Masters in Data Science Vs. Masters in Statistics


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Photo : Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Modern technology and data rely on mathematics, and it is used by businesses to track trends, make process improvements, devise business models, and even locate opportunities. Due to this, there is a large demand for professionals that not only understand data but are also qualified to derive insights to enable success.

If you are intrigued by data and its collection, you may be thinking about opting an advanced degree program. Masters online degrees in statistics and data science combine math and data skills, but career paths can be quite different. Today, we shall compare both these degrees in detail so you can decide which one is the right fit for you.

Masters in Data Science Degree

A Masters in Data Science or Masters of Science in Data Science is a degree that teaches data interpretation skills through statistical analysis. The coursework focuses largely on predictive modeling, machine learning, and computer programming. Graduates can easily enter the field of data science as this advanced degree allows them to handle data perfectly in a digital environment. They do this by communicating data findings, giving attention to specifics, and making use of tactful problem-solving skills.

Career Outlook

The Masters in Data Science program is perfect for those that are interested in assessing and interpreting digital information. Strong analytical skills developed in students throughout the program ensure that graduates can land excellent jobs in the data science field.

Data science advanced degree holders can opt to become data scientists, data analysts, data engineers, computer system analysts, or business analysts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts data scientist jobs are going to grow by 36% between 2021 and 2031.

Data scientists assist software engineers and are experts in programming and robotics. They are also often hired by the federal government with many working in software publishing and computer designing.

Masters in Statistics Degree

A Master's degree in statistics is an advanced statistics program that focuses on understanding data, data collection, data organization, and data interpretation skills. Coursework covers statistics, probability, biostatistics, and statistical analysis.

Graduates develop strong mathematical and analytical skills that are used to solve data-driven problems. Students that were previously not as aware of the topic also learn conversational skills they can use to communicate effectively about findings related to the subject.

Career Outlook

Masters of statistics graduates develop strong mathematical, statistical, and analytical skills that allow them to opt for a career as a statistical analyst, statistician, or biostatistician. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a majority of statisticians work for the federal government and in research fields. Some others also work in the educational industry, finance, and computer design industries. Statisticians are often part of teams with professionals like data scientists and data engineers.


Logical thinkers with an interest in a career path that focuses on data analysis are perfect choices for both Masters in Data Science and Statistics degrees. Both degree holders are in great demand across multiple industries. The data science and statistics fields are expected to show above-average growth percentages in the coming decade.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that data science jobs will grow by 36% in the next 10 years, statistician jobs by 33%, mathematician jobs by 29%, and other careers by only 5%.

Both the Data Science and Statistics advanced degrees allow graduates to land in leadership roles owing to their expertise and specialized knowledge. They can handle, interpret and assess large chunks of data, develop experiments and even communicate their findings through data research.


Even though both types of degrees help students build a similar skill set, the degrees vary vastly due to the syllabus and career paths a graduate can opt for.


A major difference between the Masters in Data Science and Masters in Statistics programs is student interaction with computer systems. Statistics students focus largely on mathematical skills instead of programming and data science. They are taught how to analyze data, collect data, build experiments, and understand model behaviors but minimal emphasis is placed on computer coding.

Data science students are taught about computer science in an in-depth manner. Greater focus is placed on multiple programming languages, artificial intelligence (AI), data mining, machine learning, and data extraction strategies for bulk data.

Job Outlook

Masters in Statistics degree holders can opt to become statisticians, statistical analysts, research scientists, or financial analysts. They can work in psychology, economics, trade, or commerce industries. Daily job duties often include data representation, data analysis, and proper research. Statisticians earn $95,570 per year on average.

Masters in Data Science graduates can work in an array of fields ranging from government to manufacturing and even healthcare. Daily job responsibilities include handling computer systems and working as a data analyst, data scientist, or data engineer. They are responsible for handling data and interpreting it to come up with strategies to solve problems and aid decision-making within an organization. Data scientists earn $145,668 on average per year.


Both degrees are great if you wish to land an advanced role and make a hefty salary. However, you should opt for the data science degree if you are interested in the computer field and opt for the statistics degree if you are purely interested in numbers and mathematical solutions to data problems.

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