What is Statistics?
Statistics is the study of collecting, summarizing, analyzing, and presenting data. Statistical methods are used around us every day; sometimes to summarize the results of data collection, sometimes to make conclusions, and sometimes statistical methods can be used to predict or forecast future events.
If you've answered a poll, particpated in the Census, or even used a mobile app, then statistics are a part of your life! By studying the use of statistical methods, you can learn more about how to use data to make meaningful conclusions.
Why Study Statistics
The Department of Statistics at the University of Virginia is a great place to build skills in a cutting-edge field with strong career and educational prospects. Undergraduate students take classes on typical topics, like probability and mathematical statistics, but also have access to a number of engaging electives in a variety of specialties, including data visualization, sports statistics, causal inference, and others. All majors complete a Capstone course experience, where groups of students focus on research questions that interest them, producing a high-quality deliverable.
Within the BA program, students can choose to concentrate in Biostatistics, Business and Finance, or Data Science.
While each student's path may differ, these programs equip students for success in industry, graduate education, and positions in government and other sectors. Students benefit from the skills gained from the expansive coursework, including effectively communicating statistical results and conclusions. Students also benefit from the opportunity to develop a personal portfolio of projects, which many former students have discussed during successful job interviews.
Careers Opportunities in Statistics
With a Statistics degree, there are essentially limitless options for your next step. It has been said that "the best part of being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone else's backyard" (John Tukey). Graduates have accepted positions in a variety of disciplines including medicine, finance, sports, business, consulting, government, and many more! Statistical skills are in very high demand and a Statistics degree can prepare you for jobs in data science, data analysis, software development, risk assessment, and many other areas. Each of these fields shows even further projected growth in the coming years.
For those who are so inclined, a Statistics degree can be a wonderful preparation for a variety of graduate programs across fields. An advanced degree can expand career prospects and provide opportunities to participate further in academic research.