Undergraduate Statistics Information

Modern statistics is an exciting field that affects many aspects of daily living. Its conceptual core deals with the issue: how we can “know things” about the real world in the face of real world variability.
The field has developed to deal with the uncertainty that accompanies variation present in most physical, biological, and social phenomena.

Work in statistics spans the range from theory to applications. With the rapid increase in computer power, many recent developments focus on computer-intensive methods. Statistics has become central to many other areas of scientific investigation, ranging from applications on research issues in agricultural, medical, and engineering sciences to business, law, government, finance, accounting, and actuarial work. Statistics is itself a scientific discipline concerned with extracting information from sample data in order to draw inferences about the real world.

Our undergraduate program provides rigorous training in the basic theory and methodology of statistics along with substantial experience with applications. This includes issues of designing and analyzing scientific studies. Our program requires training in mathematics and in the use of computers along with a considerable array of courses in statistics.

For advising assistance, please contact Kevin Packard (packard AT stat.wisc.edu) or Rick Nordheim (nordheim AT stat.wisc.edu).

More detail is provided in the accompanying web pages.


Career Opportunities in Statistics

Well-trained statisticians are in strong demand and have excellent employment prospects. Statisticians work in industry and business, in government, and in universities and other research institutions, including medical and biopharmaceutical. Typical employment in industry might be as a statistical consultant to engineers and other scientists in a research and development branch of a large company in areas such as the chemical, petroleum, or automotive industry.

While an undergraduate major in Statistics allows for many interesting job opportunities, it is also the case that further education in statistics at the graduate level provides an even wider range of employment possibilities. With a Bachelor’s degree you are more likely to have a position as a more general quantitative analyst. With a graduate degree you will be considered as a professional statistician.

In addition, statistical training is seen as very desirable in many other areas (e.g., agricultural, biological, engineering, and social sciences, business and economics) where the primary activity may not be statistics. In view of this, Statistics may often be a strong choice for a second or additional major. The single, best place to look for statistics jobs is the American Statistical Association Career Center. Consult with the Statistics Undergraduate Adviser about the best fit for you.