By: Dr. Tom Ilvento a professor at the University of Delaware in the Department of Applied Economics and Statistics.

So many fields rely on statisticians for their most important decisions. It’s really no wonder that U.S. News & World Report ranks statistician as the No. 2 Best Business Job and No. 5 Best STEM Job.

In the past, statistics is perhaps the name most often used with data analysis, but now it goes by many names — analytics, data science, biostatistics, and machine learning among others. Those disciplines are all rooted in statistics — the beautiful science of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data.

What a time it is to be a mathematician! We are surrounded by a data revolution. Everywhere you look organizations and their problem solvers are analyzing data to find opportunities, value, and answers. Statistics is a field that demands advanced mathematics, some programming, and an undying curiosity of data. To be a statistician, you must love math and be willing to dive into advanced math like calculus and linear algebra. Second, you must develop your software and programming skills. And finally, when you look at data, you must nurture your “statistical imagination,” something I love to see our University of Delaware statistics majors develop as they move from our introductory to advanced courses. 

Statistics is the math major where you can use your problem-solving mind to impact our world. Quite often, we hear from students who love math, but don’t want to be a math major. Statistics is a great option for these students, and at the University of Delaware, we encourage our undergraduate students to couple the major with a minor in data analytics or resource economics. 

These complementary disciplines make you irresistible to employers in industries like health, finance, and sports. Almost every field is using statistics to advance itself and to better connect with people. Study statistics and you’ll land an impactful, high-paying job where you can apply the techniques you’ve studied to solve real problems wherever your passions lie. As a famous mathematician and statistician John Tukey once said, “The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone’s backyard.” 

Want to learn more about a degree in statistics? The University of Delaware held the first-ever MAA AMC Virtual Showcase on February 24, 2021, featuring Statistics UD professors Thomas W. Ilvento, Ph.D, Martin Heintzelman, and alumni about why statistics is one of the fastest-growing majors on college campuses today! Check out the conversation here.

Want to learn more about University of Delaware? You can take a virtual tour, sign up for the mailing list, or learn about the admissions process


This post is sponsored by the University of Delaware. It does not reflect an endorsement from the MAA.