Why Choose a Masters of Applied Statistics Degree + Online Option

In this article, we will discuss the Masters of Applied Statistics degree program, what you will learn, and why you may want to choose it to enhance your career. We will also highlight a high quality Masters of Applied Statistics program that can be completed online.

What Is a Masters of Applied Statistics?

The Masters of Applied Statistics degree was created because there has been an increasing demand for graduates who have advanced skills and knowledge in quantitative analysis and data science. Students who earn this degree can become industry leaders thanks to their knowledge of both theory and methods used in statistical applications.

There have been numerous important economic changes, and these have increased the level at which government agencies and businesses alike depend on data. The result of this is that there is an increasing need for professionals who are able to provide informative visualizations of data, as well as those who can manage data, based on the fundamental statistical principles.

The degree enables those who already have a background in data and statistics to further enhance their careers in a quantitative area. A thesis project is usually required for completion, during which time students work with an industry professional to solve an actual business or scientific problem. Generally, this is done in a field in which the students are already employed, or wish to be employed in, thereby providing them with real-life experience.

Simply put, the world is becoming increasingly reliant on numerical reasoning and predictive data, and this means professionals have to respond by enhancing their skills and knowledge. The Master of Applied Statistics degree enables people to work in a variety of fields, including business, government, health care, technology, science, and education.

Courses taken as part of a Masters of Applied Statistics degree include:

  • Applied Nonparametric Statistics
  • Introduction to SAS (Statistical Analysis System), Emphasizing Summarizing, Manipulating, and Reading Data
  • Data Management
  • Advanced Statistical Procedures
  • Statistical Analysis System Programming
  • Statistical Computing, Such as Manipulating Data, Univariate Data, Visual Data, and Importing Data
  • Statistical Programming Language
  • Applied Statistics
  • Design of Experiments
  • Analysis of Discrete Data
  • Applied Multivariate Statistical Analysis
  • Sampling Theory and Methods
  • Epidemiology Research Methods
  • Design and Analysis of Clinical Trials
  • Applied Time Series Analysis
  • Statistical Analysis of Genomics Data
  • Applied Data Mining and Statistical Learning

An understanding of statistics is required to determine whether policies and practices that have been put in place are effective and what is their impact. Secondly, they are required to determine the likelihood of new policies and practices being successful. Indeed, statistics is both an analytical and a predictive discipline and one that is becoming increasingly widespread and increasingly complex, which then require more advanced degrees.

Why Earn a Masters of Applied Statistics?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that statisticians can earn a median salary of $80,500 per year. They can find employment in a variety of fields, including:

  • Federal government
  • Scientific research and development services
  • Finance and insurance
  • State, local, and private colleges, universities, and professional schools
  • Management, scientific, and technical consulting services

Common employers for those who have completed a Masters in Applied Statistics are the:

  • S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • National Agricultural Statistics Service
  • Bureau of Economic Analysis
  • S. Census Bureau

In most cases, statisticians work as part of a larger professional team. Members of that team will vary depending on the industry in which the statistician is employed. It is very common for graduates to seek out positions within the field of health care, including public health and pharmacology industries. In those cases, they often work with clinical researchers who perform trials and submit data that must be properly understood.

Online Option for a Masters of Applied Statistics

Penn State University

One of the of the online Masters in Applied Statistics programs is offered by Penn State University’s World Campus. This degree is designed for those who already professionally handle data and want to delve deeper into more advanced statistical application areas. The program is based on the university’s resident program, which is highly acclaimed, and is taught by most of the same faculty members. The curriculum ensures that graduates are fully knowledgeable on industry-standard software, which includes SAS, R, and Minitab.

Because the degree is offered online, there is a large degree of flexibility in completing it. Hence, students can study towards the degree while continuing with their employment. As a result, it may take between two and five years to finish this particular degree. Students are encouraged to choose elective courses in areas that interest them personally, including statistical consulting, biostatistics techniques, predictive analytics, and data mining. Additionally, the degree prepares those who wish to pass the SAS Base Programming Certification Exam. They may also become PStat accredited, which is provided by the American Statistical Association. If they pass the examination, they can become listed as an Accredited Professional Statistician.

The curriculum of the Masters of Applied Statistics has been designed to enhance data analytical skills, while at the same time enhancing knowledge on MANOVA, Analysis of Discrete Data, ANOVA, DOE, and other areas of applied statistics. It does not, however, focus strongly on mathematical statistics. The core curriculum of the degree is made up of:

  • Introduction to Probability Theory
  • Introduction to Mathematical Statistics
  • Regression Methods
  • Analysis of Variance and Design of Experiments
  • Statistical Consulting, Which Is a Practicum

Besides the above courses, students are encouraged to choose from a wealth of elective courses, so that they can have the kind of knowledge and training that fit in with their own personal needs and interests.

Statisticians who hold a master’s degree are able to better promote their personal skills and knowledge and set themselves apart as leaders in business, government, industry, education, health care, and research organizations. Some of the roles that graduates of the Penn State University degree have taken on include:

  • Financial planner
  • Economist
  • Quality control manager
  • Insurance researcher
  • Project manager
  • Market researcher
  • Statistical consultant
  • Public health researcher


By completing a Masters of Applied Statistics, you can greatly accelerate your career in this particular field. There is a need for people educated to this level, with the skills and knowledge to provide a better understanding of data, in almost any industry. Furthermore, some students will choose to undertake a doctorate degree, which will enable them to educate the next generation of statisticians. Most of all, completing the master’s degree will give you the opportunity to set yourself apart as an expert in your field, with respected skills and knowledge.

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