used in the field of data analytics. Thus, although there is a fair amount of overlap in both the subject matter and coursework of the two majors, there are two main differences:

  • The major in Statistics provides solid theoretical and mathematical training, whereas Data Analytics focuses less on mathematical theory.
  • Statistics majors will acquire proficiency with computational tools but in a narrower range than the Data Analytics majors.

Statistics vs. Actuarial Science: Actuarial science uses statistics with a focus on risk assessment and management. Actuarial science students are preparing for careers as actuaries, and devote some of their coursework to working towards professional licensing as an actuary by preparing for the Society of Actuaries exams. In contrast, Statistics majors are preparing to pursue graduate study in Statistics or to enter the workforce as practicing statisticians in one of many application areas (e.g., business, biological sciences, social sciences, government, etc.).

How do I declare an undergraduate major in statistics?
Schedule an appointment with Undergraduate Advisor Jim Kilburg by calling (614) 292-6961.


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