Mathematics and Statistics Master's Degree
Masters in Mathematics and Statistics Programs encompass options to earn a graduate degree in concentration areas such as information technology analytics, big data, risk management, computational science and advanced mathematics. Graduate Mathematics and Statistics programs offer students the opportunity to continue on into doctoral programs, or prepare for potential professional careers in disciplines which make use of the mathematical and statistical sciences, such as research and academics[i]. Often a curriculum is intended for individuals who have strong backgrounds, but not necessarily baccalaureate degrees, in mathematics or statistics.
Masters in Mathematics and Statistics: Program Basics
The typical on-site masters degree program in Mathematics and Statistics takes two years of full-time study to accomplish. In some programs it may be necessary to have specific entrance requirements, such as the completion of undergraduate coursework in certain areas of statistics, such as linear algebra, calculus or basic mathematical statistics. Or, in the case of Math Masters programs, because you may be working with data analysis software, computer programming courses may be required or beneficial[ii].
As a graduate student, it may be helpful to find a Masters in Mathematics and Statistics program that aligns with any specific career goals you might have. You may have to decide between a thesis or non-thesis option; this could also be reflected in whether you choose a Master of Science or a Master of Arts program.
Why Earn a Mathematics and Statistics Masters Degree?
According to recent reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a fast growing need for Statisticians and Mathematicians with graduate degrees that show high levels of statistical knowledge, computer programming, strong quantitative and data analysis skills.[iii]
FACT: Graduates with a masters degree in statistics and a strong background in a related discipline, such as finance, biology, engineering, or computer science, are projected to have the best prospects of finding jobs in their field of study (BLS)[iv]
Types of Mathematics and Statistics Masters Programs
First off, it may be wise to clarify the difference between Math Statistics and a Mathematics and Statistics Masters Program.
Statistical Science focuses on the planning of studies, using methods such as randomized experiments, surveys, observation, data analysis and random samplings[v]. As an academic field of study, Math Statistics is concerned with the application of mathematics to statistics.[vi] Topics that might be studied could include mathematical techniques such as[vii]:
- Mathematical analysis
- Linear Algebra
- Stochastic analysis
- Differential Equations
- Measure-theoretic probability theory
Mathematics and Statistics Masters Programs
Depending on your own interests and ambitions, Masters in Mathematics and Statistics Degree Programs are offered in different subjects; program curriculums are likely to vary between universities and colleges as well as be influenced by the subject you are concentrating on. Choose from:
Actuarial Science & Financial Engineering Masters Programs: Actuarial Science is the academic study that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in insurance, finance and other professions; course topics might include[viii]:
- Probability Theory
- Computer Science
Mathematics Masters Programs: For students interested in working as a mathematician in private industry, a math masters or even Ph.D. is required.[ix] Mathematics as a field of study focuses on quantity, structure, space and change[x]. A mathematics masters degree is likely to teach applied mathematics since math is used in natural science[xi], engineering, medicine, finance, and the social sciences[xii]. Course topics might include[xiii]:
- Statistical research
- Probability and statistics
- Numerical analysis
- Algorithmic matrix
- Computational mathematics
Statistics & Data Analytics Masters Programs: As an academic field, statistics is the study of the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and organization of data[xiv]. Course topics might include:[xv]
- Big data
- Probability Theory
- Mathematical Statistics
Finding Your Match: On-campus, Hybrid or Online Math Masters Programs
Depending on your learning needs, once you have decided what type of Masters in Mathematics and Statistics Degree program you are looking for, you can then start thinking of the program format. On-campus programs offer the most hands-on learning and interaction, so especially if you will need to spend a lot of time in computer labs, this may be the right fit. Busy working professionals might find that it is easier to schedule study if they choose an online masters in mathematics and statistics degree. For the best of both of these formats, a hybrid program typically blends web-based learning with on-site requirements.
Once you are ready to initiate a search, browse through sponsored listings such as Master in Big Data Solutions (MBDS), MS in Information Technology – Data Analytics, Master of Science in Mathematics, Masters in Cyber Systems and Master of Science in Pathology. Make sure to request information from the graduate schools whose programs stand out to you; making lists and comparisons and using the navigation to visit the university’s website helps to keep you informed and focused.
Take the Next Step
With the steady demand for highly trained professionals in data analytics, applied mathematical and statistical modeling and security analysts[xvi], now might be a great time to take your education in math and statistics to its next level.
sources:[i] bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians.htm |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians.htm |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/math/statisticians.htm |[iv] bls.gov/ooh/math/statisticians.htm |[v] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_statistics |[vi] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_statistics |[vii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_statistics |[viii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actuarial_science |[ix] bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians.htm |[x] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics |[xi] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics |[xii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics |[xiv] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistics |[xv] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistics |[xvi] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm
Idaho State University
University of Idaho